Creating Believable 3D Environments
Seth Thompson has lots of experience in building amazing 3D scenes, and has plenty of ways you can do the same
Publisher The Gnomon Workshop
Price £37 eth Thompson’s Unmystified image caused a stir when he published it online in 2013. In this video, Seth delves into the techniques he used to sculpt, light and render this stunning 3D-rendered artwork.
In an extended introduction, Seth shares his approach to broader disciplines such as workflow and file organisation. Collaborating in largescale projects has taught him the value of working efficiently, and there are several valuable insights here.
There’s also a strong chapter that looks at composition and how to lead the eye around the picture frame, in which Seth uses annotated examples from classical painting. Lighting plays an important part, as the artist shows how his deliberate arrangement of highlights and shadows within the overall composition leads the viewer’s eye towards and around the design details he’s most proud of. If your compositional knowledge doesn’t get
Web www.thegnomonworkshop.com beyond simply dividing your frame into thirds, you’ll learn a lot here in just a few minutes.
The heart of the video, however, is a practical guide to creating the scene’s key elements, using 3ds Max, V-Ray, ZBrush and Photoshop. While the earlier chapters are accessible to both art beginners and seasoned artists alike, this segment demands that you have more than a passing familiarity with the software being used. But for anyone who’s reached that level, the techniques shown here, including quickly sculpting a relief based on a two-dimensional design in ZBrush, will help you create assets faster.
Given the subject matter and the variety of software used, perhaps there aren’t many people who will find every minute of this video to be pertinent. But there are lots of artists who will get a great deal from this – and you’ll always feel you’re being tutored by someone with deep knowledge and great attention to detail.
Seth Thompson’s Unmystified is a brilliant piece, modelled and rendered in 3D. His video shares many of his practices and techniques. Grass and stones are hard to get right in 3D, but Seth has some cool tricks to achieve variety without overloading your computer.