Institute of Art Design + Technology
Dún Laoghaire

Lee Hersee 

BA [Hons] 3D Design Modelmaking + Digital Art

My name is Lee. I'm an artist and modelmaker specialising in digital 3D modelling but I still very much enjoy the physical side of modelmaking. I strive to grow my abilities in all aspects of digital 3D and to work as a technical artist, environment artist, or modelmaker in the videogame industry, or as a modelmaker for animation/film. My goal for this project was to develop the skills and knowledge of the digital art space.

Solarpunk Environment

After stumbling across a genre of climate fiction called Solarpunk during previous worldbuilding project, I instantly fell in love with the lush cities and close-nit communities. After further researching the genre I found that there are very few videogames that use Solarpunk as a theme, and none of which are a 3D exploration experience. I thought I could try my hand at creating the experience that I sought for. To be able to walk around a gorgeous, technologically AND environmentally advanced cityscape is something I aim to create with this project and continue to work on and pursue after the fact. I used Substance Designers powerful node-based texture generation to make the majority of textures used. I used Blender to create assets and Unreal to render it all and turn into a playable level.

Solarpunk Against the Climate Crisis

After stumbling across Solarpunk I fell in love with the worlds and stories people created. It’s a rare thing to see a hopeful depiction of the future climate in media and even more rare to see views that are so grounded in reality. I thought to myself while reading the Solarpunk Summers anthology, “Some of this tech could be used in real life.” Questioning why some of these fictional technologies only existed in the realm of fiction, I found myself falling down a rabbit hole of scientific and technological papers exploring near-future and in development technologies like transparent solar panels that can be fitted as windows, powering an entire block if used on say a skyscraper or airships and how hydrogen/helium dirigibles have faster shipping times and a sliver of the carbon footprint of cruise/freight ships. In this thesis I explored the Solarpunk genre to help better define and explore its ideologies and technologies to show how a climate fiction theme can be used to help give context and inspiration to combat and thrive against the current climate crisis, together as a species.