Art Spotlight: Power Plant

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Hello everyone!
My name is Igor I’m 27 years old, and I’m living in the capital of Ukraine – Kiev city. I work in a post-production studio, where my main tasks are modeling, sculpting and texturing. I used to be engaged as a sound engineer and motion graphics artist, but in the end I found myself in 3D.

I don’t have an art education and I’m learning everything by myself so I’m completely self-taught. The video game industry is very interesting for me, so when I get free time from working projects I try to spend it on searching for ideas and solutions, experimenting, and creating and implementing personal projects that I place on Sketchfab.

About ideas

After I had completed one of my personal projects I just wanted do some painting stuff, but of course it’s much more interesting to do that in 3D 🙂 I started looking for ideas to experiment with. I came across the concepts of the buildings of the author Nicholas Lim, and I found them really cool. Most of all I liked the power station with its gloomy and urban look; I like the detailing and shapes of the whole concept.

The idea was to get a dirty drawing with brush stroke variability, maybe looking a bit like a watercolor (I hope you can see that if you zoom camera closer) and get some lines at the junctions of color tones. I wanted to make accents of sharp and technoid forms, but at the same time everything should be in an artistic style. I made outline strokes on all elements (contours) so that the shapes were better read and had more contrast.

About technical tips

The first step was to model all geometry and make clear UVs, which I did in Maya. I tried to cut off as much intersecting (invisible) geometry as I could to save more space for UV shells and increase texture resolution in the future. I wanted to have everything in only one 4K texture map. Inner spaces I used as “Easter eggs” and copyright signatures 🙂

Before texturing I needed to bake a Light Map which I would use as a guide for light/shadow areas. So I made a light setup in my scene and used Maya’s hypershade technique, shown below.
Also I planned to use Substance Painter to add Light_Map in `Soft Light Mode’ on top of all the painting layers to make everything look more interesting.

When all the meshes and UV’s were done and the Light_Map baked I approached the most interesting part, BUT! First I needed to do one more important thing! I had complex shapes and it would be difficult to work with them as one object. That’s why I divided the whole model into 4 groups with 4 different shaders, which I used for more comfortable painting, so nothing could close a view and all areas would be visible. I used that because I don’t like to transpose parts in 3D space and I like when I can turn on/off each of them and see how they will look in the real scene. In the end I merged all of them in Photoshop.

I used the “PBR_alpha_blending” shader in Substance Painter to see double sided normals, because with standard “PBR_metal_rough” I will not see flipped normals and that will can disturb me in work process.

I always try to use a palette in texturing, using 2-3 main colors for each part and adding some tiny color variations in process. Then I add areas of light and shadow (Light_Map helped, when needed, with light directions).

I made shots off all layers of this project in Substance Painter, and if you want, you can see closer how it all works.

I like to import all files and textures to Sketchfab manually. I think this forces you to be more attentive to what you work with, be sure that nothing important is lost and nothing useless will stay in the files. The same with textures – manually putting all maps to needed channels and setting values on the fly. A great feature is Sketchfab post processing effects! In most cases I use SSAO, a little bit of Grain, a little bit of Sharpness and of course Bloom – that’s how the magic happens 😉 But also you need to be careful with that, if you put more effects than needed that can ruin all your efforts and the scene will look cheap!

I appreciate the opportunity to show my projects, I like that someone can see my vision in 3D just by clicking on a Sketchfab link, without any special software and difficulties! With all this Sketchfab gives you a huge amount of abilities and control to make yours scenes looks awesome! You can find here a lot of masterpieces of strong artists, a lot of really cool ideas, and of course a lot of fun 🙂

Hope you read up to this point and it was interesting, hope you learn something new and handy.

With best regards, yours Igotron !

Skype: Igotron 3D

About the author

Igor

Self-taught 3D Artist


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  • Roman says:

    Greate job, I think you have a big talent in this stuff, so get your balls, and make rock and roll in this bussines!

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