Neo Havana
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Neo Havana

Rigel Pascual
by raskoolz on 8 Mar 2019 for Rookie Awards 2019

A moody, dystopian, futuristic city scene I created as part of my grad demo reel during my time studying at the Visual College of Arts and Design Vancouver. I wanted to showcase my ability to tell stories through framing, lighting and composition, and was heavily inspired by art with sci-fi/cyberpunk themes.

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In the year 2080, the advent of artificial intelligence brought forth massive international division towards the attitudes regarding machine personhood. Havana, a once neutral territory in the ongoing conflict between the Vanguards and Loyalists has become a battleground, deciding the fate of the future of humankind.

For my demo reel, I was heavily inspired by questions regarding potential issues that might arise in the future.

One of the biggest questions that came to mind is the potential civil unrest that might arise from the advent of the singularity.

Specifically, the debate of personhood for artificial intelligence: will sentient machines share the same civil rights as we do?

I was initially influenced by Final Fantasy XV's city, Lestallum, and wanted to create a similar environment that was rundown, and futuristic, but also seemed familiar and vintage.

Upon further research, I found that FFXV’s main reference for their city, Lestallum, came from Cuba, Havana, and immediately set about trying to study different spanish colonial architectural styles.

A lot of the level design and composition found in my scenes were also inspired from Blade Runner, and other artists on Artstation.

SungWook Jang's work on Blade Runner, as well as Cornelius Dämmrich, and his elegant use of asymmetrical one-point perspective, come to mind in particular for learning how to block scenes out.

For prop design, I closely followed Maarten Hof and his attention to prop detail and modularity.

By studying how he created his specific props- and what programs he used to create the texture and detail of the assets, (as well as understanding PBR workflow) I learned how to plan and map out my environment in a way that was both artistic but cost-effective.

Process Preview:
Base Color (Albedo) > Metallic > Roughness > Normals > Detail Lighting


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