Miniature Real-Time Visualization

Miniature Real-Time Visualization

3d artist Carylitz Tamez discussed her approach to real-time visualization. She talked about the creation of assets, the choise of rendering tool and the positioning of lighting.

3d artist Carylitz Tamez discussed her approach to real-time visualization. She talked about the creation of assets, the choise of rendering tool and the positioning of lighting. Very simple and nice looking project.


For this project I wanted to make an RV with a realistic look and give it a retro-futuristic design aesthetic. I used the cars from the movie “The fifth element” and the 1964 Dodge Travco Motorhome design as reference.



Since I started studying 3D I have been following Rory Björkman, he is an amazing artist and I love his texture work on the car models he makes is impressive, so I wanted to give it a try. I used the base of the Dodge model for the main design and the rest was based on the movie. I did extensive research on abandoned cars to understand the materials and how the RV would look in the real world.

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I used Maya for the model. I started by making model sheets of the design so I had accurate proportions, and then began modeling from there, trying to pay attention to everything from the larger shapes to the smaller details on the car. I used udims and after the UVs were done I started the texturing in Mari.

I made a tileable rust texture and applied it as a base. Then I added the colors of the RV on top and used a mask to uncover the rust, while trying to make it as accurate and believable as possible. For some other part like the lights I used pictures from real life and applied them using Mari. After finishing the base painting on Mari I moved on to substance and worked on the metal materials for V-Ray. This made it easier to see a preview of the material’s look before bringing the textures into Maya.




The main idea for the project was to make a 3D car integrated into real world footage, so I wanted to go into the forest and film there. I made the base in Marmoset to have a preview of what I wanted to film in real life but there were several complications, so I ended up filming in the city.


For the Marmoset scene I started making the base composition on Maya with all the assets that I already had. After this I imported everything into Marmoset where I plugged in all the textures. Because I had the textures and model ready I had more time to play with the lighting and overall mood of the scene.



All the trees were modeled in Maya, starting with a cylinder shape for the trunk and then start giving tree shape to it, and did the same for the branches in the lower part of the tree. For the leaves and upper branches I used planes with alpha textures. I used real life bark and leaf textures for the trees and worked on them using photoshop along with alphas for the leaves.




I used Mari as a base so I could have sufficient control over the textures, colors, and masks; then passed all the information into Substance so I could work on the metal material while having a preview on how the maps were going to look in the final result.

I searched for a lot of damaged cars and tried not to go to heavy on the damage so it would stay realistic.



One of my primary goals was to give a mysterious look to the scene and I ended up going for colors like blue and green. All the lighting was created in Marmoset using the forest skylight and some point and omni lights. I used a spotlight the create a rim light for the trees behind and another spotlight in the bottom of the RV.


Marmoset helped me to achieve a quick, amazing result; it was really easy to set up the scene and manipulate all the settings to get the result I was looking for. I was able to get a clear and explicit idea of what I was looking for in the project. It gives you a lot of options to play with, like emissive maps, alpha maps for the leaves and some post process options in the camera. It also has some useful tools to help the scene look more interesting, like the fog that really adds to the mood of the scene.



It took me a month and a half from start to finish, i.e. from design to video integration. The design and research took me about a week, modeling and texturing about 3 weeks, a week for the composition and another week for video integration. It was an interesting project to work on and a good experience with all the softwares I worked with.

Carylitz Tamez, Student – Vanarts

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