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Fantasy Norse Shop

Fantasy Norse Shop

Michelle Olsen
by mcolsen3d on 10 Mar 2024

My mentorship project at Think Tank Training Centre completed June 2023. Created with the guidance of my mentor Gustavo Groppo. Based on concept art by Yang Sohyeon.

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Fantasy Norse Shop is my mentorship project from my time at Think Tank Training Centre. My project is based on art by Yang Sohyeon. When I saw the 2D concept on Artstation, I was immediately drawn to it, because I  have always been fond of the fantasy and adventure genres. Also, the concept reminded me of "How to Train Your Dragon," which is one of my many favorite animated movies. You can view Yang Sohyeon's original artwork on Artstation:

Thank you so much to my mentor, Gustavo Groppo, for all his help, patience, and feedback throughout this project. With the help of my mentor, I created this 3D scene from rough modeling blockout through to final rendering and compositing. This project was a large undertaking, because it was my first time creating a large outdoor environment scene. I enjoyed exploring multiple aspects of the production pipeline in more depth. 

I modeled the 3D assets in Maya, Zbrush, and Marvelous Designer. The textures were created mainly in Mari with Substance Painter as a supplement for making different masks and maps. When developing my textures, I used some tileables from as bases or alphas. I also created a few of my own textures in Substance Designer, such as the lighter brick wall on the upper levels of the house. Throughout the project, my mentor and I focused on how to make the assets integrate well with the scene and tell a story through weathering/texturing. I used Speedtree to model and texture the grass and tree assets. I used HDRIs from Polyhaven to help light the day and night versions of the scene. I assembled my scene in Maya and rendered it using V-Ray. Final color corrections and compositing were done in Nuke.

There were plenty of opportunities for problem solving on this project. One major challenge is that I had little experience creating plants. I had to figure out what would match the concept and work for my heavy scene. I spent some time learning SpeedTree. I used SpeedTree to create the trees and grass clumps. Then, I distributed these throughout my scene using a mixture of MASH and hand placement. I spent more time on the big hero trees rather than the distant pine forest. For the moss across the roof, I experimented with a couple different techniques before I found one that worked well. I ended up creating some alpha card clumps of moss and distributing those using MASH across duplicate (and hidden) roof planes. Finally, I sculpted some little flowers in Zbrush and added those on top to match the concept. 

My mentorship project was a great learning experience. It helped me further develop my 3D skills, and I had the opportunity to try some new techniques. One thing I love about 3D is that there is always something new to learn.

Thank you to Think Tank Training Centre, family, friends, and colleagues for your support throughout my time at Think Tank! 

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