My next project was to learn Unity, a game engine used for developing video games. The plan was to create a simple 3D scene in Maya, and then re-create it in Unity. Soon after I started the process of learning Unity, I realized I needed to devote more time to it, so I decided to just finish the scene and then do something different for the Unity level.
The scene I created was inspired by a watercolor painting of the Easter Island statues I did for an art project in high school. The statues appear as they were hundreds of years ago - timeless and mysterious. I thought it would be a cool subject to paint. Several years later, I recreated the painting and introduced it into the digital realm around 1988.
The image was created in a paint program called DPaint for the Amiga computer. I digitized the watercolor painting with a video camera and some software. Once the painting was video captured as a still-frame, I saved it and opened it in DPaint. I isolated the video image of the main foreground statue and ended up with an image “brush”. I could now stamp the statue on a hillside and vary the scale. The hillside image was generated with a 3D scene generator program that was popular at the time. So after I stamped the statues on the hill, I painted some grass blades and used them in a clump “brush” to paint the grass on the barren hillside. It was all painted with a mouse!
Shift to the present. Third time’s a charm! I wanted to do a 3D version of the scene. I modeled the statue in Maya, detailed it and painted it in ZBrush.
In my online search for image references, I came across an image from the movie Ice Age. It was a nice composition and I liked the subtle exaggeration in the style of the statues. I created my scene and used the reference as a starting point. I ended up creating the scene for rendering in Lightwave since I was familiar with the instancing tool used for the grass. Of course, I had to include my little blue alien!
For the clouds, I wanted to try out some new custom Photoshop brushes I bought from Aaron Blaise, a talented artist/animator who has worked for Disney and he’s also a great and inspiring teacher. http://aaronblaiseart.blogspot.com.
Back to Unity!