SCENE IS BE­LIEV­ING En­vi­ron­ment artist Devon Fay shows what it takes to craft a re­al­is­tic city scene in­spired by Blade Run­ner and Star Wars

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Pub­lisher The Gno­mon Work­shop Price $59 For­mat Down­load Web www.theg­nomon­work­

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.

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