The making of 'Winter Light'
Cihan Özkan runs through the modeling and texturing steps he took to create his winter scene in 3ds Max…
At the beginning, my objective was to create an avenue showing old buildings in a rural area. I wanted to set a winter scene, shown in the early hours of the morning with plenty of snow and a sense of warmth radiating from the lights of the houses.
During my work, I used Autodesk 3ds Max, V-Ray render and Adobe Photoshop. The work took about 2 to 3 weeks. This can be described as a work that I made for recreation, by utilizing the leisure time I had between my daily work routine.
So, to start my project, I started to examine related pictures from the internet. I particularly focused on the elements of snow, the piling effect created by the wind and the accumulation of snow on trees.
Usually, I draw small sketches for buildings. These form a basis that I use during the modeling process.
Afterwards, I start to create my model by drawing a box from the 3ds Max primitives panel. At this stage, I utilize the flexible tools (Extrude, Bevel, Bridge, Chamfer) offered by Poly Modeling.
After roughly forming the buildings, I start trying compositions by gathering them in a single scene, and in this way I complete my works in broad strokes.
Snow on the tree branches
In order to emphasize on the accumulation of snow on tree branches and trunks, I used the particle system offered by 3ds Max.
While modeling the icicles on the eaves, I once again used poly modeling tools by taking the basic box object as a base, and later on I obtained the result through modifiers such as TurboSmooth and Noise
I also used similar modeling methods for the streetlights, electric poles, the sitting bench and the other descriptive model pieces.
In order to create the terrain, I used Mesh Displace implemented on a plane primitive. This tool has provided me with ease and flexibility particularly in creating the footprints on the snow.
At that point, I made a wire render of the scene, in order to prepare for the next stage of adding materials and texture.
The samples of some of the materials I used in my work can be seen here:
For general lighting, I used a HDR image in combination with a V-Ray Dome Light. The lighting effect created through HDR helped me in imitating the sunrise in the morning. As for street lighting equipments, I used V-Ray Sphere Light.
In order to provide the interior lighting effect from the buildings, I used orange V-Ray Plane lights.
I used a V-Ray camera with the following settings:
white balance Neutral
shutter speed 200
film speed ISO 100
For rendering out the image, these were some of the parameters used.
These are some of the adjustments made during the post-production phase in Photoshop. The glow effect was applied on the street lamps, and a general color arrangement was carried out.