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Making of 'Reform'

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Date Added: 5th November 2009
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Once when I was driving through my town, I discovered an old agricultural factory. This abandoned place kick-started my imagination; the massive structure on the top of the garage and the whole feeling of the place made me feel, quite simply, spellbound. I later returned to the scene and took some photographs to use as reference images, and I worked on the environment for several months in my free time.


I started the project, first of all, by collecting some information about the factory and the structural elements on top of the building. This place was actually a sawmill, and at the top of the garage is a sawdust collector. As previously mentioned, I took some photos as reference images, but I also looked for other images to inspire me and to get some interesting ideas. I searched for images and references for not only the shapes, but also for the lighting and texturing (Fig.01 and Fig.02). And, of course, I collected some blueprints for the van that I wished to incorporate into the scene.

Fig. 01

Fig. 02


All models were created in 3ds Max using editable poly geometry - a simple and easy way to model. I started with the sawmill collectors; they began as cylindrical objects, and I used the most standard tools to modify them, for example: extrude, chamfer, (target) weld, cut and so on. Here is some of the modelling work shown in wireframe (Fig.03 - Fig.05).

Fig. 03

Fig. 04

Fig. 05

Moving onto the modelling of the van, I set up the blueprints on planes, starting from the front of the van, forming a simple plane. I extruded the edges and moved the vertices to achieve a nice overall shape (Fig.06). After I finished the model, I started to give a more worn and used look to the van; some objects got an optimise modifier, which made it easier to apply damage (Fig.07).

Fig. 06

Fig. 07

For the grass I used several types of grass strands, scattered with Advanced Painter action item. The plants were handmade from cylinders, scattered nails and spheres; one of the plants was from Xfrog - deformed and modified to suit my scene. To finish off the vegetation, I used an ivy generator to achieve an abandoned feeling.

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