Fantasy environments are perhaps the most challenging of all types of CG environments. Traditional fantasy works combine realistic settings with surrealistic touches. Unlike sci-fi, where the primary driver is technological progress, fantasy focuses on the romantic side of existence, bending and shaping ancient objects into new forms or adding a hint of the unbelievable to otherwise mundane settings.
Where a fantasy environment is set is entirely up to the artist. There are no hard and fast choices like the distant future or “a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away.” Modern developments like steampunk show that fantasy is still developing and pushing its own boundaries in regards to where it can be set. Whether it’s 19th century industrial factories or 7th century battlefields, fantasy environments are as diverse as they are unique. Though the cliche fantasy environment is the green pasture of some hilly region (think LOTR), fantasy environments can come close to breaching category barriers and cross over into sci-fi or realism territory.
The key to most fantasy environments is grandiosity. The superb works listed below have one common denominator: they aren’t constrained to a room or a city or a planet. If there is a theme in a fantasy work, that theme is visible and pervasive in every element contained within it. Magical forests, unruly seas, and enormous castles are just some of the interesting and vibrant fantasy environments you can find.