Creating the background buildings
The image above formed part of the background of my image that was later transferred to Photoshop. I duplicated some parts of the city in order to fill the entire page, and make the city look really wide-spread.
Creating the spaceship
For the spaceship, I wanted to have something that resembled birds gently soaring across the sky. The basic modeling of these spaceships was very simple and I just added some light detail on specific parts.
The addition of spaceships added realism in the background
When all the modeled elements were complete, I combined them all together to create the basic composition. In terms of placement, I used the one-third composition rule and re-centered the image. This basically entailed positioning the object at an equal distance from each other and the edges of the page, to create an aesthetically pleasing effect.
Using the one-third composition rule for placement
For the lighting I used 3 lights positioned in 3 specific places: a front, a back and a left spot. The front light was the main one. To create more realistic lighting, I put a Noise map on my main spot which gave my image a diverse range of lighting levels on my city. This in turn gave the impression that there were clouds over the main light source/sun.
This shows the main light parameters used
For the textures themselves, I decided to choose one multi-material that used the same kind of patterns and textures. I thought this would tie the various modeling styles in the city together through their similar textures, thus creating a cohesive scene.
The materials and textures added
The final model with light and texture added
I only used 3 render passes for this scene: Ambient Occlusion, ZDepth and Normal. These passes helped me create my final image in Photoshop.
I then made a final render and saved it in TGA format in order to see the Alpha channel.
In Photoshop, I opened the TGA render and added 2 new layers; one with the Ambient Occlusion pass and another with the ZDepth pass. I inverted the ZDepth pass and used screen fusion. For the AO layer I used the multiply fusion.
Finally, I worked with the background city to create more depth and added the 2D sky and planet images to complete the composition.
Adding the background to complete the composition
The final image
Merging all layers and finishing post-production to create the final image.
Visit Jean-Francois Liesenborghs' website
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