3D Environment Artist Margarita Posledovich shared her workflow behind an immensely detailed Witch's Study scene and told us how she transferred the 2D art into 3D.
My name is Margarita and I am a 3D artist. I like to translate 2D art into 3D with detailed accuracy. I always try to keep the style of the art, pass the same lighting, textures, shapes. At university, I was studying to be an interior designer, so I worked on the store interiors visualization for several years. However, later I decided to try out another field. I took a course on creating environment models in Blender which was new software for me then. Since the course, I took this direction and started improving and developing in environment art.
Inspiration and Goals
When I was thinking about the new project to work on, I, first, decided to look for a very detailed reference. In the end, I chose a 2D art by Evergreenqveen which was called Witch's Study. I really liked how colorful the art was and admired the variety of details on the reference.
My concept was to create a collection of props that were both individual models and could make up the overall picture.
Setting Up the Scene
My workflow started with building the base (walls, floor, ceiling). I put a reference on the background, set the view from the camera so that the edges of the walls and ceiling in the picture coincided with the model. I began to fill the scene with assets, starting with the large objects. At first, I created the window, then the desk, the chair, and so on. I decided to create every little detail, every little jar, flower, or bead.
After a long process of modeling all the assets, I proceeded to the entire scene texturing. Since the goal was to make everything close to the original, I began to study video tutorials on the Internet to learn how how to make a special shader with an outline creating a drawing effect.
I certainly wanted to make the shader matte and bright, in order to make the black outline read clearly. Then I had to make unwraps of some models to draw the texture by hand as there were some specific features in the 2D art. It is definitely important to do the unwrapping of the model correctly so that after the texturing everything would be displayed correctly in 3D.
The final step was to create the atmospheric lighting, which had to be consistent with the reference. For the daylight, I used the main light source from the window (the sun) and an additional purple light source in another corner of the room so that it would bring a very subtle effect to the room's interior. For the night lighting, I changed the color of the ambient light to cold and added a light source with a beam to create a moonlight effect. Additionally, I made candlelight by creating a special shader with a picture of fire from a candle on a transparent background, added emission to it, and put a spotlight in each candle to get more glow.
Then I started to render each picture. Since I worked in Blender 3.0, the software accelerated the rendering time, so each image was rendered for about two hours. I did all of the basic work with images in Blender, so post-processing was almost unnecessary. I added some contrast to the images in Photoshop, applied a filter to the day visual to get a pink shade, and on the night vision, I inserted an additional image behind the window with a special stylized sky.
In general, the creation of all the assets was the most time-consuming part of the workflow because there were so many of them, especially, the small ones, so I tried to make low poly assets. Initially, when I planned to start this work, I thought that I would have to draw the contours of the objects myself, which is why I was thinking to give this idea up completely. However, there is so much information about the specifics of creating such effects on YouTube that, eventually, I have successfully finished the project.
It took me about 1.5 months to complete this work, which is quite long. But I was trying to make a spectacular artwork, so I carefully worked on each step. If I had one piece of advice to give, I would suggest sparing no time and attention for such large projects, and to study a lot in order to achieve the goals.
Margarita Posledovich, 3D Environment Artist
Interview conducted by Theodore Nikitin
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