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Elisabet Yr Atladottir p4

CG artist Elisabet Yr Atladottir talks about creating 3d digital art, which can be seen at elisabetya.com...

READERSVOICE.COM: For making the picture of the bottle in your portfolio, can you list all the steps and programs it takes to get to the final photographic-style picture?

ELISABET YR ATLADOTTIR: For the render of the bottle I used only Maya and the MentalRay renderer. Since that was a lighting and rendering exercise, the objects within the scene were not of prime importance, but I chose to make a glass bottle holding liquid to make the challenge a bit more heavy. Glass and liquid can be quite complex to get looking realistic. Building the objects was the first step, making sure the bottle had exactly the right thickness and shape is important since it’s see-through. Setting up the lights and shaders was the most time-consuming. I used photon light set-ups and those can be quite difficult to deal with if you are unfamiliar with the process, but there are a lot of tutorials online on how to make that kind of set-up.

RV: What steps were involved to get The Little Room Project as far as it is now, and what would you do after this grey picture phase?

EYA: The first step in a project like that is visualizing it in 2D. It doesn’t have to be a fancy image, it can just be a rough thumbnail with the general set-up, which you can then refine in the 3D stage. I prefer to have a quite detailed concept down on paper before I start in 3D, since that can help with efficiency. For this one I only had a thumbnail that I drew simply on a piece of paper. After that I make a very basic blocking of where the objects are within the scene, the scale of the scene and objects within it, and their general shape. This stage can take a while, depending on what you’re doing, but the more time you spend planning in this stage the faster you will be in the final modeling process. I suggest taking your time doing the blocking to make sure everything fits together and makes a decent image. After that it’s taking each object and rebuilding/refining. At this stage I’ve built everything and made the UV’s for texturing, so what I have left to do is sculpt whatever I’d want to sculpt and placing textures. In the end I’d light the scene and render.

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– copyright Simon Sandall