Winners announced for Rookie Awards 2021
Retro Kitchen

Retro Kitchen

Olivia Curelariu
by oliviacurelariu on 8 Mar 2021 for Rookie Awards 2021

My goal was to build a small environment scene from scratch. I had the opportunity to try a lot of new things, broaden my 3D Artist knowledge and even optimize some things in my workflow. This has been a great learning experience.

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The song in the movie is called Smile, Royalty Free Music: from Bensound (

The kitchen's layout is of my own design, which I have blocked out in ArchiCAD. Most of the modeling was done in Maya. I used Metashape for scanning the bread, Marvelous Designer for simulating the fabrics and Zbrush for cleaning/detailing some models and optimizing some processes. For baking and texturing I used Substance Painter and Substance Designer. In Substance Designer I created some materials and certain patterns that I wanted to have control over in Painter. The final scene came together in Unreal Engine 4, from which I took my high resolution screenshots and recorded the movie shots. 

I tried to optimize everything from triangle count and texture size to lighting builds and editor organization. I needed to keep my scene manageable, because I am working on a 4 year old laptop.

The models in my scene have a total of 437k triangles. I only had a couple of 4K texture sets, the majority of textures being 2k and 1k, with some textures being smaller.

For the floor tiles, I used 2 versions of the same material, one being dirtier than the other, because I would later use Height Blended materials and Vertex Paint in Unreal Engine for the floor. I wanted to be able to paint manually more "dirt" in certain areas.

I also did simple patterns in Substance Designer, with certain parameters exposed. I wanted to have full control over these patterns in Substance Painter.

Throughout the project, I used many references, from pictures to drawings and even ads, in order to keep an eye out for my desired scene vibe: a cozy, cheerful mid-century kitchen. I have put together here only a small  part of these references. 

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