Hi, my name is Eugenio Garcia Villarreal and I'm a graphic designer who started to learn 3D in 2004. I studied a lot of tutorials, mostly on 3DTotal and I have a small studio here in Mexico called d10studio.
This image was inspired by B-movies and the old road gas stations. My main reference was a 3D picture by Mauro Scardinni, but I went a little further by creating a more complex environment. The image was created for a photo session with a model and I later integrated her into the scene.
Most of the modeling was done in LightWave 3D 10, which is a really nice piece of software. I like this way of modeling; I think LightWave has a really clean work area to play with and I was able to use some of the plants from Xfrog.
The modeling was this image was really simple; I just used box modeling for almost everything. I think this is the best method for modeling. For the gas pump I used photo references and box modeling, playing with the edges to get a smooth surface (Fig.01).
The house was really simple, just box modeling too. I broke some of the windows using the Knife tool (Fig.02).
When I work I use tools like Multishift, Bevel, Knife and Band Saw Pro - they're all really useful. The skull object is the only one I created in ZBrush (Fig.03 - 05).
The workflow was simple. I researched for references, then modeled and arrange them in a layout, just trying to find a sweet composition.
About handling the tools, I suggest to use as many tools as you can - don't be afraid to experiment. This is the way I learned a lot from LightWave; exploring and having lots of patience!
Texturing, Rendering and Post-work
All the pieces were in place, so I went to my texture provider, cgtextures.com, and found some good materials for soil, wood for the gas station and some rusted and aged metal sheet. The vintage logos I found on Google, although I also like to use www.brandsoftheworld.com to find logos too.
I used Photoshop to merge several textures and each main model in the scene has basic UV mapping for more precision. I aged all my textures with tools like Burn and Color Dodge (Fig.06).
I used basic shaders, nothing special, just preset materials tweaked a little bit (Fig.07).