Watching movies such as The Golden Compass, 300, Indiana Jones, Pans Labyrinth inspired me greatly in creating this scene. I was amazed by the art of every shot in all those movies, the majesty and direction as well as the final composite. I really wanted to do a project with a scene like this, drawing on the vintage but realistic look I saw in those movies, and I was searching for every excuse to find the time, when finally I was asked to create the scene for a game cinematic. It took me two weeks overall to complete this project and a lot of trial and error.
When I started this project I did a lot of research into old libraries - I even visited some. I also gathered some references for the objects and look I wanted to create, including images of classical astronomy, medieval instruments and decorations (Fig.01).
Thanks to my growing object library I only had to model a few things, which sped up the process. For the models I had to create I used my reference images as a guide (Fig.02).
The scene was pretty heavy on geometry, so I added some stuff separately and composited it later in the final comp (Fig.03).
The textures I used for this scene I got from several texture libraries, and also from some free texture websites that offer an abundance of good textures. Most of the textures were painted in Painter and Photoshop; Painter was my main palette and Photoshop was for the final retouching and compositing palette (Fig.04).
I used two V-Ray lights in the scene; one for the main sun light and another on the back to simulate some ambience. I also used an HDRi and an environment map to add to the realism (Fig.05).