SCENE IS BELIEVING Environment artist Devon Fay shows what it takes to craft a realistic city scene inspired by Blade Runner and Star Wars
Publisher The Gnomon Workshop Price $59 Format Download Web www.thegnomonworkshop.com
You could believe you were standing in a dingy Tokyo alleyway, if it weren’t for the repair droid and the hologram on its workbench. Inspired by the cityscapes of Blade Runner and the grungy aesthetic of classic Star Wars, Devon Fay’s masterful scene took him months to complete; in this lengthy video, he explains in detail how he pulled it off (with the help of some friends here and there).
The first half could practically be a workshop in itself, as Devon assembles his reference and ideas, blocks out his scene and crafts the 3D models. Although his software of choice is Maya, you could apply his principles to any standard CG modelling toolset. If you’re starting out with 3D software and are intimidated by the idea of creating a richly detailed model, Devon helps you move past that fear, with a tried-and-tested system for building up complexity from the most basic of 3D forms.
The subsequent section on textures disappears down the rabbit hole of 3D software settings, with an exhaustive overview of creating different types of surface. You’ll need the specific software Devon uses – Maya, V-Ray and Quixel Suite – to get the most of this section; but the way he chooses how much time to invest in a texture based on the hierarchy of the scene, for example, could save you hours of work.
The final hour revisits the entire process to date before Devon composites his render passes in Photoshop. It’s a topic that’s been covered in many training videos, but this is as good an explanation as you’ll find. Devon helps you understand how to combine common render passes for the most realistic results, then suggests various tricks for applying telling detail.
Across nearly seven hours, Devon delivers a relaxed, authoritative narrative that proves he’s as good a teacher as he is an artist. As such, his training video comes highly recommended.
In Creating a Sci-Fi Alleyway, Devon Fay constructs a CG masterwork inspired by Syd Mead and Star Wars. Compositing in Photoshop gives Devon the chance to finesse his image, ensuring that every glorious detail is on show.