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Refuge From The Past

Refuge From The Past

by masonroy on 1 Jun 2020 for Rookie Awards 2020

I present to you, an environment piece of my own creation, called “Refuge From The Past” !

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Refuge From The Past

I present to you, an environment piece of my own creation, called “Refuge From The Past” (feel the edge)!

My goal for this piece was to create an environment that has a very warm interior, contrasted by a cold dark exterior, (real original I know, but whatever). When I was conceptualizing what the interior would look like, I was drawn to a memory I had as a child, of a living room that belonged to a family friend. It was very 70's-esque with a lot of wood paneling, carpeting, and was covered in oranges and browns. It was very warm, if not stuffy, (probably from all the dust in the carpets) and I wanted mine to have the same feeling.

After a concepting phase that took a tremendous amount of twists and turns, I landed on this idea. No doubt influenced by the video games I was playing at the time, “The Last of Us” and “The Outer Worlds” I was able to build this idea of a run down post apocalyptic suburbs coupled with saturated lighting and colors to produce this scene. I hope you enjoy!

Some of the more elaborate props I made for this scene. Modeled in Blender and mostly surfaced in Substance Painter, with a little Photoshop and Substance Designer.

The Journey


Like I mentioned earlier I wanted to capture the interior of a 70's styled room. My initial thought was to do an apartment of some-kind, which then eventually moved into a destroyed apartment, then to an old style strip motel.

Blockout / Modeling

I tried different block-outs for each. Ended up going with the one I liked the most, the broken down suburban house one.

A little time lapse of the modeling process, trying out different placements and angles. I did end up modeling a good portion of the interior objects, most of the exterior ones were taken from Quixel Megascans. The far buildings were part of a Kitbash3D set. The bus I used in the block-out was a free model from artist ERLHN. I ended making my own to surface, but you can find it here.

Surfacing / Texturing

The surfacing was mostly done in Substance Painter. Some of the tiled stuff like the brick and grass was either from Substance Source or Quixel Megascans. When trying to create the peeling paint material, I was having a hard time trying to get the right shape. I ended up buying and using some of the methods Aleksandr Protasov used in his material to get the look I wanted. You can find it here:

Lighting / Final Compositing

For lighting, I started with simple HDRI. From there I moved on to adding more lights to brighten up the darker areas. After, I moved on to some color corrections, mostly darkening the sky and adding some volumetrics, to make the background a bit darker. Finally I brought it into Photoshop, brightening some things, darkening others, and did a bit more color balancing to get the look I wanted.

The Result!

And finally this is it! I added in a little more bits and bobs at the end, trying to fill it in a more. It was a more lengthy project I have done. I hope it is enjoyed! :)

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