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Fantasy Graveyard Mini Scene

polycounter lvl 7
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Jenn0_Bing polycounter lvl 7
This has been a 3 week project for me so far. The reason I started this project was to tackle a few “firsts” as far as my art pipeline and abilities are concerned. Up to this point I had never touched (in any real depth,) a 3D sculpting app, hand-painted stylised textures or done any work with a “fantasy” theme. So with those conditions in place I weighed up some options and eventually settled on creating an environment based upon a Victorian Graveyard. I was at first inspired by Games Workshops relatively recent Gardens of Morr scenery set, but my path has slowly diverged from this initial artistic spark.

At the moment I've assembled the pieces I have completed so far into something of a "Mini Scene," the idea of which is to test the direction I am heading in. This will also serve as a temporary demonstration of these new found abilities on my Portfolio while I work on creating a larger hopefully more impressive environment in the same style. I chose to also have my first experiment with the Marmoset Toolbag to present this piece, which I have decided is a fantastic bit of kit.

So enough blabber, here’s some artwork! First up is a turntable render straight from Marmoset, be sure to watch in HD:

[ame=" Graveyard Mini Scene Turntable - YouTube[/ame]

And here are the stills from the video in better-than-YouTube quality (clicky).
Fantasy_Graveyard_Mini_Scene_Overview-600x375.jpg
Fantasy_Graveyard_Mini_Scene_Zoom1-600x375.jpg
Fantasy_Graveyard_Mini_Scene_Zoom2-600x375.jpg

Let me know what you think. Like I say, I plan for this to go in my portfolio so I'd like it to make as good an impression as is possible.

There are some WIP posts up on my (rather new) blog here: http://www.oggyart.com/blog and if anyone wants to know anything specific I’ll try my best to answer you. Thanks for your time.

Replies

  • m4dcow
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    m4dcow interpolator
    Looks cool, but it seems too perfect right now.

    How about varying the heights of the spikes slightly, break a few off, add some bends to the bars etc... It doesn't have to be ridiculous, but it would add character.

    You could also make the placement of those white flowers more natural, by bunching a few around the tombstone, near the fence, or the wagon wheel.

    Also there is a dug grave and a shovel but no dirt outside of the hole to cover it back up... but thats just a bit nitpicky.
  • Jenn0_Bing
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    Jenn0_Bing polycounter lvl 7
    Thanks for the comments, they're much appreciated.

    I'll certainly make your suggested adjustments to the fence, kind of forgot that step during the assembly of all the pieces. Not sure about the flowers, at the moment I am using them to fill empty space on the grass. I may make some slightly larger flowers and use them like you suggested. As for the dirt, I did give that some serious consideration. But in the end I felt it would end up a bit too crowded if I tried to fit it in alongside everything else. I think I may hint at it towards the edge of the base though.

    I've received other comments about the empty space behind the fence so I am currently working on some bits and pieces to make the rear of the turntable that bit more interesting. Going for a forest feeling outside the graveyards confines.
  • Fnitrox
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    Fnitrox polycounter lvl 6
    it looks really well done to me but there's 2 things that bothers me...

    1) i love the wheel... the way it's painted really feels like miniature paining in table games...but why there's a wheel in a graveyard? it doesn't makes much sense to me...

    2) i'd switch the 2 tombstones as having the clean one on the dug grave and the one with the RIP on the "filled" grave... it makes more sense to me... or maybe i could have used more immagination and it's just that the body in the dug grave has been taken out... D:
  • Jenn0_Bing
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    Jenn0_Bing polycounter lvl 7
    1) It was going to be a complete cart for moving coffins about, but I decided to take a break from it after I completed a wheel. Plus fitting a cart into such a small space would be tricky.
    2) I kind of like it the way it is for the reason you mentioned, throws a bit of doubt on the wholesomeness of what could be going on in the scene.

    Here's what I've been working on for the improvements. Just finished a few bits of dead wood to incorporate into the foresty space I have planned for behind the railing. Gonna feature the mushrooms, bracken and the likes when I'm done with it.
    graveyard_tree_stumps_log_lowpoly.jpg
  • Jenn0_Bing
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    Jenn0_Bing polycounter lvl 7
    So here is a big update! I spent the last week working like mad on all the new foliage pieces I’ve added. The largest part of the work is behind the railings, but I have also done a lot to the front area too. Nearly every asset has got another pass of love. Most of this work was done to bring a greater sense of unity to my colour pallet. Gonna call this done, as now I feel I need to move on to another project for a bit. That is unless anyone has any more awesome advice, otherwise I'll sort this into my portfolio soon.

    [ame=" Graveyard Mini Scene Turntable. Improved! - YouTube[/ame]

    As before, some high-res shots (clicky).
    Fantasy_Graveyard_Mini_Scene_v2_FrontOverview-600x375.jpg
    Fantasy_Graveyard_Mini_Scene_v2_RearOverview-600x375.jpg
    Fantasy_Graveyard_Mini_Scene_v2_ZoomFront1-600x375.jpg
    Fantasy_Graveyard_Mini_Scene_v2_ZoomFront2-600x375.jpg
    Fantasy_Graveyard_Mini_Scene_v2_ZoomRear1-600x375.jpg
    Fantasy_Graveyard_Mini_Scene_v2_ZoomRear2-600x375.jpg
  • Jessica Dinh
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    Jessica Dinh polycounter lvl 8
    This looks great, I especially love all the foliage - you have a nice clutter of it :) Any chance you could post your flats?
  • teaandcigarettes
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    teaandcigarettes polycounter lvl 10
    That is simply awesome :)

    If I HAD to complain though, I would say that the rendering is a little bit odd; textures and models are very stylized but lighting and shadows have a rather realistic feel. I'm not too sure either about the Depth of Field (assuming that's what I'm seeing here); it just feels a little out of place.
  • Jimmg
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    Jimmg polycounter lvl 5
    Aha, I think the rendering is fine compliments the style perfectly imo.
  • jmt
    Out of all of the props in this scene, I like all of the stuff behind the fence the most. The leaves on the ground are nice too. The problem that I see is that all of that stuff is behind the fence - obscured from the main view angle. The section in front of the fence seems barren with randomly places objects compared to it. Maybe if the ferns etc. were on the inside of the fence?
  • Jessica Dinh
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    Jessica Dinh polycounter lvl 8
    I definitely second jmt
  • Santhem
    Jmt is right. Your backside looks best, your frontside lacks story, and clarity.
    With a graveyard scene, it should probably be immediatly visible whats going on.

    I really had to look twice before identifying the open-grave as an open-grave and the 2nd stone as a gravestone. The lamp is in a quite odd position (i wouldnt put it there, i would probably hang it on one of the spikes of the fence, might also give some nice lighting to your back-side scene).

    Maybe add a heap of sand next to the open grave, that might make it clearer that someone's digging a grave. Also, i think you can add some more scale into the scene with smaller letters on the grave. right now its all quite big. Some more text in smaller letters might keep your eyes on the details.
  • Tokoya
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    Tokoya polycounter lvl 7
    Really really dig this style! I agree with the others though, the foliage is beautiful and kind of wasted behind the scene, you should move some of it to the foreground, especially those neat mushrooms
  • Jenn0_Bing
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    Jenn0_Bing polycounter lvl 7
    Thanks for the comments everyone. I'm really glad you like the foliage, it's the first time I've ever attempted modelling proper plants, ever, even surprised myself with the outcome. As such, I agree it seems a shame to hide them away behind the railings so much, I'm going to do some work on the front today and with any luck may have an update this evening, chances are it will have to wait until tomorrow though.

    Here's my diffuse textures as they are so far Jessica.
    fantasygraveyard_textures_collected.jpg
  • Jessica Dinh
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    Jessica Dinh polycounter lvl 8
    wow, thanks for sharing [: these are lovely! esp. the grass and fallen leaves <3
  • Jenn0_Bing
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    Jenn0_Bing polycounter lvl 7
    So "tomorrow" didn't really happen, let alone "this evening" funny how life gets in the way like that.

    I've addressed more of the points people gave me. Things like the back of the scene out-doing the front, and I gave those nasty seams around the grass some extra attention. That random wheel also makes sense now, in the cart it was always destined to be a part of! I hope this also helps the narrative a bit.

    fantasy_graveyard_scene_updatedfront.jpg

    I tried moving the lantern around, but didn't like it anywhere else I put it. I couldn't get the light to cast from it as convincingly as it does on the ground.
  • Torch
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    Torch interpolator
    I don't know if others will agree - I really like the scene but I kinda feel the background dark blue isn't really working....maybe just a clash of colors, but the scene itself looks great!
  • BlvdNights
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    BlvdNights polycounter lvl 8
    Loving those textures but the tombstone texture looks a bit gummy. Also, it might be fun to play with more of a design on it as well instead of a oversized RIP on it. Looking good tho. You might want to also change the background, or ambient lighting to make that lantern pop a bit more.
  • KoKos
  • jmt
    This is looking much better than before. Maybe you should soften the shadows on the lantern. They're looking very sharp. The dark areas in the wood grain of the wagon look too dark. It almost looks like bark.
  • Dimfist
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    Dimfist polycounter lvl 8
    I don't know if anyone else has said it, but the hole perspective is making me bonkers. It almost seems flat to me. Maybe too much light is hitting that facing wall? Not sure but other then that it looks really nice.
  • Jessica Dinh
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    Jessica Dinh polycounter lvl 8
    Wow! Great improvements! Front area is looking much better now :)
  • monster
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    monster Polycount Sponsor
    I think these look great!

    There's a few things that I think are out of place though...

    1. The pretty white flowers take away from the creepy dug up grave scene.
    2. The woods and metal on different objects are a little too different from each other.
    3. The lantern looks very small. The handle on the shovel is similar but is twice as large.
    4. The texture of the hole is very low res. Maybe you can tile it more.

    Overall though, I couldn't do better myself!
  • Jenn0_Bing
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    Jenn0_Bing polycounter lvl 7
    This must be the shortest time between updates ever! Been toying with lighting and trying to get some more atmosphere into the scene.

    fantasy_graveyard_scene_frontlighting_wip1.jpg

    Thanks everyone for all your comments :).


    @BlvdNights:
    Thanks, I plan on fixing the texture when I do the next polish pass.

    @Monster:
    1) Call me crazy but that's kind of what I was going for. I've envisioned this as a piece set in the Victorian era. They loved their Cemeteries and saw them as places to relax. I'm kind of angling for a similar romanticised appearance in this piece.
    2) There's 3 different types of wood so far, for the coffin, the cart, lantern and shovel and finally the tree-stumps. I've used the same colours and shading techniques in every repeated instance of the wood and metal to get them as similar as possible. I'll go over and see if there's anything I can do to tie them closer.
    3) Will try to scale up the handle as much as I can, texture resolution permitting. Maybe tweaking the shovel down will also help the balance.
    4) I'll also sort this out for the next update. I didn't feel like going through fixing the mesh and re-applying all my materials for this update to the lighting.
  • Gannon
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    Gannon greentooth
    looking great! My only crit and I'm not sure if this was mentioned and you may have changed it already but when you do a turntable; Make sure your dominant light source rotates with your scene, it was really distracting watching your shadows rotate around as the model turned.
  • Jenn0_Bing
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    Jenn0_Bing polycounter lvl 7
    So I'm going to call this final. Thanks everyone for the input and feedback, it's crazy how much better this looks when I compare it to my first post. I've learnt a lot just working on this small scene, which in the end was what I hoped to do. Now I plan to apply all these new-found skills and insights to a larger project which I will be starting in the near future.

    I went back to the sunset lighting because apart from that one shot shown with the night-time lighting, everything else ended up very dark and flat. I didn't want to have that one shot with different lighting mixed in with the rest on my portfolio, so I felt it best to stick to the one sunset theme. I did however improve upon the backdrop, and worked on the lighting so it still has the increased contrast.

    [ame=" Graveyard Scene Turntable Final - YouTube[/ame]

    fantasy_graveyard_scene_zoomfront1.jpg
    fantasy_graveyard_scene_zoomfront2.jpg
    fantasy_graveyard_scene_rearoverview.jpg

    I am going to work on a couple of brief tutorials / workflow write-up style things soon, with the aim of sharing some of what I have learnt whilst working on this project. I'll post them up when they're done.
  • imijatov
    Great work on this! Really digging the hand-painted textures and stylized geometry. Making the fence bars uneven really added character. Keeping your main light source static helped, too.
  • floon
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    floon greentooth
    love your textures, especialy the tree stump.
  • Tokoya
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    Tokoya polycounter lvl 7
    Great great work Jenn0! Which program did you use for sculpting? I'd like to learn a bit about your workflow

    Edit: nevermind! Just saw wh
    at you said about the writeups :p
  • Jenn0_Bing
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    Jenn0_Bing polycounter lvl 7
    Thanks guys. Here's a quick summary I wrote up, It's very brief but it outlines most of what I did. Hopefully it will tide you over while I sort out one that goes into a bit more detail.

    Every solid asset was baked from a high-poly model, with most of them using sculpts from Mudbox. The foliage was a mix of purely hand painted bits, and parts baked from max using Object Paint to arrange separate hand painted foliage pieces to create texture planes. I also used object paint for the grass and leaf textures. Like I say I hope to go into more detail with an article of sorts. I haven't done anything ground-breakingly-awesome, but at the same time I had a hard time finding similar explanations from other artist and I'd like to give something back for all the help I've got on this.

    And just for interest here's the final textures:
    fantasy_graveyard_scene_textures.jpg[/quote]
  • Jeff Parrott
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    Jeff Parrott polycounter lvl 16
    Compliment sammich:

    I gotta say I wasn't feeling what you were doing with this till now. It came together really nicely. Tons of style in everything.

    That said you need to retexture or rework the cart thing. The texture is killing everything around it. The wood texture is busy and doesn't make a ton of sense.

    But all in all it's a great mini scene. Really motivates me to do some smaller pieces like this instead of giant areas.
  • Jenn0_Bing
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    Jenn0_Bing polycounter lvl 7
    Thanks Jeffro, I agree on the wood to an extent. I think it may have ended up with too much contrast, it's something I could go back and change, but I don't want to keep tweaking this forever :). Also I'd say go for doing some small scenes, I found my motivation was much easier to maintain, and it's a lot of fun being able to belt something out where you can afford to really get down to the small details.

    Here's the first of the articles I have planned. Boy did I underestimate the amount of work these things take to assemble well, makes me respect everyone else who goes through the trouble with their work even more. I started with the grass because it has received some attention, and the majority of search engine hits on my blog are from people looking for painted textures. I'm going to do all the talking first as it's a bit on the epic-big end of the length scale.

    So, in short this is exactly how I handled the grass in the scene. With a few refinements that I was able to make going over the process again with the gift of hindsight. In all truth, I'm not sure the crazy camera set-up is completely needed, and I would love to hear from anyone here who may know a quicker, simpler alternative. That being said, once it's set up once you can basically just import that se-tup into any scene you may want to render in a similar fashion. I tweaked this method to also produce the leafy texture used at the back in the forest area. Next I'll probably tackle the foliage in another similar tutorial, and after that a more general walk-through. If anyone want's to know something specific now's the time to say.

    There's a sharper HTML version on my portfolio for anyone who can't stand JPEG artefacts

    Epic-Picture-Time:
    hand_painted_grass_tutorial-1.jpg

    And if your scroll wheel has gotten you this far, here's the diffuse textures for the examples
    examplegrass_diffuse.jpg
  • KyleJensen
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    KyleJensen polycounter lvl 9
    Ooh! Nice tutorial! Thanks for sharing. :D
  • Jessica Dinh
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    Jessica Dinh polycounter lvl 8
    Amazing tutorial . . . thank you!!!!!
  • Justin Meisse
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    Justin Meisse polycounter lvl 16
    dang, how come I never thought of that! Going to use that the next time I have to do grass.
  • Daven
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    Daven greentooth
    holy derp... saved in tuts folder.
  • martinszeme
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    martinszeme polycounter lvl 8
    Thank you so much! Will be definitely using it soon!
  • Jeff Parrott
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    Jeff Parrott polycounter lvl 16
    Smart thinking. Really nice use of technology with this style. Most people try to strip away the tech.
  • Shade117 pro
    Handy tutorial, :D. I'm really loving this project.
  • hottrod_x
    Wow! Really nice work. I love these small scenes like this. To see what artist come up with a small amount of props. Everything looks very well placed and the textures are very nice. The only thing I wish I could see more of is the coffin and its details. IMO I think it would make the scene more creepy but overall looks fantastic. Maybe you could load this into an Engine (EX: Unreal) for rendering and add a flickering candle light into the lantern for light and a few bugs buzzing around it with some particles. That would really push it. Great job!
  • cupsster
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    cupsster polycounter lvl 9
    thank you for sharing.. saved.
  • Sirdelita
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    Sirdelita polycounter lvl 10
    Wow you took these crits really well, really great work!
  • Jenn0_Bing
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    Jenn0_Bing polycounter lvl 7
    Glad you guys liked the tutorial, I'd be interested in seeing what anyone comes up with using it. I must get to work on the others soon.
  • nfrrtycmplx
    wow. A-

    I would give you an A+ but you went right past A+ a few times and wrapped all the way around to A-... Cause this was at level 4 awesome A+ then you added the tutorial and made it level 10 A-... the level system only went to 5... so I'm not sure how you got to 10... but you did it sir or madam... you did it. congratulations, we're all very proud of you.
  • Jenn0_Bing
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    Jenn0_Bing polycounter lvl 7
    Thanks nfrrtycmplx, glad you like it.

    Finally back with the rose tutorial like I planned. Had a really busy week, and on-top of that, Skyrim! But I've managed to find some free time amongst all the chaos and dragon slaying to put it together.

    I picked the rose over all the other foliage as this is much more complex, it's also the next most viewed/searched item on my blog after the textures. I realise it's not quite as unique as the grass texture was perhaps, but hopefully some of you may find it of use.

    As with the last, here is a link for those who want to forgo the jpeg artefacts.

    And here is another epic-long picture.
    climbing_rose_tutorial.jpg
  • CandyStripes05
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    CandyStripes05 polycounter lvl 9
    props for the tuts man, good looking portfolio piece !
  • Jessica Dinh
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    Jessica Dinh polycounter lvl 8
    Tutorial - saved!! Very awesome of you to share your process! :D
  • GabrielP
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    GabrielP polycounter lvl 7
    Alright, I know this thread is starting to age, but I just made an account and needed to mention how helpful and inspiring this thread has been, thank you.
  • A.Kincade
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    A.Kincade polycounter lvl 9
    Wow! This all looks amazing. Very informative on your techniques. Thanks. Your a legend.
  • Eric Chadwick
    A bit late to the party, but added your tutorials to the wiki. Thank you for these!
    http://wiki.polycount.com/CategoryEnvironmentFoliage
    http://wiki.polycount.com/GrassTechnique
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