Pumpkin the Cat

Pumpkin the Cat

by rachelsalvaggio on 3 Mar 2022

This work is a self-initiated project that aimed to develop my lighting and look development skills.

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The goal of this project was to create a piece of 3D concept art for a potential film project. It was heavily focused on developing my look development and lighting skills. 

I wanted to create a sense of journey in the piece. In pre-production stages I tried to flesh this out in not only the character but the environment as well. From this was born Pumpkin the Cat. Pumpkin travels to various lands with the intentions to steal their valuable possessions. Given his trusting appearance and ability to blend in with the citizens, he is unsuspecting by others while he plans his missions. 

The day version aims to represent the ‘calm before the storm’. We have this tranquil scenery with Pumpkin immersed in lush nature and warm lighting. The ray of light highlights him in innocence and kind eyes stare back into the audience.

The ability to have a story visible from just the composition was important to me as concept art. With the day version, the window is positioned to convey that what is occurring outside is important, your eye is lead from pumpkin to the bridge and then the castle, essentially conveying the journey Pumpkin is about to embark on.

The night version depicts the aftermath of Pumpkin stealing the artefact. He has returned, succeeded in his mission and the castle guards have been alerted. There is more emphasis on the foreground in this piece; the starry sky illuminates the scene slightly but we are ultimately drawn to the intended story of showing Pumpkin’s progress and the flashlights as a consequence of his actions. 


To portray Pumpkin with an innocent look his design was inspired by Sylvanian Families toys.  I used Blender for sculpting, retopology & UV in Maya and did the textures in Substance 3D painter.


Having different lighting in the pieces was not only important to show the passing of time, but showing my skills of how the same scene can be lit in different ways. The day version focused on the lush greenery of the afternoon while simultaneously framing Pumpkin and the journey he is about to embark on. The night doesn’t need to highlight journey through the bridge or castle in the same way, as his mission is complete. Instead, there is focus on the character and the result of which his actions has caused. 

Extra Content

Beauty pass and Compositing

AO and Wireframe

Thank you for reading!

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