Halo Concept Art: Halo 4 Environments Part 2 of 5 FUD crash site, Meltdown and more

I didn’t get to yesterday’s concept art article due to my family being in from out of town for the weekend. It’s now just before 7am and none else is awake. So I’m going to get one to you now and hopefully another to catch up.

First off we have some art from Certain Affinity, makers of the multiplayer map, Meltdown.

In this image we have a Forerunner structure within one of the caves on Meltdown. This didn’t make it into the map, unfortunately. It would have been good to have this in, especially if it was interactive in some way. I like the scale of the cave in relationship to the spartan.halo_4_meltdown_ice_caves_by_jason_borne
This concept shows us a similar cave, with a much colder theme than the previous. This one is more reflective of what we got in the final version. I like the overall use of blue hues to really bring out the cold and ice. It’s a well done concept, IMO.halo_4_meltdown_garage_by_jason_borne
Here we are at the front of one of the Forerunner garages. Heh, I didn’t know they had a need for garages… Anyway, this evokes Forerunner architecture quite nicely.The final version changed slightly. Use of shadow and light is decent, with the blue light at the background of the concept drawing your eye toward it.halo_4_meltdown_frozen_side_by_jason_borne
One of the portions of the figure eight styled paths, this of course on the frozen side. There is a high amount of detail in this piece for being a concept. I’d like to have this as a print.
halo_4_meltdown_by_jason_borneAnd here we have a slight transition to the “melted” side of the map. The Forerunner structure top left is going into meltdown, hence the map name. Again, the amount of detail in this is impressive. Why we don’t have an all concept or a concept to creation book that includes this kind of stuff amazes me. Yes, I know we had a concept book. But for me as a HUGE fan of concept art, it just wasn’t enough. Beyond that, I think there is money to be made from these pieces. Something I’d think 343 would be interested in.

Now let’s move on to the Forward Unto Dawn’s crash site on Requiem.
The crash site of the Forward unto Dawn (FUD) was used heavily in the ad campaign for Halo 4. The piece above should look fairly familiar to you. It’s another very well done concept with plenty of detail. What really makes this stand out is the contrast between the bright light shining through at top, down through the wreckage to the fires burning below. halo_4_7849-b849e
This may or may not be the FUD. If it isn’t, then it’s the Infinity. Either way, the dark blue hues mixed in with greens make this almost moody, but for the contrasting light on the left of the piece.halo_4_crash_moodpaint_crop_by_a.j._trahan
Master Chief walks among the smoldering remains of the FUD. Here, even in rough texturing, we can see the separation of foliage from wreckage, burning embers to twisted metal. Take a CLOSE look at this piece (click to make bigger), and you’ll see how color was layered on the concept. It’s quite a work of art.
Strangely enough when I downloaded this, this is exactly how it appeared. I think it was reversed somewhere along the way. You can tell by the UNSC logo on the upper portion of the wreckage being backwards. Regardless of that, the many shades of grey tell the tale of the armored remains of the FUD. A once proud ship in service to the UNSC, reduced to scrap.halo_4_john_m20_04_by_john_liberto
Here is an even earlier concept similar to the first FUD piece seen above. While not as detailed, it helps the person making the decision on which way to take this piece a good visual representation of the scene. I sure wouldn’t want to breathe that air!

Now this piece looks pretty similar to the art used of the cover of Halo 4. Huge chunks of falling debris entering Requiem’s inner levels. Scale is a little difficult to measure here with your eye. However, I believe that wasn’t the intention of this piece, but rather to show the remnants of the FUD as the fell. The mostly centered light shines brightly on those pieces towards the center and dissipates as it flows towards to outer edges of the concept. Quite believable.halo_4_mid_mp5_02_recentcrash_sml_by_a.j._trahan
Here is another example of a sophisticated concept. Many things happening at one. The burning of the large engines, Chief walking away, small fires on the ground and the piercing light from the clouds make this piece visually exciting and hard to look away from after a few seconds. I’ve looked at this piece many times and still manage to find something different that I hadn’t noticed previously.

Let’s have a look at some miscellaneous concepts from Halo 4.
Not really a concept in the sense of how the others in this article are portrayed, this storyboard of Chief’s rescue is a good representation of the scene in just a few panels without having to tell the whole story.
The above three I’m a little perplexed by. Is it the destruction of Requiem? The first of the three says no. So what is this then? A planet being ripped apart by Requiem? This is something I’m going to have to get to the bottom of. The progression of destruction between the second and third of these is quite dramatic. With the large chunks off to the side barely moving between the two pieces, the two together say that this disaster was sudden and immediate.halo_4_camp2_by_a.j._trahan
What I like about the concept above are the techniques employed throughout to show various elements. The metal isn’t quite finished in rendering, yet easily discernible as metal. The foliage in many spots look like quick brush strokes, yet perfectly blend in with the rest of the piece.halo_4_cavecrop_by_a.j._trahan
This is another concept that I’m not entirely sure where it’s supposed to be. To me it seems this should be part of the Infinity, yet the title of the art does not convey that.  What is interesting about the art is the contrast between the dark foreground and light mid- and background. As well, the spotlight in the upper right corner draw my eye there, though I’m not sure what the artist wants me to see. The almost iridescent colors throughout say that this is industrial by nature.
You may have seen the above concept before. Once again there are several things going on in the piece that keep your attention. Chief in the foreground for one. But how about those tangling above ground roots of the trees? Not to mention the flying squid in the background. We didn’t get to see those animals, in-game. The trees themselves were much more dense in the game than they are here. Shame as I would have loved to have explored this area.halo_4_thicket_001_by_john_liberto
And finally for this article, we have a mysterious Forerunner structure right in the middle of the jungle/forest. This actually reminds me much more of something from halo CE, than Halo 4. Perhaps that was what was trying to be mimicked here. Would this have been another portal to another place in the campaign? Deeper into Requiem? It’s rich dark colors make this piece rather foreboding. I wouldn’t want to go in, but as Chief, well, he isn’t afraid of anything.

In the next Concept Art article, we’ll take a look at some other multiplayer maps in Halo 4.

So did you see any concept art new to you in this article? Any ones you really like? Let me know by replying below!