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The Making of Dioptase Colony - Power Diving

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Date Added: 11th April 2014
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Architectural illustrator Tamas Medve reveals the creative workflow and inspiration behind his image, Dioptase Colony - Power Diving.


In this tutorial, I will explain my workflow and show the main steps I took in creating this image ? from the idea phase to the 3D setup and on through to post-processing.

First, let me say a few words about the background of this project. I have to say that my new hobby is to create sci-fi scenes and watch VFX breakdowns whenever I get some spare time. This idea came from the new Star Trek movie. I was particularly inspired by the scenes in the film which showed the USS Enterprise starship crashing into the city center. I found that scene amazing, so I decided to create a small scene featuring skyscrapers but imbued with action.

References and lighting

If I make an arch-viz image or any personal work, I never start without reference photos. I think this is a really important part of any project because it helps you to setup and direct the lighting, and also provides a good pallet reference when applying the final tweaks.

Generally, from the beginning I have an image in my head about a certain camera angle and mood, but of course this does not mean that I won't do any experimentation during the remainder of the process!

In this case, I knew that I wanted to create an aerial shot and I had a certain mood in my mind, so I just started scanning through photos online.

After getting an idea of the scene I wanted to create, I began by setting up the lighting using basic geometry to test compositions and values. For this scene, I used VRaySun and VRaySky. Again, the reference photos helped a lot in setting up the lighting and achieving the right angle and intensity.

The scene with the sun in position


I didn't spend too much time on this stage because everything was going to be glass and metal. I used really simple, generalized materials because I realized this would give me much more freedom to take the materials in different directions during the post-production stage.

The generalized materials allowed greater freedom later on

Modeling one building

In the first stage of the modeling process, I used simple geometry (like boxes) which defined the location and the scale of the buildings. Honestly, I didn't think too much about the design, and so its refinement was achieved in a somewhat random way. Of course the initial idea of ?Dioptase' gave me some direction. Dioptase is a bluish-green translucent mineral and these features affected the whole design.

For the modeling, I used only the basic poly-modeling tools like Bevel, Extrude and Connect. First, I modeled a segment of the main building and simply cloned and rotated it, with some alterations here and there, until the complete skyscraper emerged.

Using basic modeling tools to model the building

continued on next page >

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Readers Comments (Newest on Top)
Abdalrahmano on Sat, 12 April 2014 6:29am
wow amazing work
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