There were a number of aspects to the scene composition in Forza Horizon 3.
There was the defining of vistas, trying to create a series of striking scenes using the traditional rules of composition, while at the same time creating a natural feeling landscape.
Trees were initially placed proceedurally, but then the area was worked into by hand, creating lines of sight, and using hero trees, rocks, and prop placement to frame and emphasise particular views.
Buildings and other man-made objects were “bedded in” softening the transition from building to landscape, and also providing an opportunity for storytelling.
I tried to get a feel for the sort of area the house was in and the people who lived there, showing a history or a particular use for the building.
Occasionally this meant using existing assets in unconventional ways to kitbash props we didn’t have.
The small lake was a blank area that gave an opportunity to do something interesting.
I suggested a small island in the lake, which not only added interest and visual depth but also provided an opportunity for the placement of a gameplay element,
(one of the top scoring reward boards was placed on the island).
I sculpted the island and the lake bed, adding in a submerged causeway for access, then populated it, placing trees and rocks on the island and water weeds on the causeway and lake edges.
The boat by the rocks to give a bit of a focus.
I also added a jetty to the shoreline and boat sheds further up the track leading to the shore to add to the storytelling and to give the lake a purpose as a leisure area.