First of all I would like to thank Jeff and all the judges for selecting this image as the winner of the non-commissioned category in this year's 3d awards. This image is a potential poster for a film project we are currently working on, and part of a set of artwork we produced before shooting the film last June in Zanzibar. The project is now in post production.
This image was constructed from a pretty huge collection of custom made models and textures used to create a variety of imagery. I will attempt to go through the fundamental elements of the images construction including modelling and texturing and post production. I'm not going to talk much about lighting as it was all pretty basic HDRI setup using cg-skies and dosch underwater HDRI pack, loading the HDRI into the V-Ray HDRI loader. I knew a lot of work would be done in post so I wasn't to precious with the raw render and everything was saved out to EXR 32bit. Z-brush was used for much of the modelling and texturing so hopefully seeing how it was used will be more interesting then my bog standard render settings.
I started with a very basic composition setup, using Photoshop to paint in a general tone for the water.
A few more tonal layers were added for the light coming through the water.
This was a typical underwater HDRI that was used for lighting the scene. In some scenes I actually created a water's surface above the model to create natural caustics and in others I used the caustics generator (http://www.dualheights.se/caustics/) to project th effect through a light. In this case I just used the basic underwater hdri for the underwater part.
Raw render of the sunken boats and rock structures, surrounded by sunken rubbish.
Very detailed textured models were created of sunken ships using both max and Z-brush.
3ds Max was used to assemble the basic ship formations, some stock models were used and edited heavily, adding lots of other elements to them like cars and bits of broken metal and wood. I made the model single sided with no thickness in many places as this, when brought into Z-brush, can create great rust effects. Once I had a basic for iI brought it into Z-brush.
I carved up the model in places to create a decayed old rusted look, here in max it is just deleting poly's from the model, the effect comes in zbrush.
These were some of the textures used map the boats. A mask was created from the map to paint displacement at the same time.
The final textured boat.
In Z-brush they have a new feature called dynomesh. It allows you to essentially re-topologise the mesh evenly but it also blends parts together. What this does to single sided faces is add lots of tiny holes in a very realistic rust effect.
Detail of rush and welded car.
Another boat in the middle of the painting.
An exported unrapped texture map of the sails.
Exported opacity map for sails painted separately.
Exported map for smaller boat.
Exported PUV Tiled map. This kind of map is exported when the geometry is to complex to unrap properly. It is actually a very efficient map as it used most of the 8000 by 8000 square space possible. Z-brush creates texture co-ordinates for every square of the model so it remebers where each section goes.
A normal map created which is used as a bump map in max.
I wanted to scatter both corral and grasses onto the models so I painted a separate black and white mask to be used by multi-scatter.
The exported PUV Tiled mask
The result of the multiscattered grass on the textured boat.
The rocks were completely made in Z-brush using z-spheres and sculpted from there.
The painted Z-brush model
Painted model detail.
Texture maps used as brushes in Z-brush
Multiscatter used to scatter grass and corral along rocks using painted mask.
Rubbish was modelled and dropped in piles using physx by NVIDIA.
A section of what the rubbish looked like after rendering and post work is finished.
The small simple corral models used to scatter.
A section of render for the scattered grass after post production.
A section of render of the rocks covered in scattered corral after post production.
Showing the ground scattered surface and elements used.
The huge corral tree models were made completely in Z-brush again using zspheres as the modelling type, see here for ChromeLTD's example on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6gMwK1T-c9A
Some of the textures used to map the corral trees.
An unrapped texture of one of the models.
Overall progress so far.
Base photograph of the existing area in Stonetown (Zanzibar) added for reference of tone and water.
This is a reference for the city, a film and artwork series called Tekkonkinkreet. I actually found this after the artwork was completed from a twitter follower pointing it out, so it wasn't a direct reference but still a great reference. See the trailer here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IWOCf1wNlk0
The future town was then added. The raw render was actually made for a seperate image of the town but it was quick to incorporate into this image rather than re-positioning and rendering again. I clone and change the render to fit the panorama later on.
A sample of the models made for the town.
One of the main models was a sign with the title JONAH itself. Some other ones feature too below:
Some animated models of future signs that were designed using max, and p-flow, Frost and Krakatoa.
Building the sushi fish model, (Apologies for the speed of the Camtasia.)
Building the crab model hologram.
A ton of crazy fish related signs were also designed.
Copy and clone of city element.
Colour tone variation.
Colour correction and integration into scene.
Rendering of sea and rubbish on surface.
Sea created with a blended water material and displacement using fractal noise.
Rendering test of water without rubbish.
Map painted in Photoshop to scatter rubbish.
Render test with rubbish on surface.
Photos of character and boats added.
Section line splashes added.
Stock images used for splashes.
Progress at this stage.
Rubbish simulated and dropped using physx. Render test.
Dropped rubbish added to main image.
Stock images used for bubbles. Custom bubble brushes were also created in Photoshop and bubble trails painted.
Final colour grade.
Animation WIP test.
Thanks a lot for reading this Making Of, I hope I have shared some insight into the creation of this image, if you have got this far then well done. To see the full set of artwork for this project then see the project page on our site here:
For more info on the project and pictures from the actual shoot keep up to date with our blog here:
Thanks again to Jeff and the architectural visualisation community which I enjoy contributing hopefully slightly different pieces of work towards for discussion.
You must be logged in to post a comment. Login here.