I worked as an Environment Artist at BioWare on Star Wars: The Old Republic for over four years. My main responsibilities included world building, modeling, texturing, outsource supervision, optimization, and lighting. It was a fantastic opportunity to work alongside amazing artists, designers, programmers, and writers, not to mention fulfill a childhood dream of being involved in creating a small piece of the Star Wars Universe! Below is a selection of work I accomplished while working on The Old Republic.
The planet Taris played a key role in the original Knights of the Old Republic. It was once a Sith controlled city planet that was bombarded to the point of near annihilation by Darth Malak in a vain attempt to kill Jedi Bastila Shan. The Old Republic picks up 300 years after the events of KOTOR and takes players back to revisit Taris, now an overgrown bombed out shell of the great city it once was. In The Old Republic, quests largely surround the events of both factions of the game attempting to reclaim Taris and resettle it.
I was on the core Taris team throughout the entire production of the planet. As a fan of Knights of the Old Republic, I was absolutely thrilled to get the opportunity to help shape The Old Republic's vision of what Taris had become.
My roles on Taris included terrain sculpting, modeling, texture painting, asset outsourcing, interior visual design, interior propping, interior lighting, and optimization.
Above is a pirate stronghold. I wanted these interiors to feel dank and dusty and evoke the feeling of being inside an old cellar. By using a lot of warm tones in the fog and lighting and by hanging tarps from the ceilings, I was able to give these areas a unique feeling and made them stand out from the traditional color schemes associated with the Repubic and Imperial factions.
This room was a one day task. The cinematic it was used in called for a small archive of people who had been frozen in carbonite. I did all propping, lighting, and visual design.
Above is another room that was a one day task. This room was set up as a remote, small laboratory that had to accommodate conversations, cinematics, and combat. I did all propping, lighting, and visual design.
Above is a shot of The Endar Spire, a ship from Knights of the Old Republic that was shot down by Darth Malak. The ships's structure remained largely intact after the attack and it crashed on the surface of Taris. Players get the chance to revisit the ship's ruins in The Old Republic. As with the pirate dungeons, I was responsible for all visual design, lighting, and propping of the entire Endar Spire.
Belsavis is a remote prison planet in Star Wars: The Old Republic. The vast majority of its surface is covered by ice, though volcanic activity creates warm, lush pockets of tropical jungle. These warm pockets were originally utilized by an ancient race of advanced aliens called the Rakata for keeping prisoners. The Rakata have mysteriously disappeared and now the Republic is attempting to reclaim the planet and use the prisons for their own purposes.
For Belsavis, I was a core part of a two person team that helped solidify the look and feel of the planet, and was involved in every stage of its production.
My main duties on Belsavis included a very large amount of terrain sculpting, exterior propping, modeling, texture painting, asset outsourcing supervision, the visual design and implementation (lighting and propping) of dozens of interiors, and optimization.
Color was something we wanted to emphasize on Belsavis to make it unique. We used coral reef references for color choices. To give the impression of water, the planet's fog was given a rich, saturated blue. The exterior foliage and environment props were given secondary colors to evoke coral and marine life.
Above is a hallway of an ancient Rakata vault. I was in charge of supervising the entire production of the Rakata modular architecture set as well as the entire Rakata prop set. I came up with multiple lighting schemes as well as the initial prototype dungeons that would later be heavily featured in the planet. It was a great opportunity to continue with what was established in Knights of the Old Republic.
The vast majority of assets in The Old Republic were made using an outsourcing pipeline with internal supervision, modifications, and refinement. I oversaw the creation of dozens of assets ranging from modular sets to props. In an effort to keep up my modeling skills, I took on the entire creation of a neutral faction ship that I thought had an interesting design.
I grabbed as many opportunities as I could to work on and build models during the production of The Old Republic. As the majority of assets were built through outsourcing, I made my own opportunities to keep active in asset creation and production techniques. This ship was done in my spare time.
The ship's concept art didn't flesh out the back engine's guts, which provided me with a fantastic opportunity to incorporate my own designs.
A breakdown of the ship asset.
The Old Republic's production spanned many years and several stylistic shifts along the way. During that time, some older assets began to look out of place and dated. I took it upon myself to redesign and improve a few small props. This gun rack was reworked in about a day. It was already heavily placed throughout the game, so I was unable to change the dimensions and texture resolution. My focus was to update the asset and match the established style of the game.