Uncharted 4 is a very pretty game. Keep your eyes peeled for our upcoming feature on the surprisingly entertaining photo mode to see just how pretty it can be (even in the hands of an enthusiastic amateur).
If you’ve ever tried to put together an environment in a game engine like Unreal Engine 4 or Unity 5 – perhaps you’ve seen one of those speed-level creation tutorials on YouTube and thought it looked pretty easy to create beautiful worlds – then you’ll know first-hand that it’s a more complex process than you’d think. Even if you’re skilled at composing a sharp photograph, or are a dab hand with a paintbrush or pencils, getting everything to come together just right can be surprisingly tricky.
Environment art in video games is an entirely different, ethereal skill, in the grand scheme of the visual arts world, and is one that should be celebrated. Just look at how stylish and well-realised something like Firewatch or Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture turned out, and you’ll get the idea.
We of course get to see the finished result when we play the game, and often get to see the concept art that inspired it, but rarely do we get to see the transition between the two. Thankfully Naughty Dog environment artist Anthony Vaccaro has put together an Uncharted 4 time-lapse video, showing just how the Madagascan environments were put together in Nathan Drake’s farewell adventure.[youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cwRcgbQbCkc” autoplay=”no”]
The secret? Layers. So. Many. Layers.
Uncharted 4 time-lapse video via Anthony’s YouTube channel.
Want to see more of Anthony Vaccaro’s stunning work? Check out his online portfolio; that’s also where we grabbed that beautiful header image from.
Like what you see? Pick up the Art of Uncharted 4 book from Amazon.