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Enchanting Enviroment Exploration

Enchanting Enviroment Exploration

Kathryn Lynn
by kathrynlynn on 1 Jun 2020 for Rookie Awards 2020

A collection of three environments modeled and rendered in the past year.

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A Humble Hut

After seeing a 2D animation created by David Rice’s  on Instagram (@babdwalt), I felt inspired to use the simplistic background for a 3D environment model project thinking the simple design would only take a weekend. After a while (and this being the most recent of my work pieces), I took the project on more as a challenge to try some growth exercises based on past critique: simplify topology, create a stylized environment that makes sense, and adding details with variety.

Rice had created a simple bedroom in his animation for two of characters to interact in. A part of the challenge I gave myself was to try to have the environment and the main character reflect one another. "[Arlen] is a nervous elf dude and has felt like an outcast most of his life, but he is excited to go do some adventures! If he can stop being so self-conscious about his wizardly skills (and everything else) anyway..."

My thought process was to make a small hut in the woods, more distant from the action and a little undermaintained. Yet it still had a bit of charm and gentleness that is almost welcoming. 

After blocking out the bedroom which was the only point of reference to go off on, I decided to challenge myself further by also designing an exterior. This endeavor took some creative thinking and problem solving as I tried to make the exterior match the same feel of the character and interior that was previously mentioned.

After getting to a satisfactory point of the modeling process, I had also make it a challenge to UV map the majority of the project, to help add depth. Unfortunately, I bit off more that I could chew and time management is a skill in development. Some asses got UV but the next task I am going to tackle will surely focus more on UV mapping. I continue to press on to complete the project in time for the deadline I have given myself.

Overall I am quite proud of how this piece turned out and it shows some of my personal growth in the past year. To help control how much topology I use in a project, I pushed myself to do the minimum yet also capture detail and a story. I dabbled with alpha mapping to achieve some of the effects, and gradually getting more into UV mapping and painting. 

An Early Morning Ritual

As part of a fellow student BFA project last July, Julia Milius (@juliamilius) provided me with a style guide, concept drawing, and direction for 3D modeling project on one of the environments for her project. This task was a huge undertaking as it was my first attempt at rendering out an interior environment. The task mainly followed the concept art provided by Milius and trying to capture that vision.

This was a first attempt when given around two to three weeks. The main purpose in this render was to get the idea across and to mainly just model four aspects: the walls, bookcase, bed, and dresser. Simple textures and color was applied at first to help convey the idea. After completing this piece for a class, I was able to return to it to give more time and additions to it. This resulted in modeling additional assets: a writing desk (not pictured), wardrobe, a proper light fixture, table, boxes, floorboards, and flowers. Perhaps the greatest challenge that I encountered with this project was the lighting. This room was set in an attic with only two main light sources: the window and lightbulb. This proved to be difficult and resulted in often trial and error in the programing to adjust samples, luminosity, etc. but resulted in a learning experience of those aspects of Maya.

The Mayhew House

Lastly, as a part of a class group project, we were given a task to develop a property for a video game based story. Inspired by Eastern cultures and the setting of our game, Abigail Wells (@zixmix) provided us a drawing concept for a home setting in the game. This project was more focused on working in a group effort to achieve a fitting and appealing design for the property.

“The Mayhews live in a modest home in the middle-class district. Not the wealthiest of traders but can still make a weathered building into a homely place. The exterior is furnished with raised garden beds for Mrs. Mayhews kitchen ingredients. The outside veranda also serves as a waiting area for any clients that Mr. Mayhew may have.”

Thank you for taking a look at my work. It has been over a year ago I was introduced to the 3D medium through Maya and just looking at the last two pieces of my work has really shown me some of my own personal growth. Not only visibly, but with how I organize my work and the workflow behind the project. Every piece is something new to learn and grow from. Thank you for the opportunity.

Artist Reference with corresponding credit (Instagram):

David Rice (@babydwalt)    Julia Milius (@juliamilius)    Abigail Wells (@zixmix)

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