Work began in February of 2010 when Tangram received the first concept drawings from renowned Boston designer E. Kevin Schopfer. Each building was modelled individually and reviewed by the designers, then collapsed into a VRayProxy file that could be instanced throughout the city.
To handle a project of this scale, the team developed an intricate system of iterative working files and XREFs to make the project easily divisible. Since the studio was footing the bill for its work on the project, the team had to manage its time while keeping the rest of the studio’s production moving.
Before the modelling was completed, Tangram’s visualization artists were already working to develop the materials and textures that would be needed to render Harvest City.
“We created a render stage populated by teapots, each with a different material assigned to it,” says Tangram president Stefan Vittori. “This allowed mapping and material properties to be adjusted separately, without interfering with the modelling team’s ongoing efforts.”
Once a material was created, the modellers linked to the teapots with 3ds Max’s XREF Material and applied them to the finished geometry.
The adjacent island of Haiti was assembled using USGS Digital Elevation Models of the island of Haiti that were mapped with aerial and satellite photography. The island is blended into the sky using 3D fog to simulate the hot, thick air found along lower latitudes.
To complete the final rendered look, the team manipulated the VRaySun and Sky system to give the images a bleached tropical appearance.