`Meet Mat` is Back - The 3D Digital Painting Contest
Hidden Tales: The Journey Continues

Hidden Tales: The Journey Continues

Elizaveta Gaevaya
by ElizavetaGaevaya on 1 Jun 2023 for Rookie Awards 2023

With the coming of a new year, I have continued my journey as a CG Artist. Here is a collection of my newest projects I am most proud of! Throughout the year I gained more experience and came to realize my true passion for Look Development as well as storytelling.

51 2807 15
Round of applause for our sponsors

Memories - Original Concept

Rokoko, Baroque, or anything that is ornamental-looking is my favorite thing in the world. I have always been fascinated with historical objects and what secrets they may hide. The point of this project was to gain confidence with texturing and lighting. Therefore, in order to focus mainly on the look development side, I combined my own models with assets made by others. Throughout the texturing process, it became apparent to me that gold and neutral colors might just make the most beautiful of combinations. When it came time to light the scene, I was unsure exactly what I wanted to have as my main focus. In the end, I decided I wanted my audience to simply enjoy the room as I meant for it to be from the very beginning; a room full of memories...

- Created Using: Maya, Substance Painter, Photoshop, Marvelous Designer, Nuke, V-Ray

-Render Passes-

After figuring out my lighting and being content with the end result, it was time to go into Nuke and make the scene come to life! It is always a challenge to work out how you want your renders to look after the comping process; however, after adding in more contrast, dust particles, a crackling fire, and brighter sun rays coming through the window, the piece went from being bland and flat to having a more compelling story.

1936 Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster - Original Concept

Although the vehicle was created in the late 1930s, I was greatly inspired by the 1920s aesthetic. Somewhere in the middle of Europe, a gangster's car is parked in the middle of the street, awaiting his rivals and blockading their escape route.

I was responsible for creating the 1936 Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster and was very lucky to have been able to use Nitit Premjaicheun's Bottail Speedster to texture and use as a prop for the background.

- Created Using: Maya, Substance Painter, Photoshop, SpeedTree, Nuke, V-Ray

-Render Passes-

While working on this project, I began thinking about what I wanted to accomplish when it came time to do post-processing on the final render. Miguel Ortega, one of my professors at Gnomon, gave me the brilliant idea of adding rain into the scene as a way to give the already moody atmosphere a boost and give the story further life. The animated headlights, rain, as well as bloom to the lights were all added using Nuke.

Forgotten - Original Concept

This piece was greatly inspired by Renaissance art and a touch of darkness. I have always wanted to attempt doing a still life piece in CG, so when I was given the opportunity, I decided to go all in. This was also my very first time doing anything in a realistic style. I had the time of my life bringing this piece to life; I loved creating the dark environment, lighting it, texturing it, and compositing the final touches.

Being a fan of anything eerie, I wanted to make my audience feel as though this environment had been abandoned, yet remains...'forgotten'.

- Created Using: Maya, Substance Painter, Photoshop, Marvelous Designer, Nuke, V-Ray

-Render Passes-

It was extremely important for me to maintain clean topology throughout the scene. I wanted my UVs to be as straight as possible and well-organized in order for it to be easier to work with in Substance Painter. This project marked the very first time I used Nuke, where I found out just how amazing the program's capabilities are.

-Nuke Tree Breakdown-

Working with Nuke for the first time was an enjoyable experience. I absolutely loved taking my final render and incorporating ambient dust, extra lighting, and smoke to achieve the 'forgotten' look.


To make sure that I modeled the most realistic and believable CG assets, my first step of the process was to make a PureRef with all my references neatly organized for everything that I wished to create.

Pure Hart - Original Concept

It's time to talk about grooming! When taking the Maya Modules course at Gnomon, one of the very first tasks given by the professor was to think of what kind of project we wanted to have completed by the end of the term. We were given the option to either do something with animal/creature fur or human hair. 

After long consideration, an idea popped into my head! Being a lover of anything regal or elegant, I decided to make a deer for the class. The process was more challenging than I thought it would be. Although it was difficult, making sure that all the hair strands worked perfectly together and the deer looked believable was an extremely satisfying way to end the term.

- Created Using: Maya, Yeti, Substance Painter, Photoshop, Nuke, V-Ray

-Yeti Node Graph Breakdown-

Since it was my very first time using Yeti, I made sure to be as organized as possible with my nodes. After many weeks of tweaking hair strands, the nodes kept adding up! In order to know where everything lived, I separated all the nodes by categories; whether they were nodes belonging to certain body areas, extra details which needed to be added to an initial groom node, or anything else. 

-Thank You-

Thank you so much for checking out my projects! I am beyond excited and grateful to have been able to continue my journey at Gnomon where I am constantly reminded about just how much I adore CG Art and the many wonders that can be created with it.

The story will continue next year...

If you would like to see more of my projects on other platforms, you are more than welcome to check out my ArtStation, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Vimeo accounts!


Comments (15)