One of the biggest challenges designing on Epic was creating some organization to the forest. To get the visual look and feel right, while staging for the characters, it was a constant battle to balance the immense New England forest populated by thousands of plant, rock and tree assets. In a way, it felt like gardening...but I was using a stylus instead of a shovel. Everything needed to be cultivated but not to the point it felt unnatural.
Sometimes I'd take a walk around Blue Sky's campus and walk out into the nearby trees to observe. I'd bring a miniature army man to pose in the plants; This gave me a really good idea of scale. One time, a group of women joggers passed by me while I was laying on the ground taking a picture of my army guy. One woman gasped to her friend, "there's a creep laying in those bushes." Another said, "should I call the cops?" I figured it was too late to explain so I just continued posing the action figure and taking pictures on my phone. I never saw those joggers again and the cops never showed.
Here are some of my set dressing sketches to develop the look of the forest near the final sequences of the Epic.