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Creating a blockout for a jungle scene.

This time around I have decided to take a plunge into a 3d workflow to improve my perspective drawing skills. For a quick exercise I have decided to use Blender to create a simple 3d scene by only extruding a set of blocks to create a variety of shapes that can later be refined to create a final-looking scene. Since this is a learning process for me, I will still need to learn how to use materials and textures, and finally how to polish the final images I produce from the 3d renderings in photoshop by adding photo textures accordingly. It is probably best to get used to Blender’s interface, how to navigate comfortably, and be able to switch for example between edit mode and object mode, which are modes that form a basic part of the 3d workflow.

Simply put, and for future reference, object mode allows the user to select entire objects in the scene to rearrange, and switching to edit mode allows editing of aspects about that object. The shortcut for this is pressing tab, at least for Mac users but I believe it is the same for both Windows and Mac. This shortcut is likely going to be very useful going forward, and it is probably a good idea to keep it fresh in mind.

The image below is only a process image, with many elements that are still missing in the composition, but will be added soon enough. I am intending on taking a shot of the scene that is not completely taken straight so both sides look very similar. One of the great advantages of using 3d for using scenes is the ability to take different shots of the scene and be able to finally decide with is the one to keep and develop further.

I am sort of torn at the moment because this incorporation of a 3d workflow is going to change my perception of the craft, being very used to only using 2d painting tools like photoshop. As I move forward, I am likely going to want to learn how to use the material nodes function in blender and how to fine-tune other aspects like the use of lighting to create different moods. I have been exploring very lightly the different lights that blender offers, like the simple point light and the sun light variations, without playing too much with the possibilities yet.

For the next post I am likely to going to show my “final blockout” before I move into making a paint-over in photoshop simply by using brushes, probably just a few. I am also probably going to keep the idea of having water overflowing the scene, creating a strong impression that the scene has been abandoned for thousands of years, only to be found by at most a handful of explorers coming into contact with this place after being seemingly lost in space and time. I will still need to think about creating a sense of scale for the scene by precisely adding the little characters into it, or other recognizable objects for the viewer. I have found that this element of scale is very important to be able to sell the idea of an engaging fictional environment.

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