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Making Of 'Power Plant'

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(Score 4.56 out of 5 after 25 Votes)
| Comments 6
Date Added: 11th July 2011
Software used:

Then I exported a few clumps of trees as OBJs into Max and started to set up the scene.

For the rocks and plants on the ground I used some basic Scattering tools in Houdini by painting color on the landscape and copying spheres on the scattered points (Fig.13).

Fig. 13

The machine was modeled by making a small part of the arm and then copying it over a curve in Houdini. The front of the machine was made in 3ds Max (Fig.14).

Fig. 14

The final setup in 3ds Max looked like Fig.15.

Fig. 15

Texturing and Materials

Once I had setup my scene in Max, I started with the basic lighting. I usually light and texture my scene simultaneously. That way I know how detailed my texturing should be. Since this scene was fairly dark, I didn't bother with too much texturing. Most of the textures for the trees are essentially procedural maps like Noise and Smoke.

The main shader for the glowing pod is a blend material. I mixed a basic reflective V-Ray material with a V-Ray light material. To mix the two shaders I used a Voronoi map mixed with a falloff for a Blend map (Fig.16).

Fig. 16


The lighting and the atmosphere were the most crucial parts of this scene. I wanted to create a glow around the tree to make it look like it was generating light and also have the rest of the forest shrouded in a haze. So, I decided to use V-Ray environment fog for the effect. The primary light is inside the main pod and I kept another light on the top. V-Ray environment fog generates volumetric light out of any light kept inside the fog area and generates a haze as well. However, the render time was quite long. The series of images in Fig.17 should give a fairly good idea as to how the lighting progressed.

Fig. 17

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Readers Comments (Newest on Top)
Gingko on Thu, 21 July 2011 10:37am
ya can't do it procedurally in maya, nor 3dsmax, not like this. that's why houdini is magic :)
Murali Krishna on Fri, 15 July 2011 12:05pm
ya cool setup
Kevin on Tue, 12 July 2011 7:21am
Nice to see Houdini in good use. Great job!
Fynn on Mon, 11 July 2011 11:19pm
i want to see something like that for maya that would be so awesome
Boxek on Mon, 11 July 2011 4:28pm
This is a Houdini tutorial, not 3ds max. Very interesting though, i'll try to do it in Max =)
K9tty on Mon, 11 July 2011 4:20pm
this is realy cool,lovely colour scheme and full of inspiration; great job
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