This is a gif that I made to explain the process in creating my environment art. I was heavily inspired by the pre-rendered backgrounds you see in PS1 era JRPGs like Final Fantasy, but I also wanted it to have a pixel art feel as the game’s resolution is quite small. After a bunch of experimentation I was able to find a decent balance between the needs of the game, my dream vision of what it would look like, and my own capabilities and knowledge.
In other parts of this site you can see other environment art I’ve done in C4D as 3D renders. I basically made one of those but rendered it at a very small size, to scale with the sprites I have in the game. From there I paint over top with more solid pixel brushes, as well as softer washes under different blending modes.
This colour-correcting and detail phase is actually pretty quick, and I try to continually go overboard with the saturation and contrast. The longest part is by far the very first few frames of this gif in which I’m just trying to greybox the general proportions of the environment and its contents.