The Idea and Concept

My idea was to create an image, with a girl who sits at her window on a rainy day. To give beholders the largest possible room for interpretation, I had placed some suggestions.
First of all I made a simple sketch to bring my idea on paper. It was a really fast and simple sketch and... ok I'm not good in sketching. So I work out the concept in Photoshop and started with the modeling in 3ds max. (Fig.01)


('Fig.01' Click to enlarge.)


Modeling, texturing and shading

Background:

At an early stage I had decided to create the whole background in 3D. No photo or matte painting but rather a real 3D modeled background. I wanted to have the full control about lighting and depth effects so I needed to create a background that looks like a big American city but not especially like New York, Chicago or another one. I had used Google Earth to find an interesting street network, which I could use as reference and build up the ground/ base. (Fig.02)

('Fig.02' Click to enlarge.)

I had also used Google Earth and Street View to find some interesting building shapes and recreate them as 3D model but with different textures on it. I copied and divided most of the buildings and used a "random face selection" script to get separate window faces. (Fig.03) I made a diffuse texture for all buildings, for the most buildings a "window illuminated" diffuse texture and an opacity map that I also used as reflection color map. To have more control about texture sizes and quality, the most textures are tillable and not bigger than 512² pixel. (Fig.04) All in all over 40 different buildings in 3 categories. Low buildings with 2 to 4 floors, middle buildings with 10 to 20 floors and high buildings with up to 70 floors. (Fig.05)


('Fig.03' Click to enlarge.)

('Fig.04' Click to enlarge.)

('Fig.05' Click to enlarge.)

Finally I placed them on the ground. (The blue areas were filled with simple textured boxes for shadows and reflections.) (Fig.06) In the next step I filled the rooftops of the buildings with stuff like water tanks, air conditions, antennas and sat dishes, generator boxes, small gardens, smokestacks, rooftop windows and ladders. (Fig.07) After that I filled the streets with life. That wasn't really important but funny. So I built 4 simple cars, streetlamps and traffic lights, placed some standard trees and mapped some people on planes. (Fig.08)


('Fig.06' Click to enlarge.)

('Fig.07' Click to enlarge.)

('Fig.08' Click to enlarge.)

In the last step I created a simple environment (only for reflection) composed of a panoramic sky, a panoramic skyline and a ground plane with city top view texture, set a bunch of lights for illuminating the streets and a daylight system for lighting the whole scene. (Fig.09)


('Fig.09' Click to enlarge.)

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Copyright by Claudius Vesting | www.chainsaw-clausen.de