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Military Conflict: Vietnam – Vistas / 3d Skyboxes

I was brought on as an environment artist for Military Conflict: Vietnam, an FPS set in the Vietnam War, to create massive vistas for the battlefields in the game. I’m really happy with how they turned out! Making them really pushed my techniques and the Source engine to their limits, but they look fantastic.

All of the mountains featured are actual locations in Vietnam, sourced from a 30m DEM of the country. Once a location was selected, I used QGIS to extract the area and bring it into World Machine, where I refined it with noise and erosion. I then used the extracted maps to make a terrain texture. The heightmap, diffuse, and normal were then brought into Blender, where I painted trees on, removed hidden faces, and repacked the UVs. The meshes were then brought in-engine and combined with standard distance fog as well as custom fog cards that I made.

The final products each use about 5-10k tris for the terrain and ~50k tris for trees. Each terrain uses a 4k diffuse & normal (~10mb DXT1 ea), just 2 drawcalls total.

My favorite vista, from the USMC Camp map, set on a peninsula.
The Camp skybox, viewed from outside the map.
Khe Sanh Depot. The mountains in this vista are from the real location, meaning this view should be somewhat accurate to real life.
Particles created by the VFX team.
Depot skybox, with distance fog disabled but fog cards visible.
Same view, in wireframe.
Skybox from the NLF Outpost map. The dense fog on this map makes it difficult to see.
The same skybox, from far away. The color splotches are fog cards.