Lily city - Day 6: Octane scatter and color experiment

General / 03 September 2018

Hi everyone! 

Octane render has a great tool called octane scatter, in which you can scatter objects(cubes in this instance) on a surface. This way you can create buildings very quickly. With a modifier I could adjust the size, rotation and even the color off every cube, all in a very procedural way! 

I proceeded making a quick sketch with this. Lots of fun! 

Lily city - Day 5: Final render and sketches

General / 30 August 2018

Hi everyone! Spent 2 hours figuring out the final composition and made some quick sketches using different camera angles. The big upside of using 3D for illustration is that you can provide your client with a ton of sketches with just one 3D scene. The black and white sketches below took about 10-15 minutes per sketch. Because of all the detail and information the 3d render gives me I just have to focus on the composition by removing some of the elements and adding some new ones. 

This would be the final composition at this point. To repeat myself, the 3D is never the final result of the image. I have to be careful not to forget playfulness and fun, so not to stick to the render as much. 

Lily city - Day 4: Additional ships and buildings in Gravity sketch

General / 29 August 2018

Hi everyone! 

Today I didn't have a lot of time unfortunately so I spent some time creating additional ships and buildings in Gravity sketch

Using Radial symmetry I tried to come up with cool organic shapes to use as additional buildings for the scene. I have been using Gravity sketch for a couple of weeks now. It's very intuitive. I'm still practising but there is already a ton of useful stuff you can do with gravity sketch for concept art. 

Check out Jama Jurabaev and Pablo dominguez! They are absolutely killing it with this software.

After that I created some quick spaceships to populate the scene. Using symmetry you can get these results in about 10-20 minutes. 

I added some graphics in photoshop. 

After importing all the models into my scene it looks like this. 

I might throw it into photoshop soon after creating the full render. 

Thanks again for the kind feedback and comments! 

Lily city - Day 3: Texture tests and quick overpaint

General / 28 August 2018

Hey everyone! 

I spent another morning (about 2.5 hours) on my 3D scene and ended up making a quick sketch as well. 

In photoshop I made some quick textures to apply to my models in 3D. I found an oil painting of waterlilies which I found inspiring in terms of color and brushstrokes and wanted to paint a texture loosely based on that. Just to see what that would look like on my 3D models

The black and white texture below is an alpha channel, when applied to a surface the black values don't show and the white values do show information. Combined with the texture below that it made for some interesting results.

After quickly painting these I applied them to the scene resulting in this weird mess of color! I actually kinda liked it so decided to stick with this rather friendly color scheme.

The colors made me all fuzzy inside so I had to create a quick sketch (+/- 1 hour) in photoshop painting over this low resolution render. To get a feeling of what the final illustration could look like. As well as to define a composition.

I often use the "dust and scratches" filter in photoshop found under the noise tab, to check the values in the painting. If the image still reads with that filter applied it means that the composition works. (or at least kind off works) 

We can still see what is going on for the most part. The way up to the city is clear and the shapes read reasonably well. I think I will stick with this composition for the final image. At this point I am wondering whether I should continue in 3D more or just finish the image in photoshop after some additional sketching! 

I'd love to hear your thoughts about this shot! 

Thanks for reading <3

Lily city - Day 2: Back into VR - composition and mood

General / 27 August 2018

Hi everyone! 

I'm back for my second blog post. So to recap the idea was to make a city based on the Lily. It will be an innocent environment focused on agriculture and residence. There is this faction of moth people trying to introduce a capitalistic lifestyle to the happy and innocent lily people, slowly corrupting the friendly city. 

So back into the working on the image! 

Importing the scene back into VR

After the initial renders I made in the last post I imported the scene into Gravity sketch to create some curved structures to add to the scene. These structures, together with the existing lily architecture are used to create a visual pathway through the scene, and lead the eye towards the focal point

After that I went into Oculus medium to generate some quick vegetation to test out with the scene. I imported the little islands and the road and populated them with quick lily plants.

The way I tried to do this is by first sculpting a lily and using it as a stamp to copy it around the scene. By doing this you can get quick results like using a custom brush in photoshop. 

Back into the scene, now with added plants and gravity sketch objects I tried to come up with a lighting pattern to create some kind of rythm in the scene.

The scene is starting to become more and more populated. Keep in mind though that this is very far from the final image. In my typical day to day workflow I model quick scenes to turn into a final illustration in photoshop. My goal is to try and incorporate VR techniques into my workflow and to spend a bit more time and thought on my images. 


So while working on the city in Cinema 4D and VR I'm also trying to think about a composition for this image, keeping in mind rythm and scale. Usually when I work on a scene I make these horrible scribbles to suggest elements or figure out a composition.

I make an abstract value sketch to see if I can make a visual path through the image

And I often make quick black and white sketches to figure out where to add and where to remove detail! 


At this point I think I want to go for some kind of dark mood, with streaks of light adding hope and positiveness to the scene. Perhaps a sky like this? With dark clouds weighing the city down. I'd love to try something with almost a golden color. Combined with the greens from the vegetation and perhaps purple lights to make the city feel alive. But this will all be trial and error once I take this into photoshop. 

  Thanks again for checking out my rather brainfarty blog! Let me know if you have any questions! 


Lily city - Day 1: Vr sketches and ideas in C4D

General / 23 August 2018

So to start of right of the bat my first idea or location that I will try to design is a city based on waterlilies. 

Waterlilies symbolize a new start, hope and fertility. Inspired by the amazing art direction of Zootopia and the science fiction artworks of John Harris and John Berkey I got to work. 

The idea was to design a bunch of buildings in Gravity sketch in VR and come up with a small story. In movies this always works great. Movies with a very small universe like Snowpiercer, the new judge dredd or the new Mad Max movies all feature that. There is a location, there are people. There is a problem and how does the hero deal with that problem. 

Sometimes it's hard to tell stories with environments and it has been something I have been struggling with for some time.

So the story is that the ydillic people in Lily city live their peacefull lives, but there is a culture of moth-like people that introduce the concept of money into the city. Slowly corrupting the inhabitants of the city with their banks and empty promises. 

As a test I started out designing the Moth ship in Gravity sketch

I love the strong graphic elements that are used in Bungies Destiny and wanted to take a closer look at that with this ship, while still retaining the organic shapes. The round objects on the moth ship symbolize fungus or parasites. Because the moth people bring corruption to the peaceful lily people, slowly eating away at their society with their claims of capitalism.

The speed of Gravity sketch is insane. I was able to model this thing in under 40 minutes, while this would take much much longer in traditional modeling software. 

So I have this little ship. Next step was to model some buildings in gravity sketch and arrange them in cinema 4D to try and get interesting structures. 

So I modeled one piece in gravity sketch and reused that to create the initial lily shape. After which I tried some compositions. Of course at this point everything is very symmetrical but I will try to make things look more irregular later. 


Next step for me now is to bring this city arrangement back into gravity to reinforce the theme with some more organic buildings and shapes. Trying to focus on a good composition and a graphic read as well as some initial lighting ideas. 

So at this moment I am about 4 hours in and the plan is to make a small blog update every day. I really hope this is somehow informative and if you have any questions feel free to send me a pm! 

Weekly projects

General / 23 August 2018

Hi everyone! Hope you're all doing great. 

I decided to start a blog on some personal work. In the last couple of months I have been very lucky of having a lot of clients. The only downside of that is that you start missing out on personal work, while personal work was the thing that got me interested in the industry! So I decided to pick it up and to try and share the process. 

After an inspirational event in London called industry workshops I have been inspired to pick up small projects again. So I will try to commit to one project every week. 

The second interesting thing is that I bought an oculus rift a couple of weeks ago. The possibilities are literally endless. You might know that I have been using cinema4D ever since I started out. But since I wanted to use it in a quick way for concepting I was limited to mostly hard surface architecture stuff(which I love of course). I wasn't able to model characters or vehicles or organic things in general. But ever since I bought the rift I've been overwhelmed with the new possibilities. 

So in these weekly projects I will be using Oculus medium, Gravity sketch, Cinema4D, Octane render and photoshop to try and come up with nice ideas. Can't wait to start!