Model a scene us­ing 3D tools

Con­cept artist Matt Kohr de­signs an en­vi­ron­ment.

ImagineFX - - Issue 125 September 2015 -

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.

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