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Detailed cityscape creation

By Jean-Francois Liesenborghs
Web: Open Site
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Date Added: 19th December 2013
Software used:
3ds Max, Photoshop, V-Ray

Creating the background buildings

The image above formed part of the background of my image that was later transferred to Photoshop. I duplicated some parts of the city in order to fill the entire page, and make the city look really wide-spread.

Creating the spaceship

For the spaceship, I wanted to have something that resembled birds gently soaring across the sky. The basic modeling of these spaceships was very simple and I just added some light detail on specific parts.

1821_tid_5.jpg
The addition of spaceships added realism in the background

Composition

When all the modeled elements were complete, I combined them all together to create the basic composition. In terms of placement, I used the one-third composition rule and re-centered the image. This basically entailed positioning the object at an equal distance from each other and the edges of the page, to create an aesthetically pleasing effect.

1821_tid_6.jpg
Using the one-third composition rule for placement

Lighting

For the lighting I used 3 lights positioned in 3 specific places: a front, a back and a left spot. The front light was the main one. To create more realistic lighting, I put a Noise map on my main spot which gave my image a diverse range of lighting levels on my city. This in turn gave the impression that there were clouds over the main light source/sun.

1821_tid_7.jpg
This shows the main light parameters used


Texturing

For the textures themselves, I decided to choose one multi-material that used the same kind of patterns and textures. I thought this would tie the various modeling styles in the city together through their similar textures, thus creating a cohesive scene.

1821_tid_8.jpg
The materials and textures added
1821_tid_9.jpg
The final model with light and texture added

I only used 3 render passes for this scene: Ambient Occlusion, ZDepth and Normal. These passes helped me create my final image in Photoshop.

Photoshop finalization

I then made a final render and saved it in TGA format in order to see the Alpha channel.

In Photoshop, I opened the TGA render and added 2 new layers; one with the Ambient Occlusion pass and another with the ZDepth pass. I inverted the ZDepth pass and used screen fusion. For the AO layer I used the multiply fusion.

Finally, I worked with the background city to create more depth and added the 2D sky and planet images to complete the composition.

1821_tid_10.jpg
Adding the background to complete the composition

The final image

Merging all layers and finishing post-production to create the final image.

1821_tid_final_3dtotal_creative_2300.jpg
The final image

Related links

Visit Jean-Francois Liesenborghs' website
Download Greeble here for scattering your buildings


 
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