Swamp
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Swamp

Shubham Lakhotia
by shubhamlakhotia on 1 Jun 2020 for Rookie Awards 2020

Two hunters embark on journey to an ominous swamp in nepal. Locals say, the swamp is filled with large gharials (gavial crocodiles). It is said that, anyone who has tried to infiltrate their territory, has never returned alive. These men are greedy and want to hunt this critically endangered animal to sell them in the

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Swamp : Two hunters embark on  journey to an ominous swamp in nepal, on their airboat. Locals say, the swamp is filled with large gharials (gavial crocodiles). It is said that, anyone who has tried to infiltrate their territory, has never returned alive. These men are greedy and want to hunt this critically endangered animal to sell them in the black market. Being from america, they ignored the local beliefs and took it as a challenge to try and hunt the crocodiles. Little did they know, about the tales. Once bitten you get cursed. Or, you may simply get eaten by them.  

I wanted to come up with an idea that challenges me, both creatively and technically. A project that involved vehicle design, creature design, character design, and environment design. While I do possess good technical skills, I also wanted to push my lighting, storytelling and composition skills to create cinematic shots. I studied a bunch of movie scenes and film grabs. 

I started the project with some research from real world references, tried to study how a swamp looks, what the shapes of the trees look like, what kind of a lighting would make it appear creepy. Watched some swamp videos on youtube. After studying and researching, I sketched out the following Ideas. 

After sketching, I started building some 3D Assets. The main challenge was, that none of the assets were exaclty how I wanted them to look in my scenes. I had to find ways to make the tree look like an Oak / Cypress Tree because those are found in swamps. I had to figure out a way to create Spanish Moss, and the Ground texture of the Swamp. 

Challenges faced :

The trees were generic models which I then sculpted on, to get the look of an Oak/Cypress tree.
To fake the spanish moss on the tree, I took a simple cylinder, scattered some dry grass around it. Stretched and squashed it, and then created the one strand of the spanish moss (placed in the extreme right in the assets). 

Then, I scattered this strand of spanish moss onto a distorted low poly sphere. Then randomized it's position vertically . Thanks to quixel's megascans and sketcfab for some 3D resources as a base :)

The ground texture of the swamp was created using the following node system. 

Vehicle Design :
Sketched out an idea for the "Airboat" design very roughly on paper. And roughly and quickly modeled it in Blender. Also textured the whole airboat.

Creature Design : 
Gharials are a prehistoric creatures living today. Their life dates back to the jurassic period and I presonally visited nepal just to look at these magnificent creatures. They have a very unique design, the way they are built. One of the major characteristic being, a bulgy snout on their long nose. 

Thanks to humans, these magnificent creatures are now critically endangered. It was sad to look at people cage them. 

As a tribute, I decided to create a ficticious project keeping in mind, what if, It wasnt the humans that dominated these crocs. What if, gharials were a threat to us, people who threaten them die or get cursed. 

Some references and research I did, for the project.

Hope you enjoyed my process. This project was created, keeping in mind the dying population of gharials. Hoping, we as humans stop treating nature ruthlessly, specially after this phase of coronavirus. 


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