Modeling/Texturing/Lighting student projects - Visual Effects

Modeling/Texturing/Lighting student projects - Visual Effects

Tim Jagodka
by timjgdx on 14 Apr 2021 for Rookie Awards 2021

Hi guys! This is my Rookies 2021 entry for VFX. Here are some my student projects which I have done at PIXLVISN Cologne as a student. I hope you enjoy and feel free to leave me some feedback!

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Hi guys! I am Tim and this is my entry for the Rookies 2021 in the VFX category. I have now sucessfully graduated from PIXLVISN media arts academy in Cologne and I am really excited to enter this contest.

In the following I will show you four of my student projects and how my creative process looked like.

I am very happy that I now have the chance this year to present my work to you!

I wish all other artists that have entered the contest the best of luck!

Subway 2041

I began modeling the base of my subway entrance in Maya and always exported it directly from Maya into Unreal to get a first look. As soon as I had the whole final modeled scene in Unreal Engine I began texturing with Quixel Mixer.

This was really the most enjoyable part because I could let my creativity decide what the story and look of this scene will be. Creating the ceramic wall material with the grafitti on it was my favorite part of the texturing phase because it was a process which let me be very creative.

After getting some of the textures into my scene I already started to fill the subway with lighting. I added a few lamps on the ceiling a volumetric directional light with god rays and a sky light so that all fit perfectly into the post apocalyptic theme.

The compositing part was a very intersting and important part. With the right color correction and the this whole scene I could push the quality of the renders even more and I am very satiesfied how the end product looks like at the end. I used NukeX and Photoshop to achieve this look.

I used many assets from Megascans to give the scene the matching vibe and story. Plants and foliage are a very important part of this scene as it gives the audience the look of an abandoned subway. Without foliage it would not be the same. For that I was glad that I could use Quixels scaned 3D plants and foliage.

Down below you can slide between the breakdowns of the environment and see how all came together at the end.

All in all this scene took me 2 weeks to create and I am very satisfied how it turned out.

In the following you will see all breakdowns of this project.

Italian Alley

As soon as I saw this italian street I wanted to recreate it and began blocking out and modeling the scene in Maya. Modeling was the longest part because I had to add all the details of this street and wanted to get as close to the reference as possible. This was the first time I ever used Unreal Engine so it was also a new challenge for me.

In the texturing phase I also used a Quixel Mixer which I have never used before. Creating a texture that had water puddles in it mixed with other high quality dirt layer textures and stone patterns was a new experience and a little bit different than in other texturing software like Substance Painter that I have used always before. But for that project I wanted to try new things and explore the possiblities that I could achieve with Quixel Megascans textures.

To achieve that I mixed textures from the Megascans library and created my own new texture and materials. In this two stages I always exported all objects and textures directly into Unreal Engine to see how all things come together. At the end I exported all textures with a high resolution to get as much detail as possible.

A important part of this street were plants and vegetation. For that I used the Megascans library to get as much variation and quality for my plants as possible. For all the scene assets I used assets from megascans to fill out the scene and match the reference.

The lighting was pretty interesting but very simple in this scene. A directional light with god rays and a sky light. Unreal Engine made it very easy to test various light scenarios out because it is using realtime rendering and there are not long render times like in a 3D software with an offline rendering process.

After lighting it was time for compositing. In this part of the project I learned a lot of new skills about Nuke and how to involve Photoshop into my workflow to use it in the compositing stage. The color correction was perfect for the scene as it gave it a new vibrant, more saturated color and when you look at this alley you get the feeling that the scene is more alive as before. The more yellow look of the final imagine also fits perfectly with the vibe and feeling of an italian street and that was my main goal. I tried a lot different color correction scenarios and finally decided to go with this look after receiving some feedback on my final look.

I will now show you the breakdowns of this project.

In this project reference material was very important. The goal of this project was to recreate this italian street as good as I can. Without reference photos this would not be possible. I always worked closely with reference material as I wanted to recreate the street as good as possible but I also wanted to add a little bit of my imagination and creativity.

Modern Bathroom interior

When I stumbled across all these photorealistic architechture renders on artstation I always wanted to create something like this. I wanted to achieve a render that is as close to photorealism as possible. That was the thing that fascinated me. So I designed and created a bathroom interior because I loved how different they all look like these days.

So my goal for this project was to achieve a photorealistic look. 
I modeled the scene in Maya and textured it with Substance Painter and some Megascan textures.

The scene was rendered with Redshift and compositing was made with Nuke and Photoshop. The most challenging part was to achieve a photorealistic look but with enough reference material I achieved the look that I always had in mind.

One of the things I learned in this project was definetly general basic understanding of interior design because I researched a lot in this project. I also learned a lot about achieving a realistic look.

The blockout and modeling phase was pretty easy and quick done. After modeling and getting the first plant models from Quixel Megascans into the scene I began texturing.

I first had more plants in this scene but I later removed them because I was not satisfied with the look of it and don't wanted to overload the scene with to much plants. I used a lot of high quality textures from Poliigon to achieve a more realistic look.

In the texturing phase the selection of the right textures that look the most realistic was the most difficult part. All in all texturing was a simple step and was quickly done.

The lighting process was pretty simple as it only was just a day light scene with an animated directional light. Two lightgroups one for the inside and one for the outside. In Nuke I did a few adjustments to my lighting. I also masked out the directional light and turned them into god rays and created some particles to achieve a nice looking scene.

After that I began compositing. Color correction was a very important step but before that I also had afew issues in this stage and had to do a lot of research to fix problems in Nuke. I also learned new things and methods in this program which I never used before so I had to educate myself first. In Photoshop I did a few last adjustments to details and sharpness.

Down below you can see how the multipass composting looked like and how everything came together after color correction.

Canon Camera

The first step after gathering the reference material was to blockout my camera model. Reference material was the key toachieve the final look of the model. After getting the modeling done I started to build up the scene in where the camera would be at the end. For my background plants and assets I used the Poliigon Library.

After getting the modeling done I started to texturing. First up was the canon camera. Especially in this stage of the project I always worked with lots of different reference material. The texturing of my environment was done using lots of high quality poliigon textures.

Then it was time for lighting and finding the right mood for my scene. I decided to light up the scene as it was at day light. After rendering all my camera shots it was time for compositing. In this phase I really learned a lot about Nuke and some compositing techniques.
Setting up the whole scene in Nuke and setting up my lightgroups was one of the most important steps in this project. It gave me so much control about how the lighting should be at the end.
I was really happy at the end where I could see everything looked a lot nicer by having the right colors and light settings.

The most difficult part for me was the texturing phase and finding the right lighting. For these two things I spent the most time on. I always came back to lighting and texturing and adjusted things so they looked perfect. I wasn't satisfied at first when I created my first lighting and texturing pass but with a lot of reference and asking other people for feedback I finally achieved a nice look.

Reference was very important. Modeling with good reference material was the key for this project. For modeling I only used one camera model to get my model as close as possible tothe real life model. I wanted to recreate this excact model not create a new one that does not excist. For texturing I used different reference pictures of other camera models so I could get a feeling and direction how my texturing should look like. For my environment I searched up forpictures I had first in mind when I thought about how and where my canon camera should be presented.

Thank you for taking a look into my final projects and it's breakdowns. Feel free to leave a comment under this post and give me some feedback, that would be awesome! If you would like to get in contact with me you can use the information below.

Good luck for you if you also entering the Rookies 2021 and thanks for watching!

E-mail: [email protected]



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