After 4 solid months of hard work, here is my 3D environment modeling reel. This is a end of year project for the BCIT Digital Animation program that I graduated from.
All assets in this reel are modeled, unwrapped and textured in Autodesk XSI Softimage. Color textures are done using a combination of photo reference and hand-painted highlights and details using Adobe Photoshop. Other applications used include Mudbox and CrazyBump. The final composition is done using Adobe After Effects.
Here is another look at the decorated arches that make the airship station wall. It is referenced off of the beautiful arches from St. Pancras Railway Station in London. I have never been there myself, it was from the initial design and research phase for this project that I stumbled upon this particular railway station and fell in love with its architecture and color. From there, I collected more than 100 pictures of the railway station, new and old, I also got my hands on some blueprints of the train shed portion of the station to help me deal with scale.
(Click to enlarge)
From the very beginning of the project I had plan on building modular walls, arches, and roof sections and package them into XSI models so that I can quickly import them and build my environment however I wanted. UVs are managed in another asset scene file that contains one instance of every asset in the environment. Updates simply mean replacing old XSI models in the master scene with newer versions. This process worked out fairly well for me through out. Combined with consistent naming, I can quickly select all the wall pieces for example and hide them to increase performance as I truck and and out of my environment when tweaking. Later in time as I begin to setup each shot per scene file, it also became easier to throw models that cannot be scene by the camera, into a non-renderable group.
These are the various other assets built to dress the environment more. Other than the clock and bulletin boards, most of the other assets exist in the mid-ground/background to build silhouettes or otherwise breakup the repeating elements of the environment. The platform floor is textured using a 5 smaller tileable ground textures mixed together using weight maps.
The concept for the airship is based on a number of concept arts from the board game, “Leviathans”. On top of the concept I added some elements like the giant turbine for propulsion and loading ports on each side of the ship where a loading ramp extends out. These elements were added for believability and I wanted a stronger center of interest for two of the shots. The turrets and smoke stack designs draw reference from real world German and British battleships. Around the ship deck I also added hatches, doors, vents, chocks, and capstans etc to add more detail to the deck.