Making of 'Golden Moment'
Hi, my name is Ricky Linton. This is an overview for the project I created recently. I'll explain about the general workflow about creation for my project, starting from modelling through to the compositing process. You will not find step-by-step tutorial here, and if you find better or more appropriate ways to do these things then you may either correct me or just ignore my way, as I believe every artist in this world has their own good way of doing their job! So thanks for watching and I hope you enjoy this tutorial.
Research and Inspiration
At first, I wanted to create a fantasy style landscape with an organic-feeling architecture. So I tried to collect as many references from the Internet, books and magazines to help me with the concept, style, mood, composition, etc. - making it easier for me to do the project later on. The picture on the left was found on the internet and was the main reference for the basic idea of this piece. I simply translated it into my own creation.
Note: This image is credited to the original author
After finished with the concept, I started to create the background to explain where the action was and to emphasise more depth in the project. I decided to do a matte painting using several photos that I found on the Internet. In Photoshop, I extracted the element that I needed from each original photograph and then combined them and added some fog and creating an atmosphere by painting over them. After I finished the matte painting part, I created a separate layer for some elements (a sky, mountains, forest) and then projected the basic geometry in 3ds Max to create a parallax effect when the camera is animated.
Note: These images are credited to the original authors
The modelling process used basic polygon techniques, using simple geometry, like box, cylinder, plane, etc., and then converting to editable poly object. I used some modifiers, like taper, bend, FFD, turbosmooth, twist, etc., and I used the lofting technique to create the trail.
I also used ZBrush to add details in order to create a more organic feeling to the object. The base geometry was created using 3ds Max, then exported to .obj format to be used in ZBrush. I then sculpted it and exported it back as an .obj file into 3ds Max. I also created Displacement Maps & Normal Maps in ZBrush to achieve highly detailed objects.
Texturing & Mapping
After the whole model was finished, I started to do the mapping for each object using the UVW mapping and unwrapping technique. The texturing process was done in Photoshop using my texture collections. As you can see, I used a lot of dirty old textures from 3DTotal's Vol. 05 Texture Collection - Dirt & Graffiti DVD - for the masking process to add details and realism to the textures. The brick textures were also from 3DTotal's Vol. 01 Texture Collection - General Textures - which sped up the texture creation process. I also used procedural maps for quick setup. Here is an example of the textures that I used:
Here's the basic idea of how to create the textures:
I tweaked the shader during the texturing process. I used a general shader, like blinn, anisotropic, Oren-Nayar-Blinn, etc. to determine the characteristics for each material.
Lighting and Rendering
For the lighting process I used standard lights, like directional, spotlight and omni. I prefer using manual lighting techniques (no GI) in order to speed up the rendering times! For rendering, this scene was actually defined into several layers and each layer had its own lighting setup. The rendering itself was done in several passes, such as a diffuse pass, ambient occlusion pass, lighting pass, shadow pass, specular pass, selection pass, zdepth, masking pass and normal pass. By doing this, it saved a lot of time when I needed to re-render for some passes, but we don't need to render all of the passes again.
When rendering is done, I combine all passes in Fusion, working layer by layer and also doing colour correction, adding glow, sharpen, garbage mask, etc. By working this way, it is easier for me to do tweaking for each layer to achieve the look that I want.
And this section ends my explanation about this project. You can contact me via my email for further details if you're interested. Thanks for reading and hopefully it will help you in your own projects!
This image was created using a few of the hundreds of textures from the Total Texture CDs - very comprehensive texture collections priced with the hobbyist in mind. To see more examples, download free
samples and read full details follow this link