Game Environment Artist Showcases Techniques Behind God of War 3 and City of Heroes
July 20, 2011

Game Environment Artist Showcases Techniques Behind God of War 3 and City of Heroes

Los Angeles, Calif. - Learn how to evolve an environment concept into a vibrant 3D setting in Environment Modeling for Games with instructor Nate Stephens, senior environment artist at Respawn Entertainment, in a new tutorial available on DVD and via download from The Gnomon Workshop.

This new tutorial continues a workflow started by God of War 3 concept artist Cecil Kim, with Stephens taking the reins to produce a fully rendered game environment model via Maya. 

Focusing on the tools and techniques used in Stephens' daily production pipeline, the tutorial explains and shows his methods during the production of a digital environment model. Taking concept art originally developed by Kim, Stephens identifies the forms and structures of environments, blocks them out and proceeds through the modeling process--touching on the key concepts, tools and techniques needed during continuous refinement.

The tutorial also covers common errors to avoid, ensuring the correct lighting and efficiency for running the scene or exploring the environment in real time. "It's easy to notice Nate's 3D levels and scenes in the God of War franchise. His massive, epic environments--masterfully modeled and sculpted in Maya--have been praised by critics and fans worldwide," says Kim. "He's one of the most experienced and talented 3D environment artists in the industry.

This video guides viewers through Nate's process of translating my 2D concepts into 3D game assets. I recommend it highly for anyone who wants to understand high-end AAA game production." Stephens has been working as an environment artist in the video game industry for the past 10 years and is currently senior environment artist at Respawn Entertainment, the game development studio founded by industry icons Vince Zampella and Jason West. Through work on many projects, he has become an expert in all disciplines including modeling, texturing, animation, and lighting.

During his career, he has worked for Sony Santa Monica Studios, Blizzard Entertainment, Swingin' Ape Studios, and Cryptic Studios, to name a few. Stephens has been a driving force behind the settings of such games as God of War 3, God of War 2, Starcraft Ghost, City of Heroes, City of Villains, and a new unannounced project.