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Gateway to a wonderland
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Gateway to a wonderland

This project is made to show the different feelings invoked by winter, serenity and loneliness.

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Update - 18 Feb 2022

Conclusion of my entry:
Overall, I find that my final renders capture the mood that I was aiming for quite well, with one showing the dark nature of winter, the isolation contrasted by the sunny side and the opposite being captured in my other mood. If I had more time to work on the project, I would overhaul all of the scenes assets to make it truly custom and fit better with the theme, but I have to stop working on the project before the deadline due to external reasons. I think that adding the fox was a good contribution as it gives balance with the light in the winter side and overall improves the compositional opportunities. I enjoyed participating in this competition and trying out a new concept and experimenting with ideas that I have never tried or done before, such as realistic animal sculpting, rigging and grooming.

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Update - 16 Feb 2022

Final Composited images with some colour correction and painting. Comparison between raw and composited below. 1920x960, 2:1 aspect ratio.

Raw and composited images.

Update - 12 Feb 2022

Phone wallpaper version, 1440x2960, made with a different camera angle to both experiment and as the original angle had the smoke wall not be big enough to cover the screen

Update - 10 Feb 2022

Test render and compositing with the fox layer.

Update - 9 Feb 2022

Arctic Fox in the scene, low sample count for fast render so hair is not too visible, also no compositing work done as this is just a pre-vis.

Arctic Fox model and rig created for the scene. With simple textures that differ with the mood as the colour of the fox coat changes throughout the year, with winter giving a white coat and summer a grey one. I decided to incorporate a fox into this scene to add more compositional elements and visual interest. I aim to include this model and attempt to frame it to replicate a golden triangle composition with the house. I initially planned to have the fox face the camera but decided not to for simplicity.

Early hair groom and pose attempts. Took around 4 attempts to get the hair to be how I wanted but feel there is still some room for improvement with my current stage.

Update - 30 Jan 2022

Updated environment and further changes to the smoke simulation to remove rough edges. Combined raw render, no compositing, of the two scenes in daylight. I decided to recreate the environments with the same assets but edited in order to make them fit into the scene more, also to recreate the composition and by recreating the scene again, it allowed me to do further experimentation, particularly with the floor particles. I also took this as an opportunity to organise and name the different objects.

List of all the assets used for these changes and showing my responsibility for each of them. Depending on time constraints later on, in this project, I may personally make all the assets instead of using some pre-made ones.

Update - 29 Jan 2022

The mood boards that I have been using throughout this project. A lot of the inspiration for the scene came from the portal mood board and overall, it drove the majority of creative decisions.

Update - 28 Jan 2022

New smoke sim with simple compositing to match that of previous renditions. 

Update - 27 Jan 2022

as a way to test this different smoke that I am testing, I have compiled the full day and full night viewport render to test the lighting, composition and overall look of the scene.

Update - 27 Jan 2022

using the experience that I have gained from creating this project so far, I decided to remake the smoke gate but change the overall shape. I decided to do this as both an experiment and as the original exported VDB resolution was low and due to the file being corrupt, I couldn't go back and re-export it 

viewport display of what this smoke looks like in full scene

Update - 25 Jan 2022

updated lighting for the dark half to improve visibility and some more smoke simulations were used to create subtle depth.

setup of foreground smoke to give the illusion of wind. In the final render, it is not too visible.

Update - 22 Jan 2022

1st image - simple viewport preview
2nd image - raw combined renders with no compositing
3rd image - composited and lightly matte painted in order to improve aesthetics and visibility.
These renders are opposite of previous renditions and show my 2nd outlook of this scene, where the snowy side of the gate is has a more depressing outlook compared to the summer side showing the loneliness that it can bring. This is a rough matte paint that I did for visualisation sake and I plan on improving the visibility by increasing the amount of light or changing the admittedly rushed composition that I did for this preview of the different lighting. The cabin has been adjusted as a result of further research into their construction and inspection of reference but it may be further adjusted later on.
Currently using grass, rock and bush assets from paid blender addon, scatter5 but I plan to create my own assets to replace these and customise them to fit the aesthetic better than the ones I am currently using. Trees created by me using MTree addon.
Details - resolution: 4000x2000  samples: 32

above are both of the different lighting setups. 1st image has no form of compositing and is purely the two raw renders put together. 

Update - 15 Jan 2022

Raw and slightly composited image. Lower resolution and sample count as this render is purely for personal reference and gathering ideas on composition while assessing the look so far.

Update - 15 Jan 2022

log cabin made, will not be too large in final composition so detail is not too necessary to add, however, later on, I may add more assets to add interest. Mood board used to achieve this log cabin also attached

Update - 14 Jan 2022

Development of the smoke wall, similar setup to the final simulation 

Update - 14 Jan 2022

Above is a gateway of smoke that will eventually lead into a snowy wonderland. This version of the render is to show the beauty that winter can bring, where my alternate render will be of the opposite, where the winter area is grimmer to signify the possible loneliness that can be caused by winter.l