Old Indian Trunk

Old Indian Trunk

Vishesh Srivastava
by idrawdigital on 29 Mar 2020 for Rookie Awards 2020

This was a little project I did a couple of months ago and I'm glad to share my journey and process with you all!

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Hello, I’m Vishesh Srivastava, an aspiring 3D environment artist from India.

Video games are my passion. Since the beginning, I’ve been into environments and game worlds, making characters never fascinated me the way environments and landscapes did! Whenever I play a game, I play it in a slightly different way from others. Most of the time, I start with the intention of completing the story. Midway through a game, I find myself, abandoning the missions and roaming around the world, seeing everything I can. I can do that all day! I just simply love places that tell stories within themselves. You can just look at a place or an object and start feeling the vibe of what the backstory might be.

I’m a fan of visuals, to be honest. For me, looks and aesthetic appeal comes first.

My journey into this virtual world started a couple of years back (3 years I think) and I’ve been working in 3D for about a year and a half now. I started learning all by myself. Now I’ve got some super cool mentors and artist friends who provide constant critique and help me upgrade my skill set.

This ‘Old Indian Trunk’ is one of my latest projects and I feel honored to share this project with you all!

This project started as an idea which came across my mind while I participated in ‘No More Grid’s’ community art challenge. The challenge was to make a ‘Loot-Box’.

I wanted to do something of my own, like creating my own concept for the model. I am from India and most of us have a sort of iron or wooden trunk in our homes in which we keep all our unused or extra stuff. So, I started researching more about these trunks. They store stuff so technically they act as a Loot box!

So, I had my concept, references and motivation! Next was to plan out the whole project and start working on it!

The planning phase started with researching about these trunks and finding tons of references of both a model and its texture. I didn’t want to make it just a simple metal box with some rust! I eventually found these kind of decorated trunks and man! The moment I saw them, I was like, I’m gonna make mine this way!

These kinds of trunks are native mainly to Rajasthan, a state in India. They have very interesting decorations all over them, from floral patterns to slang written in native languages.

Once, I was happy with the reference images, I started planning out the procedure. I wanted to divide the whole project in parts, modeling the base mesh, sculpting the High-Poly, texturing and finally lighting and rendering.

I sketched out the details of every component, their structure, how I planned to sculpt them and how I’ll create the textures. Here you can see the sketch I prepared to give my project direction.

After setting the final goal and the image in my mind, I finally began to start modeling the base mesh in Maya. The base mesh was to be made the way so sculpting would be easier on it, I incorporated the dents before-hand in Maya for later detailing inside Z-brush.

After the model was done it was the time to Unwrap it and this was my very first UV experience with Maya. I used to do UVs in Blender. I took help from my mentor, he guided me through the tools and to be honest, it took me 2 whole days to unwrap the model and properly arrange the UVs. There were still some errors, but it was decent and worked well enough for me!

After setting everything up inside Maya, it was time to sculpt some details!

Once I imported the fbx inside Z-Brush, I prepared the mesh for sculpting.

For that, I first divided the mesh into different poly-groups and then creased the edges. After a subdivision, I was ready to sculpt. Before sculpting, I again gathered tons of references to get an idea of what I’ll actually be doing.

I started sculpting details on the model after that, adding subtle details, dents and ornamental decoration part by part to the whole model.

After spending a couple of days sculpting it, my model was now ready for baking!

I use Substance Painter for all my baking and texturing work. I created a new file and then ran a few test bakes to get the desired result. After finding my ideal settings, I baked the normal map and other mesh maps.

I wanted to make sure my trunk was true to life. Since these trunks have so much printed traditional art graffiti, I downloaded a couple of images of the matching decorations and tweaked them inside Photoshop to be as authentic as possible. Once edited, I imported them to my project shelf.

I applied the base material and then added overall dirt and sand masks to the object and then began refining the textures. At this exact point, I felt I was going for the desired overall mood of the scene. I cross checked my references again and began adding those images as ‘alpha’ for the hard-round brush. I spent a couple of hours just to get those right and after that, I selected a grunge brush for my eraser tool, reduced its opacity and began adding wear and tear in that paint job to give my trunk, an ‘old and extensively used’ look.

I’ve added those very little, subtle details including worn out nails, rust drops and scratches at the end of all major texture work.

Once, I wrapped the texturing, I exported the texture maps and started working on the support props for the little diorama scene. I was going with the concept of a little road-side desert.

To add more interest and visual elements to the scene, I decided to sculpt a little milestone along with some rocks inside Zbrush.

Once every asset for the diorama scene was set, I was ready for setting up the scene for final render.

For rendering and showcasing my model, I decided to use Marmoset Toolbag 3. I’ve been using the software since I began working in 3D.

I created a new scene and imported my meshes into it, after which, I created a material and added my texture maps to it.

My scene was coming together and it was a delight to look at.

I placed my Trunk at the center of the scene and started messing around with lighting to enhance the overall mood.

After a bit of scene setup, I prepared some test renders of the trunk itself without adding the scene elements.

I shared those renders with various art communities on discord like ‘No More Grid’, ‘Experience Point’, ‘Dinusty Empire’ and ‘Gametextures’ itself to get feedback.

Once the feedback came in, I implemented it and proceeded towards finishing the overall scene.

I added the Milestone. I also downloaded a high poly ground from Megascans and tweaked some of it’s texture maps and implemented that in my scene.

So, with this, the scene was set. But, there was one last step left, Post-Processing.

I used Toolbag’s built-in post process settings to enhance the shots even more. These effects included, Depth of field, Vignette, Bloom and a little Film Grain on top.

I took my final renders after implementing these little effects.

So, This was a brief of my whole experience, creating this little scene and I'm much happier after sharing it with you all.

Have a great time guys!

Stay Safe.

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