Making Of 'Symphony Of The Clouds'

This scene was made with Maya (modelling, Texturing, Lighting and rendering), texture editing and final compositing in photoshop. The idea for this scene is to depicted a dramatic sunrise moment that had a panoramic clouds. Different clouds formation can give a different mood for the viewer. So, I took some skies photo that help to dictated the mood for this scene from Total Texture v3. I will explain about the clouds later in Post Production part.


I used a poly and box modelling most for each part of this scene. Some parts with NURBS modelling such as electric cables, I build a NURBS circle and extruded it along the path. Here's the models with textured version (Please refer to
Modelling_textured.jpg). The trees are a TIFF image with an alpha channel that I found from Total Textures v10. As you can see, I'm just using a plane model for the trees and let the textures do the rest:)


The white round thing back there is just a clue for me where I want the sun supposed to be. I gave the number for the model to explain which textures I used from a various collection of Total Textures. I must say this hi-quality textures collection are great and really a time saver. here they are:

Building Nr.1

I took an UV snapshot for the front part of the building as a guide and go to photoshop for texture working.

- The first base was gy004.jpg from Total Textures V3

- Next, using a soft light mode above the base texture for con007.jpg also from Total Texture V3.

- Add a Germany010.jpg texture from Total Texture v12 with Hard light mode.

- For variation on the top surface, I add gy021.jpg (Total Texture V3) and used a layer mask to subtle the edge of the texture image.

- To made it more aged, I add gy010.jpg (Total Texture v3) with overlay mode and place it to where the arrow was pointed.

- Add a dirt from tile04heavy003.jpg (Total Texture v5) with overlay mode.

- Finally I placed a bri017.jpg (Total Texture v2) brick. the same brick layer was copy above on the same position, but the above brick layer using hardlight mode with 59 value of opacity to give a strong color, while the below one still using a normal mode.

- Add a final touch for the building edge, paint a dirt with a small size spatter type of brush.

Texture for the chimney, result from gy010.jpg (Total Texture v3) plus br005 (Total Texture v3) with multiply mode..

Here's the texture for the window from woo013.jpg (Total Textures v2)

Building Nr.2

Fig 14

Fig 14

con007 - Total Texture V2

Fig 15

Fig 15

br012 - Total Texture V3

Building Nr.3

br004.jpg (Total Texture V3) mix with Br012.jpg (Total Texture V3)

Building Nr.4

br008.jpg ( Total Texture V3) mix with tile04heavy001.jpg (Total Texture v5) in softlight mode.

Wall Nr.5

  (Total Texture v1)

(Total Texture v1)

sweden006.jpg (Total Texture v13) plus tile04heavy001.jpg (Total Texture v5) in softlight mode

Building Nr.7

 (Total Texture v2)

(Total Texture v2)

Building Nr.8

italy011.jpg (Total Texture v12) - woo003.jpg (Total Texture v2) for the window

Wall Nr.9

Fig 24

Fig 24

brick09.jpg (Total Texture v1)

Fig 25

Fig 25

brick11.jpg (Total Texture v1)

Building Nr.10

Fig 26

Fig 26

br001.jpg (Total Texture v3)

Fig 27

Fig 27

br010.jpg (Total Texture v3)

 (Total Texture v3)

(Total Texture v3)

 mix with  (Total Texture v5) for the tower

mix with (Total Texture v5) for the tower


Plants from Total Texture v10 that I used


I want to simulate the sunrise, so my light setup is:

1. Main light , - I used 1 spot light with yellow (a bit orange) tone and high intensity placed far back from the houses (a white round thing as a guide for the sun)

-1 point light with bright yellow tone to help the main light got more broad effect.

2. Fill light, - 1 ambient light with blue tone, so I can fill the overall scene with bluish color to simulate the sky.

- Since I want to maintain the morning atmosphere, I created another one point light with pale red tone.

- A spot light (orange and a bit brown) to fill the building from the right side, so the scene didn't appear too dark.

- Another spot light from the front of building, this time a light blue tone.

3. Bounce light, 1 volume light with a dark brown color that I placed below
the buildings.


Here's the final render, rendering in production quality with quadratic B-spline filter.I choose TIFF as my output, so I got my alpha channel for editing later. I tilted the camera to got a more dynamic composition.

The scene still seems a bit dark this time. but that's fine since I planned to fix the rest in next session.... now for the final part...Post Production!

Post Production

From here, I worked completely in photoshop. Since the title for this one is a Symphony of the clouds, so the clouds played as a very important element here. There's a couple good skies background that I found from Total Textures v3, I decided to use 3 photos for the background. here's the photos:

and here's a test with the 3d scene after I mixed the clouds.I also adjust the level and gave an orange photo filter.

Once I got the overall mood for this scene, I started to painted in low opacity a soft light yellow to brighten the background, and brown for the dark part of the clouds, to give it more shadow. I also painted the edge of the clouds that received the light most from the sun to defined more the clouds shaped.

Painted the shadow for the buildings and highlight to where the sun light fell .Started to add an intensity for the sun with various size of soft brush and low opacity.

Adjust the level to gain the contrast and give an orange photo filter layer again, only this time, the layer will affect most for the foreground and middleground part.

To got a soft feel, I pressed Alt+Ctrl+Shift+E to stamp all the visible layer in the new layer, cast a gaussian blur and change the layer mode to screen with opacity decreased.

Paint a soft light green for the sky in overlay mode, defined more the shadow for the building. I also create the layer for radial gradient, to help increasing the contrast of the image

The birds were painted, I was thinking its nice to have the birds there so this image has a "life" things on it. I gave a little noise and last orange photo filter in overlay mode.

So, here's the final result after I decided to add the brightness of the sun. I made a solid circle in photo shop, positioning it to the sun ,blurred it, gave it a noise and cast a radial blur with zoom method a couple time. After satisfied with it, I turn the layer to hard light mode and..voila...the sun turned brighter than before.

The Total Textures really help me to increase my image quality, I want to say a big Thank you for 3dtotal team!

Hope you like it and found this tutorial useful in someway. If there's any question, c&c;, just feel free to mail me. Thanks for your attention

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