Artist of Unreal Pokémon Center Describes His Work

If you’ve ever wondered what a Pokémon Center would look like in real life, environment artist Evan Liaw just gave us a glimpse. Liaw just built a Pokémon Center in Unreal Development Kit. He told TechZwn, “It just seemed like a fun idea to imagine what Pokémon might look like in a real functioning space and rendered in real-time (I wanted to be able to walk around in it).”

You wouldn’t guess by the quality of his work, but Liaw says he’s still fairly new, and used the project as a chance to refine his skills. Liaw said he gave the Pokémon Center everything you’d expect to find—a lounge, seeping area, trading stations, bathrooms, and, of course, plenty of Pokéballs. But he also added his own touch. Liaw wanted to do a sci-fi scene. After doing some research, he figured that Pokémon “really isn’t too far away from sci-fi,” and so he decided it would be “fun to try and push it to full blown sci-fi.”

3D Pokeball from Pokemon

“People have been saying it looks like Mass Effect, but really a lot of the designs are taken straight from the anime and modified a little bit,” Liaw said. “I also used a lot of techniques I learned from outrageously talented artists, and some are really common in sci-fi scenes, which definitely also lends to the Mass Effect look.”

He said that while he couldn’t give a solid estimate on how long the project took, but noted “Best I can say is… a lot.”

3D Pokecenter

The hardest part for him was trying to push the bar, and create a Pokémon Center that leans more towards science fiction than the ones we know. “Sometimes I needed to make something I couldn’t find a reference of in Pokémon, so finding suitable reference elsewhere and coming up with something that’s consistent with a sci-fi Pokémon concept was difficult,” he said. “Also scope of the concept was an issue.  There were so many ideas I had and so many things I wanted to put in, I simply couldn’t afford to put them all in due to time and performance constraints.”

He was also helped by inspiring creations from fellow artists. He said scenes released from artists including Tor Frick, Jordan Walker, and Vincent Joyau “were so unbelievably helpful, and thankfully there are also places like Polycount.”

Pokemon in 3D

For future projects, Liaw said he doesn’t have plans to do another Pokémon scene, although he notes Viridian Forest may be a possibility. “I suppose I could spend all my time re-imagining places in Pokémon and still have a lot of fun, but there are other places I want to visit and hopefully as I get better completely original places,” he said.

Liaw did say, however, that he intends to revisit his Pokémon Center after he finishes his portfolio and lands a job to clean up the piece, make it run smoother, “and definitely add characters and Pokémon walking around.”

“Maybe then if I’m satisfied with the quality of work, I’ll release the full scene,” he said. “I definitely want to release a scene of mine in the future, it’d be a way to pay back the debt I owe from the artists who have released their scenes for aspiring artists like me to learn from.”

Stunning Pokemon rendering

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Future of Pokemon

A 3D rendered scene of Pokemon

Unreal Pokemon Pokecenter

3D rendering of a Pokemon Pokecenter

All images used with permission from Evan Liaw

One Response

  1. Bane Srdjevic

    Some mornings I ask myself if it’s even worth getting up since I won’t see Pallet Town outside my window. But this makes rolling out of bed seem a little more worthwhile.

    Reply

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