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Cinematic Explorations

Cinematic Explorations

Mao Mornity
by maomornity on 19 May 2021 for Rookie Awards 2021

Hi, here are some of my last year personnal works. Hope you'll like it.

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Round of applause for our sponsors

When I have to chill a bit, I always get back to sci-fi art. Goal was a still image but as the 3D base had been pretty much advanced for a 2D art, I pushed a bit the layout for a short animation with a lot of The Expanse vibe. Love this show.

You could see the final image, the animation, some process views from the begining, base lighting and texture, refine, and composite, a separate view from the ship made by kitbashing diverse ressources, and the displacement texture from JS Placement used for the station.

Awesome sci fi music by Scott Buckley - Signal to Noise

3D base on Blender
Overpainted in Photoshop
Video editing in DaVinci Resolve

The Path, is a cinematic keyframe inspired by Japan, because I reaaaally need to get back there.

Base layout has been made into Blender Cycles thanks to my all in one displacement shader I've made last year. It's exactly the same I used on my past work Miranda for The Rookies 2020. Only the bridge has been added upon.
Next step involved photobashing some parts for the environment into Photoshop, and then overpaint details, characters and grading.

I use a lot VR tools in my process, when the idea came to create a kind of Mayan temple for a "Tomb Raider" like composition, Adobe Medium seemed to be the best tool to quickly block the main shapes of the temple.

Then I switched to Blender Eevee for base lighting and texturing. All textures are personnal ones made in Quixel Mixer. Character mesh has been made with the awesome MB Labs add on.
The last part as usual ends in Photoshop with photobash and overpaint additions and a global grading of the scene.

Sculpt: Adobe Medium
Textures: Quixel Mixer
Lighting and Layout: Blender
Finalisation: Photoshop

Here is a keyframe made for a French challenge around the cyberpunk theme and with official CD Projekt Red partnership.

I wanted to explore an ordinary saturday afternoon between young mothers from the corporate class in 2077.

So there is a future mom but with a baby pregnancy capsule, because it’s convenient.
A young mom with telescopic niple for easy breastfeeding.
And another mom and its young girl playing with her augmented reality device.

Holographic aquarium and several easter eggs.

Made several research in 2D for props, designs and environment before making the layout in Blender Eevee, character modeling also under Eevee with the help of MB labs add on, and then overpaint again in Photoshop.

Made a keyframe serie on the theme "Waiting". Women waiting in different locations and with different moods, tell yourself the story.

Everything painted in Photoshop.

Chilling experimentation where I tried to mimic a B&W photo render close to Kai Zielh or Vandervell style.

It's basically just a composite nodetree in Blender which put all scene like that. The five tests allowed me to polish the process, and simplify the nodal. Render time started at 6/7 minutes for the first one in 4K Blender Cycles, and ends up to 15 seconds roughly for the last one. No passes needed at the end.

The only post process in Photoshop is the blur, because it's faster than Blender.

Another Space Project for practice.

Made ships and station designs in Gravity Sketch for a still artwork purpose, and it finaly ends with an animation because the layout could handle it after making the base scene in Blender Eevee. Several displacement textures has been generated by JS placement.

It was an occasion to make a thruster shader that could be animated, and reuse planet shader from last year with a few more tweaks.

The occasion allows me to have the better from both worlds, still images and an animation.

Everything has been made in less than a day.

As I wanted to try a process with Speedtree, I made this scene showing a tree lost in a city. It was a quick shot but really fun to do.

Blender Eevee doesn't handle the lighting on the tree, so I finally refine shapes and mood into Photoshop.

Lost in scotland

Quick Photobash for practice made mostly with Noah Bradley's free environment ressources. All in Photoshop.

When Sky Feels Blood

Quick photobashed artwork for practice. Western drama mood and chivalry, still cinematic.

Planet 1XWB2C

Shape practice with warp tool and fruit materials (Avocado, pitata and lemon) in Photoshop to quickly iterate.

It ends with alien organic spaceships and structures, also heavy Photobash for the environment.

Kind of revisitation from the Helm's Deep battle.

Practice quick mood and scenery, with a focus to have a different shot from the movie, and another design for the castle. Layout made in Blender Eevee, sculpts in Adobe Medium and Gravity Sketch, also some Kitbash parts. A lot of particles systems for armies, weapons and torches.

Overpaint and grading into Photoshop.

Made an Icelandic landscape into Blender Cycles with my only one displacement environment shader, kind of moody at first.

But came the idea to composite an aurora borealis on top, all into Photoshop, no After Effect or post processing.

Original Aurora footage from Eye of the Storm, but heavyly edited.

I wanted to try a new technique to make fast city layouts and background. For a reason I don't know it ends up with an idea of a future megapolistic version of Odessa in Ukrain, just because of the black sea as I need some city reflections in the water or sort of.

Everything is really low poly and light. All made in Blender Eevee, render basicaly real time to, and just a bit of Vegas Pro for the cut.

I tried to push most of the lighting and overlays directly in the compositor for easy editing.

A bit of Kitbashing and modifications for the main building in Blender Eevee, rest is basic overpaint in Photoshop.

At the begining there's only the cinematic frame, but to understand the scale and architecture design, I also made a vertical one, kind of book cover art.

So let see the final concept illustration, two short processes, and the main building design appart.

One Moment Please

First I wanted to make a study from the movie "Shame", but this escalated quickly and ends up with a personnal interpretation and mood from the original subject.

Full Photoshop.

Noir - Sin City interpretation

Always loved this movie and caption. I had to test stuff for posing, rigging, animating characters and particles, so I end up with this scene recreation from the movie Sin City. Not exactly the same but hope the spirit is here.


Quick cinematic lighting and mood test on industrial layout with Blender Eevee. And a bit of post process in Photoshop.

Quick environment practice tests between Blender Eevee and GIS add on, World Creator and Photoshop for grading and edit.

Just a glimpse of shapes environment studies I could make for practice, full Photoshop painting obviously.

Thanks a lot for reading and exploring all of this. It's just a glimpse of what I make. There's more concept stuff, virtual animation and 3D animation and VFXs that I'll submit in other categories. But it's always a pleasure sharing and creating.

Hope you'd enjoyed it.

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