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living on the edge - first show reel project - Christopher Leder

living on the edge - first show reel project - Christopher Leder

Christopher Leder
by chrizzlyyybear on 1 Oct 2022

In the course of the first demo project at Pixl Visn I had to create a fantasy house. I found an awsome artwork from an artist called Jean-Baptiste Monge, which I was sure to create in the end of the research.

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living on the edge - first show reel project - Christopher Leder

This time in the course of the first demo project at Pixl Visn I had to create a fantasy house, but this was the only limitation for this assignment. Everything around this topic was allowed to create.

I found a awsome artwork from artist called Jean-Baptiste Monge, which I was sure to create in the end of my research for a concept art.

At the end I was happy with the idea of creating a big cliff and a cool stylized house.

As soon as I had all the informations and references that I needed, I started blocking the scene and created some cameras and light without too many details. At first I was modeling the rough shapes of the house in real-world-scale. This was imported for my workflow, to get an idea how large the cliff/mountain has to be. With this said, I blocked the shapes of the enviroment. As soon I was happy with it, I did the retopology of the cliff to get it ready for ZBrush.

Meanwhile I added more and more detail to house. The observatory was kind of tricky because I wanted to model it in a way that it could actually work. Unfortunately I had no information about it from the concept, so I had to reactivate my engeneering skills. I had to be more creative with the house then I thought in the beginning, but it was a lot of fun.

I made it finally from Maya to Zbrush to add all the details to the cliff and some parts of the house. After the sculpting, I exported the sculpting work as displacement maps back to Maya for the Arnold shader.

I used the same maps also for the texturing with Substance 3D Painter

The next step was to create the texture respectively the shading. Like I already mentioned, the texturing was done with Substance Painter. I spent a lot of time on painting layer over layer to get as much detail in a short amount of time. It was kind of a challenge because I have never done enviroment texturing like this before.

For not spending much time, I downloaded some texture maps form quixel.com.

I found also the plant there, which was helpfull.

I used downloaded texture maps for the walls of the house and tower and for the base of the roofs. The 3D assets like the bushes and trees plus textures came also from quixel.com. Beside that I used the ivy generator (ivy-generator.com) by Thomas Luft which is a great tool.

One of the final steps has been the rendering of the sequence.

I was rendering three diffrent cameras which have been around 340 frames.

I used the MASH tool which comes with Autodesk Maya, for painting all the bushes and other assets. To safe rendering time I was loading them as stand-ins into my scene.

I baked the smoke from the chimneys which I created with fluids in Maya as well.

Last but not least I added some small animations, improved the lighting and added all the AOV´s for the work in Nuke.

In Nuke I did some color and lighting corrections.  I also addad a Backround, fog and particles. Last but not least , I used some look-up tables to creat a nice mood. The final touches has been the chromatic aberration and lens distortion.

For this Project I mainly used Autodesk Maya but this was obviously not the only software. I also worked with Zbrush for sculpting some details. I created the textures with Substance 3D Painter. Arnold renderer for the shading, lighting and rendering of this scene. Besides that I used Nuke, Affinity Photo and DaVinci Resolve for the post production. I used PureRef for keeping my references organized and IVY-Generator for the ivy.

I have learned a lot, especially in relation of enviroment modeling and texturing. Also in this case I taught myself new techniques for modeling and sculpting.

But in every Project I learn more about time management and how to handle the pressure when the time limit is getting more tight.

At the end I have to say, that the research for this project was one of the most important parts because there were a lot of little things I had to take care of.

I had to think and plan about the presentation, the lighting, the texturing and the time management.

I'm using an app on my phone to plan every project. I was putting myself time limts for every step like modeling, UV´s, texturing etc. This is always a huge help to not forget something and like this I knew when I was working too slow.

Also for the upcoming projects it is quite useful because I know like this, where I need more or less time.

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