I recently had the pleasure of completing a virtual lecture and demo at Escena, school for an animation and concept design school in Mexico City. The students were wonderful and engaging. Here is the environment demonstration I created for them showing a little bit of my process.
For this Demo, I utilized the following software: Photoshop, Maya, Clarisse and Gaea.
I’ve been wrapped up in all things Tolkien of late and I remembered some concept sketches from Jeremy Bennett that I loved from the Peter Jackson Lord of the Rings movies and some stills from the new Amazon show, The Rings of Power.
To make things move quicker I utilized assets I have from Kitbash 3d, The Ancients.
I use Maya as my go to place to do Layout and Preliminary lighting. I created some simple hills and mountains using Maya’s sclupting tools. Bringing in some of the Ancient models. I used Arnold lights and shaders since I can replicate the same look in Clarisse afterwards.
Now, I want to swap out my rough hills with some better geometry. You can use do this multiple ways, import into Zbrush and high res my hills or use heightfield terrains. I went with the Heightfield route and used Gaea.
I made about four different landscape elements and then did a texture pass on them inside of Gaea.
I brought in these assets into Maya and matched them to my Layout and adjusted the lighting a little.
Instead of rocky terrain look I wanted to have some vegetation so I exported out my files into Clarisse. I moved the light around and added a simple water shader.
I brought in some grass elements and scattered them on the landscapes.
While in Clarisse I figured I’d bring in some VDBs for volumes of mist and clouds.
For the finishing touches I rendered out passes and painted the remaining details in Photoshop. I can do more nuances very quickly here. This is the final image.
Hope you enjoyed my little breakdown of my workflow on this piece.
Oh, if you noticed the logo, “Matte Mentors” on my images I will be teaching a new Matte Painting class through that site starting in January. Sign up to our newsletter for more information.