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Making Of 'The Alchemist Room'

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Date Added: 9th December 2009
Software used:

All of the sub-elements from the room model were made using two standard primitives, box and cylinder, converted subsequently into editable poly objects and then edited using the standard tools for poly modelling in 3ds Max, such as cut, extrude, bevel, and by adjusting the vertex and edge positions, etc.

A typical example for this approach was the patches of floor and wall tiles which were made by slightly modified box primitives (Fig08).

Fig. 08

Additional Objects In The Scene

After I laid down the base of the scene, by building the room shape, the next step was to create the rest of the objects which filled in the detail and content, and contributed to achieving more density and a rich, authentic atmosphere (Fig11).

In this case, the models were various and typical for the period; objects from everyday life, such as books, scrolls, candlesticks and so on (Fig09 and Fig10).

Fig. 09

Fig. 10

Fig. 11

For the actual modelling, I used entirely standard primitives again: box, cylinder and sphere, converted into editable poly and then transformed using the poly editing tools.   Keeping in mind that in the final scene there would be a considerable amount of variety of objects, whilst modelling the elements I tried to avoid any unnecessary waste of geometry.  That is the reason why a big part of the additional details, such as cracks and the roughness on the floor tiles, pleats on the cloths and so on, were made by exporting the low-poly model into ZBrush where I sculpted the desired level of detail, and then exported the generated normal map through the ZMapper plug-in (Fig12 and Fig13).

Fig. 12

Fig. 13


For me, the texturing and unwrapping parts were undoubtedly some of the most important (and time consuming) moments of the 3D image creation process.  There are various methods and programs to accomplish these steps; however my preferred combination is using the unwrap WVU modifier in 3ds Max (which gives me precise control over the texture layout) and Photoshop (Fig16).

For the actual texture painting in Photoshop, I used some previously adjusted versions of the displacement maps as base layers.  They served as a good reference point for the following painted details.
After that I used several overlay layers to apply some simple base colours for the different objects in the texture, and then continued painting the additional details, combining them with some photographic textures to gain additional levels of detail (Fig14 and Fig15).

Fig. 14

Fig. 15

Fig. 16

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Readers Comments (Newest on Top)
Xavi on Sat, 05 May 2012 12:52pm
Great tut. but without a video telling the little aspects imposible ti make.
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