Sisa's Laboratory of Healing Art
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Sisa's Laboratory of Healing Art

Sisa Chiang
by sisachiang on 30 May 2022 for Rookie Awards 2022

I launched a creative laboratory in my mind that is constantly trying to experiment with art that "heals". Here is my lab report with the pieces that I created at Gnomon School for the past 2 years. Welcome to my little lab!

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The Froggy Journey

Ingredient 1: Breezing air for deep breathing

The goal for this Froggy Journey piece was to create a Ghibli-style environment where you become totally immersed in the atmosphere. To calm your mind, take a deep breath and think about nothing more than this little frog's story. Inspired by this amazing concept from Yeonji Rhee. (Spot the second froggy!)

In this piece, I was mainly focusing on creating a very stylized look. From years of observing my favorite animations, I realized that beautiful stylized foliage is key to achieving a charming environment.  Therefore, I painted my own leaves in photoshop and created a tree trunk material in Substance Designer. In SpeedTree, I made sure that all the normals were pointing up, and disabled the realistic shadows. 

Also, to make my experiment easier, I created this material in Unreal so that my grass layer in the viewport always appears upwards in world space!

Equipment used: Unreal 4 (Landscape, Foliage, Niagara system), Maya, Zbrush, Substance Painter, Substance Designer, SpeedTree, and Photoshop.

NY Alleyway

Ingredient 2: A glimpse of warmth to bring hope

NY Alleyway is a piece that lends a little warmth to your typical grungy back alley environment. Although it was originally based on a daytime photo of a New York street, I used lighting to give it a new flavor. I also decided to sprinkle a human element by adding a Mixamo character walking by.

 Maybe there is a whole new world inside that door!

One of the keys in this formula is the 5-layer blend tessellation material for the brick wall that was taught in my Texturing for Games 2 class at Gnomon school. 

Step one: Create 5 different textures in Substance Designer. Step two: Quad the walls in auto UV Houdini so they separate equally. Step three: Plug in the textures and use weight vertex painting in Unreal 4.

In this piece, I definitely learned a lot about creating a more realistic game environment and texturing with Substance Designer. 

Viking Wanderer

Ingredient 3: Be brave

Sometimes, life is bitter. When my world isn't all sunshine and rainbows, I use an umbrella of bravery. I spent a lot of time thinking about how to express the ideas of courage and strength in times of uncertainty. I was drawn to this amazing concept from Tomas Duchek, which shines some warmth in the desolate night. 

My own interpretation of this piece is more like this:

This Viking just escaped from a war, wandering the land in search of his family. No one is in sight. From his eyes, I wanted to convey his bravery and resilience. 

The piece was created for my Character Creation for Games class. 

Equipment used: Zbrush, Maya, Marvelous Designer, Substance Painter, 3D Scan Store (for face detail and the hands), a hair texture provided by my instructor, and Marmoset Renderer for the final look.

Rabbit Aircraft Lamp

Ingredient 4: Don't be afraid to start an adventure!

This is one of my favorite pieces - it's my lab's standard of cuteness. Inspired by this amazing concept of Ren Wei Pan, I spruced it up with my own interpretation. The world is full of stereotypes and limitations, but how can anyone be sure that these bunnies will not travel around at night when no one is watching?

Equipment used: Maya, Substance Painter, Photoshop and Redshift Renderer. 

After different experiments of lighting and set arrangements, I pictured this rabbit lamp as a child's toy on a regular household table on a regular afternoon. At night, the rabbits are going to get busy and start their adventure! 

Cozy Living Room

Ingredient 5: A cozy place to relax and rest

For my Introduction to Maya class, I fell in love with this concept by Jackie Fletcher. I attempted to create a 3D render that looks exactly like a 2D illustration. 

Equipment used Maya, Photoshop and Vray Render to create this piece.

The piece was my lab's very first chemical reaction. Since then, I established this little lab in my mind and set out to create healing environments that provide a momentary escape from the swamp of reality. 


End of Lab Report

Thank you so much for reading!

I hope you enjoy my healing artworks. I would not have achieved any of these pieces without the help from my friends, instructors, families and endless anonymous online Q&As. 

Being in a world where I'm constantly moved by people's kindness, I want to spread more love through creating more healing art for the world. 

For me, I will continue to keep this lab open. If you would love to visit to my lab, see more art or talk to me, you are welcome at my ArtStation, Instagram, LinkedIn and [email protected]

VoilĂ !


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