Need for Speed // Materials
Electronic Arts



Visual Direction

As a UI Artist on Need For Speed No Limits, (iOS & Android) I led the redesign of the material system used in the game. As we began to feature more EV's, the current material system no longer worked. Materials that were specific to combustion engines had to go and a new simplified system had to be designed in its place.

I led a team of 2D and 3D artists in a redesign of the 60+ material icons in the game, working with the design team on a new meta system and naming convention. We worked from concept to implementation in just under two months.

I did the bulk of the modelling work myself in Blender, defining a production workflow for texturing, lighting and rendering that worked with artist imports from Maya and 3DS Max. It was my favourite project from my time on the game and one with the largest impact.

3d turbo material icon clay render 3d turbo material icon full render

The new material meta was designed around the concept of abstraction. We wanted to take our current system of real world parts and give them a 'fantasy engineering' feeling, leaning into the rarity scale to increase the feeling of reward and achievement. This extended through to the animated card backgrounds and the UI itself.

scale of asbtraction 01 - hyper realism
scale of asbtraction 02 - broken realism
scale of abstraction 03 - abstract economuy
need for speed material cards in grayscale with 3d clay rendered icons
need for speed material card rarities
list of old material names crossed out beside updated material names

I worked alongside the 2D art team to put together a few blockouts and early concepts for what our icons could eventually end up being. We focused on silhouettes that looked good at small sizes, and texturing and lighting that referenced the real world parts they were based on.

early 3d concepts of need for speed material icons
material shader balls used in texturing of material icons
3d blockout concepts for material icons
wireframe render of blocked out material icon
3d material icon hierarchy from common on the left to epic on the right

To achieve consistency in the final models, we made used of shared materials and a lighting and camera rig that allowed artists to drop in a model from any program and have it instantly match the style. I'm extremely grateful for the team we had, and very proud of the results.

collection of rare material cards and icons
collection of various need for speed material cards
collection of epic material cards and icons
collection of various need for speed material cards
collection of all material shaders and emissions used in the material icons
All 3d material icons designed for Need for Speed: No Limits


UI & Art Direction:

Christian Orkibi

Concept Art:

Christian Orkibi, Sahan Gamage

3D Modelling:

Christian Orkibi, Sahan Gamage, Aaron Hoffman, Guy Milner, Grigor Pedrioli, Jesse West