Cavern Rock Tests

I have started to create some rock tests to see the best way to build the environment of the alien. I have found that you can easily create interesting rock shapes in Zbrush and simply rotate and combine them to create large, interesting and unique boulders or rock faces. Next on my agenda is to see how i can make some interesting textures that keep it stylized but have some level or detail. This will however come through with the lighting of the environment as well. Below you can see a few of the tests.

This was the first attempt but i went back and did some others. Here is a shot of a test cavern just to see how far i could go with 3 assets. 1 rock. 1 floor plane and 1 character. Turned out nicely.screenshot035

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The Airlock

So the second environment that I began work on was the cargo area, where the character would find the strange portal to the other dimension/monster lair. However after some consideration we began to realise that perhaps building a second large environment may no be a good idea. Both for the feel of the environment as its meant to be a small ship that she just runs by herself and a large cargo bay wouldn’t fit as well. However if we replaced it, it would mean reworking a great shot with the reveal of the tunnel. We’re currently looking at the design of the Airlock, the room which is now going to replace the cargo room. The main design choices of the airlock are the large windows to the left which will show how the alien environment is too large to exist in that space. As well as windows on the circular doors to show through the door. We also thought it could be nice to show a complete juxtaposition of the sci fi environment versus the alien environment with the scale of both beside each other. Also how the lighting of the environments could be interesting when show next to each other. Here you can see the first rendition of the airlock.

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The Control Room

The first room to be completely modelled par a few fine trimmings was the control room. The centre piece of the animation and the one that needs the most attention. Therefore i will be returning to the control room at a later stage to add finishing touches when i texture it. Here you can see the various increments of the control room.

This is the first iteration with some beginning texture tests but with more finalised models. I’m still playing with the idea of keeping the bedroom to the left of the room closed with a shutter over it saying keep out. However since we’re hoping this room will be filled with small pieces that show her personality. Jack has been doing work on the smaller assets so we’re on track. I then did some more work on smaller assets mainly small switches, lights, wires, pipes etc to fill the space a bit more and Jack did some real nice lighting tests that you can see below.

I’m liking the general feel of the desk area however my end goal is to clutter it with wires, boxes, crates and belongings to really make it feel lived in.

Discipline of Choice

So for my discipline of choice I wanted to try something new with the environments I create, usually I stick to hard surface modelling creating interior environments and stone structures. This time however I wanted to create something with fluid in it as well an organic creature. Recently the trailer for┬áPirates of the Caribbean came out and it got me thinking about 2nd movie with the Kraken attack. This lead me to planning a dynamic kraken scene based on Dead Man’s Chest.

My main concern was the water, at first I thought of creating the water in maya using bifrost but I found that that lead to complications with importing it to marmoset which is the program I use for rendering my models. So I ruled that out, instead my cousin Michael told me about a program called Cinema4D. I used a plugin called Hot4D for Cinema4D that allows you to create realistic water and texture it. It wasn’t a difficult process as there are tonnes of online tutorials for it. The hard part was bringing it into marmoset and getting a luminance shader for marmoset. It was a challenge getting it to work but it worked really well. It was a little trouble finding the balance between blue and the green hue that the sea emits.

For the tentacles of the Kraken I originally used some curve tools in maya and then extruded a cylinder along the curve. After that I exported them in zbrush, after sculpting the suckers and such in zbrush I then zremeshed it so it was a low poly mesh and baked it. After that I brought it into substance painter and exported it into marmoset.

Here you can see some renders of the final product as well as some earlier versions. I will also include a link to my artstation so you can see the marmoset viewer. It is lower quality since I don’t have a pro subscription but it still shows it off quite well.

This project was a challenge, it brought me out of my comfort zone in terms of creating an interesting scene but it’s nice to do something different. Up until now I have been creating environments and assets with not real story to them, they are just environments. However with this piece of work there is so much going on and I think I did well achieving a dynamic scene which is what I was aiming for. I wanted to make it seem like the scene was in motion.

I can still however pick flaws with, the most notably being the water and the lack of foam. With the water breaking on the ship and the tentacles there should be water lapping up against them rather than the objects just sitting in the middle of the water. Sadly I haven’t figured out how to do this in Hot4D, I know you use a vertex map to create the foam but I haven’t learned how to put it into practice but I will eventually. However I have been working on this for a month on and off and there comes a point where you have to say it’s done.