Here is some of the stuff I got to work on during Halo 4 which was fun. More work coming...eventually lol
I didn't light these seens. On the rescue mission some assets where kit bashed.
Over the course of Halo our deadlines where very tight. I've been using Zbrush for almost 6 years now and it was integral to creating the cave environment shown above. All asset creation was handled using zbrush, this also included UV'ing of the organic assets as well.
Utilizing the insert mesh function along with DynaMesh I was able to rapidly create shapes and experiment without any concern to the traditional constraints of poly modeling.
Spotlight helped me to utilize photo reference I found through multiple sources to create kits and multiple assets that could be pieced together to make complex shapes. With simple alteration to the in-game base cage I could turn one sculpt into three or four assets without creating extra re-work.
The constraint of in game compared to Pre-Rendered CG is at the most basic level the assets, shots and characters needing to be rendered almost instantly. Using decimation master I was able to take the hi resolution sculpts and very quickly get meshes down to the point where I could use them directly in game. Typically I found the more organic the shapes where the better decimation master did in getting me something I could use. ZBrush has a very solid normal and displacement map generator as well which was nice to have.