CGNetworks Feature :: Reader Project
Making of - Fantasy Life

George 'Jiri' Adamec, 27 January 2005

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I was inspired while browsing though Stephen Hickman images on my sister's computer. I loved one of the images so much I thought I should try and recreate it in 3D.

I'm sure every 3D designer has many unfinished scenes tucked away in their drawers, models that they began enthusiastically when initially enthused, but after running out of patience, they leave the image in their unfinished gallery. This image is a typical example.
Realm 1 Stephen Hickman 2003

I started off by dissecting the entire scene into various elements, and then worked on them individually. The first was the background with trees shrouded in fog; the second was the palace and various architectural items, and thirdly the trees for the foreground.

I created the sky by modifying and merging five different photos in Photoshop. The pigeons in the sky were created simply by drawing profiles with splines in different phases of flying, which I then converted to polygons. I saved these profiles as Targa images and used Photoshop to clone them where I wanted them.

The trees were created simply with flat planes using projected textures for the details. I arranged them in order of their individual height from each pivot. I then placed them on a surface using Align (front first, then rear).

During the modeling process, I paced myself by dividing the process into logical stages and focusing on them one at a time. Modeling each piece, mapping it and creating a basic texture immediately for each. I created this image while working on another commercial project so I had to put it aside and return to it a month or so later. I realized then how valuable my working process had been because I was able to pick up exactly where I had left off with no problem.

Almost the entire building and neighboring constructions in the image were derived from primitives, while the statues were constructed via the Editable Poly method. These were all Meshsmoothed once finished. I used splines to make the boat and then applied Cross Section and Surface on it. Finally I converted it to editable poly and finalized the details.

The rocks are polygons too. In some layers I added Noise and Displace, and then used a combination of Meshsmooth with Classic Choice of rounding, instead of NURBS. Finally I used Displacement Approx, because there is no Displace implemented in Brazil 1.2.

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