Tutorial from 3D World reader: Andrew Averkin’s robot sentry
Arch-viz pro Andrew Averkin reveals how he created this photorealistic robot
Artist Andrew Averkin
Title Industrial Rust
Software 3ds Max, V-Ray, ZBrush, Photoshop, PixPlant, After Effects
“I was born in Ukraine in the beautiful city of Odessa. I’m 26 and now work in Odessa’s arch-viz industry. I became interested in CG when I was a boy, but didn’t start to work professionally in this sphere until seven years ago. I fell in love with CG because I found it was a way to turn my ideas and dreams into reality. My goal for the future is to work in a big production studio.
“In this project, I really enjoyed the modelling and texturing processes of the small details for the robot, as well as for the environment. My main goal was to achieve a photorealistic, film-like image.”
Stage 1: Model the robot
01 Gather references
Since I was going to make a robot, I needed references of the various mechanical details, as well as of abandoned factories for my environment. I did a lot of research online, but above all I relied on my imagination.
02 Create the robot
Modelling the robot was one of the most painstaking parts of the image. The principle of its creation was connecting many different mechanical parts into one main form. For this, I made a small collection of different mechanical pieces. After modelling the small pieces, I collected them into one big bipedal robot. While I was working, the concept of the robot changed several times.
03 Model the environment
The minimal environment keeps the focus on the robot
The environment is very simple: it’s a corridor with windows and a small platform with stairs at one end.
04 Model the details
All the objects in the scene were made using 3ds Max’s Edit Poly modifier, which is quite flexible and easy to use. Practically all of the objects in the environment were made using hard-surface techniques. I usually start work with simple primitive shapes such as cubes, cylinders and spheres, and then modify them using Edit Poly, TurboSmooth and other different modifiers. I created a collection of details such as screws, bolts and pipes. The background stairs were done in ZBrush.
05 Procedural modelling
Andrew created these stones using TurboSmooth, Noise and Displace modifiers
For the stones, I started by creating basic forms, then applied various modifiers – TurboSmooth, Noise and Displace – to them. I also used noise and cellular procedural maps for Displace.
Stage 2: Texture the model
06 UVW mapping
PixPlant was used extensively on the environmental details
Most of the objects in the scene have simple texturing, using the UVW Map modifier, with box, cylindrical, planar and sphere mapping. For objects such as the stone steps and the concrete on the floor, I used the Unwrap UVW modifier. I used PixPlant to create normal maps for the pipes, fuse boxes, metal, rust and many other materials.
07 Create the materials
Custom models were used to preview the materials
Almost all the materials in the scene have diffuse, specular, bump and normal bump maps. I created several types of materials, such as old paint, concrete and rust, and assigned them to the appropriate models. For the robot, I created several types of paint and rust with VRayDirt, which delivers excellent results in no time at all.
Stage 3: Lighting, rendering and post-production
08 Set up the lighting
A single VRaySun light source keeps the scene natural-looking
This scene has only one light source, using VRaySun in combination with VRaySky as a standard. I used a gamma value of 2.2 to make the picture brighter and more natural.
09 Render the scene
The rendering was done in V-Ray, which is fast and easy to use, and gives you lots of power to achieve good results. The rendering settings were quite standard, and it was really easy to render because of the simple lighting in the scene. The final resolution of the picture is 5,000×2,146 pixels.
10 Post-production in After Effects
The best part of this project was the post-production, which I did in After Effects from start to finish. This software makes it easy to work with layers, to apply special effects and edit them, work with sequences, and much more.
To make details on the robot and environmental elements in the image look wet and reflective, I used a VrayReflection pass, and a z-depth pass for the depth-of-field effect. I used the Magic Bullet Looks plug-in for colour correction, the Frischluft Lenscare plug-in for depth of field, and Optical Flares for lens flare.
If you liked this tutorial, you may also like to see another online tute complete with videos: Create a robot and rig tank tracks in Maya
Discover 2012′s best 3D movies over at our sister site, Creative Bloq.
on Tuesday, October 16th, 2012 at 4:04 pm under Artwork, Features, Showcase.
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Tags: 3ds Max, After Effects, Photoshop, V-Ray, ZBrush