Hello! In this tutorial I'm going to show you my process on how I created my latest render, "Lost Trinity" using:
- 3dsmax8 with Brazil R/S
- Zbrush2 with Zmapper
- Richard Rosenman's Depth of Field Generator Pro
- 3D Total Textures
The very first step I took was finding a ton of reference and imagery to be used as inspiration during the entire creation process. From the beginning I knew I wanted to tackle a cave... then I thought of something that would be cool to stumble across while exploring a cave... a 40's-era atomic bomb.
The next important step was finding the right composition and mood. Laying this out now saves tons of time later by focusing on what's going to be seen by the camera. A sketch can do, but for this piece I used a simple 3D scene.
I created the concept in 3dsmax by starting with a GeoSphere of 40 iterations with back-face culling off and placing a camera with a very wide angle inside. I then converted the geosphere into an editable poly and began using paint deformation to rough out the basic shapes of the cave. At this stage I'm constantly trying different camera angles as I model.
Once the modeling is done, I threw in some lighting to aid in the composition and mood. Also during this stage I try different lighting techniques that could carry over into the final render such as using global illumination or faking the bounce light manually. Lately I have been trying to simulate bounce light as much as I can using area lights, ambient lights, and negative lights. To help in this process, I try to imagine everything in the world as a reflector of light and color based upon the intensity of light touching the objects. This train of thought mixed with light-linking aids in a less realistic and more painterly render in the end depending on how much you push the radiosity principle. In this case, for the primary lighting, I used one directional light for the sun and two omni lights set to ambient only with an adjusted far attenuation for the bounce light. Here's an image of those lights better isolated: