Model a scene using 3D tools
Concept artist Matt Kohr designs an environment.
How often do you choose to draw city skyscrapers from dynamic camera angles? Probably not very often. Even after getting comfortable with drawing in three-point perspective, some subject matter is tricky to draw accurately. When things are difficult, we avoid them. In my years as a concept artist, 3D software has been an essential starting point for architecture and other technical subjects.
Here I’ve decided to tackle an especially difficult interior environment to show how valuable 3D tools can be. To prove the point I’ve chosen a scene with some linear perspective nightmares: repeated arches, stairs, figures at different elevations and a circular layout. This setting would be a challenge for even the most seasoned draftsman, so instead I’ll let Blender do the heavy lifting.
The painting is broken up into two phases: the model and the paintover. First I block out the scene in 3D, based on my thumbnail sketch, and export a render. Then I take the render into Photoshop and use it as the foundation for my painting. To see this whole process in action, check out my video.
In this workshop you’ll see how powerful 3D can be for the illustration process. But before we start, a word of warning: 3D doesn’t replace drawing. If you think you can slap a 3D background behind your character instead of learning to draw in perspective, you’re sadly mistaken. I’ve reviewed a lot of beginner portfolios, and trust me – you’re not fooling anyone.