In this short tutorial I will try to explain the techniques I've used in my last picture, named Bounded by Destiny. I must say that the picture is still work in progress, but I'll post the final version on my site and 3DTotal site. You will probably ask yourself why this name ... well it shows the path of every human being from birth till death. As you can see, the left side which is clean and more saturated represents birth - the beginning, and the right part is desaturated, abandoned, crashed and it represents the end of life. I still have to integrate some ideas in this picture, like a young boy on the left side and an old man on the right side. That's it in short words about the idea.
Modeling & Lighting
Many times people ask me to show the wireframe of the original picture so that's what I will do for start:
As you can see the wireframe is not so complicated. It is mostly done with polygons. For example for the arcades I've used the box on which I've done Boolean difference operations with cylinders. The pillar is done with simple revolve operation and duplicated many times. Floor tiles are done with polygon cubes and for the tiles where the ruins are, I've also used Boolean operations (mostly difference) to get cracks. The next tools in Maya are the ones I use very often: Split Polygon Tool, Cut Faces, Extrude Faces, Boolean Operations, Merge Vertices, Fill Hole and Combine. Maybe some more but I can't remember at the
moment. :). Also sometimes it's better to use nurbs, but I leave that to your choice. It usually takes some practice to learn where to use poly's and where to use nurbs.
The light setup is also very simple to do. You won't believe it but I've used only one light. Since I've used MentalRay renderer that comes with Maya, the one light setup can be enough since MRay can do global illumination very good. Before we continue, the next pictures show the position of the light and rendering without global illumination, final gather and area light so you can get the feeling what FG+GI+Area can do for you: ;)
As you can see the light without GI and FG looks very boring, but thanks to new technologies we can push it very far when it comes to realism. The final gather and global illumination takes some time to do the setup, but after you do it you don't have to worry any more. The area light was also used to get the realistic shadows. Although I have relatively fast computer (P4 2.4) it takes about 8 hours to render the picture with this setup. That is what happens when you use combination of GI FG and area light. :) For example in my last picture I've used about 10 times more objects and around 100 lights but the renderer took only 2 hours which is very short compared to this one. So, start render and go to sleep and if you want to do animation then leave global illumination and final gather alone, or try to bake it. ;)
Yes, one more thing... to get more contrast and enhance the shadows I've also used the dirt map shader for mentalray ... but with negative values (-0.5). Why this? ... because I wanted to push some parts of the image to shadows to get more interesting effect (more contrast). The example of this one will be showed in some other tutorial but the dirt map shader can be very useful and very fast.
Texturing and Post Processing
One of the most interesting and most difficult part to do in this image is texturing. As you probably know, I've used many textures from the last 3DTotal textures CDs. They are definitely the best textures that you can find around. The interesting thing about these new CDs is that on Total Texture 5 CD you have clean surfaces and on 6th CDs you have a lot of masks and dirt maps with which you can enrich the textures from the 5th CD. This is what I've done in my picture ... I've tried to get clean textures on the left side and dirty textures on the right side of the image.
After I've done some modeling part I have searched for some textures on 5th CD that can be used to texture my picture, and copied it to another directory. But before I jumped to the part of the texturing I have set the UV mapping of polygon made objects using techniques explained in my last tutorial (making
the glimpse of the past). After this I created shaders with image textures and applied them to objects in the scene. For example the shader for the arcades on the left side looks like this (Maya):
As you can see, I've used original color image for connected to the color channel of the shader, and B/W bump image mapped to the bump value of the image.
For the right arcades it is slightly different. I've used the dirt maps from the 3DTotal Texture CD6 which I mapped to the diffuse channel to make things a little bit old and give some dirt to it. What I still need to do is to recreate the color map a little bit, but I am pretty satisfied with the look at this stage. At the moment the shader looks like this:
For the floor I've used similar shader... there are color and bump information that comes from the maps at 5th CD, and diffuse-dirt map that was created in Photoshop by mixing few textures together. As you can see, the diffuse map is not mapped to the UV'v but with the projections so I can easily tweak the position of the diffuse map.
As you can see the common thing to this shader is that they all have color map, bump map. I didn't play to much with color maps but if you want to get more complicated color maps you can try to mix together few of them or maybe mix them together by using black and white maps from the 6th CD... it depends on what kind of material you need to create. Don't be confused with dirt map node, it is not the dirt that I have created with diffuse map. Dirt map node gives the faked light and shadow to ambient part of shader ... so called ambient occlusion. The real dirty look of textures are made by mapping the diffuse channel with the images from 6th CD.
Post processing is the last part I've done. Sometimes I use Photoshop to do this but this time I used Shake. Basically what I did is that I added some depth fog, depth blur, color corrected the image and added some noise and glow. In the next picture you can see the difference that this has on the original picture:
This scene has been completely done with the textures of the 3DTotal collection. More so, with the textuAnd this is the end of this short tutorial. When I finish the picture I will try to create more detailed explanation - tutorial on how did I create the image, and till then good bye.
To see more by Toni Bratincevic, check out Digital Art Masters: Volume 8
Digital Art Masters: Volume 9
and Prime - The Definitive Digital Art Collection