John Declan Paul

declan.paul@hotmail.co.uk | 07817601726

Environment Artist (Available for Work)

Game Still (in-engine)
Modular Cave - UDK
Base Rock Wall


Software Used: Maya, Zbrush, Photoshop, Crazybump, Xnormal & UDK

University Project (Final Year)

Modular Approach


Early on in this project I decided to take a modular approach to the creation of the cave to allow us to create


I managed to find slides from a GDC (2013) talk by Joel Burgess on the Modular Level Design in Skyrim. This documentation of their approach to modularity was extremely insightful and provided some great methods to work from.


You can see from the image on the right that they would start their cave areas by creating square rooms. A method I echoed when creating our cave, as seen in my demo video opposite.


The next step in their process was to break up the square room into more realistic/ believable spaces using wall segments, pillars & more.


If you are interested in learning more about the technique outlined here please click the image opposite to be directed to the GDC slides I speak of above.

Project Description:

This project revolved around creating a 'brawler' style game with a small team of students during my final year at Bournemouth University. I was responsible for creating the environment assets for the game, some of which would be modularly designed to help speed up production and allow us to add an 'arena' component where the player would face increasingly difficult waves of enemies in an assortment of different level layouts.

Zbrush Sculpts

Modelling Process

I primarily made use of two different modelling workflows throughout this project. The first required me to create a texture first, project it to a plane and create topology over it (using preserve UVs) that would allow me to push and pull areas to mimic the texture. This method was mostly used on the cave walls & ceiling segments, if you want to find out more about this technique click here.


The other process started with the creation of simplistic meshes focusing predominantly on their form/ silhouette & topology. These meshes would then be exported to Zbrush to modify/ detail them, primarily making use of the Clay Tubes, Trim Dynamic & Orb_Crack brushes. Once happy with the sculpt I decimated it and exported back to Maya to retopologise. I then baked the normal information to the low poly mesh using Xnormal.

Texturing Process

I started the texturing process by sourcing several images from CG Textures. I chose images that contained good shadow, light & detail information and combined them using layer blend techniques over a base colour in Photoshop to produce a generic rock texture. I then made it tileable along with several sourced rock formation images using the offset filter. These rock formation images were then overlayed over the generic rock texture I had created to create visually pleasing surfaces. I then finished off these textures by painting in some additional details & erasing areas that were distracting to the eye.

Zbrush Sculpts

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Copyright © 2016, John Declan Paul unless stated otherwise. All rights reserved.