FlowScape is a computer software program, available for Windows, Mac or Linux, by a company called Pixel Forest Games. What it does is offer artists, graphic novelists and authors a conduit to channel their fantastical imaginations onto a 3D sandbox environment with tools, color palette, natural lighting, weather and creatures. Once created, they can revisit this environment as if they're transporting themselves into their own created worlds (think a better-pixelated MineCraft without any specific gaming element), take looping video cutscenes, turn them into screensavers or capture snapshots for book covers, posters or graphic novel artwork. If you're telling yourself - it's too good to be true - just watch the video below:
With version 1.4 out at the time of writing (and available on Steam on 15 August 2019), artists can choose from 20 landscapes and more than 300 models to create their own private paradise. They can change the sky, rotate the sun, add sound effects and adjust camera settings to take that perfect scenic moment ala Nat Geo or The Lion King (the latest Disney one).
It has an intuitive toolbar for advanced paint options such as aligning plant population to landscape, sizing, flow and growth speed. With 20 unique landscapes as your starting point (eg. from valleys to beaches, rivers and lakes), there's nothing to stop you from running wild with imagination.
Right off version 1.1, FlowScape artists can already create castles (see videos above). But with version 1.4, artists can now import their own models created with .OBJ format (ie. from Maya program for example). The 3D created environments cannot be exported as .OBJ though (for repurposing as a 3D game world), so for now, think of it as a 3D sketch book with animation.
There is a combination of 24 4K-resolution textures for your landscape and 12 different skies. Once you've set up your base, you can then tweak your camera settings with plenty of sliders to gain full control over the final image you want. These sliders cover aspects like the direction, height, intensity, temperature and sun shafts of sun/moon; rotation, ambient light, brightness and fog distance of skies; camera FOV, exposure, white balance, saturation and vignette.
For your video cutscenes, you have 10 different sound ambiances to choose from - be they birds, insects, water and weather SFX effects.
The program has a decent minimum and recommended system requirements (scroll to the bottom of the screen here), and costs USD10 which you can pay using PayPal or a credit card. Over time, I'd expect more community updates on new tools and skins for different objects, as well as the possibility of sharing your 3D created worlds with others (including the possibility of adding VR support). To keep yourself up to date with FlowScape's community, you can check out their topics of discussions here or the Steam Community Hub here.
Personally for me, I'd probably try recreating some of the more fantastical backgrounds and environments from Allastria and Mortalissar with FlowScape. Will share some of my reproductions here soon.
About the Creator
Terry Astrial is an alias I'm using for this website & our social media channels (yep, it's not my real name). I'm born & raised in Asia.