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The Old Workshop #Tutorial

Time for a tutorial! And, we've got a special little treat for you today… our Senior Character Modeler, Darko Mitev, takes us through a breakdown of 'The Old Workshop', a piece he recently created for one of his courses!

Darko: This piece came together as a result of the 5-week course that I taught for Animation Skillnet Ireland titled 'Texturing and Look Development for Production'. Beforehand I spent a few days modelling the various tools and props for the scene.

References and Modelling

The modelling was a very straight forward process I collected a lot of references of real-life props and started to model them one by one.

reference board

I used basic Cube and Edge extrusion methods to model.

For more info and demonstration on how the models were made, you can take a look at the timelapse videos I have on my YouTube channel:

Texturing and Shading

The texturing of this scene was done entirely in Substance Painter. The goal was to push Substance Painter as a production tool, and deliver very realistic and more importantly, cinematic results.

Substance Painter

One thing I used heavily in the texturing process was real-world photographs in combination with the substance procedural methods. Good resources for textures are POLIIGON,, Quixel Megascans, and Friendly Shade.

The process for texturing the tools was the following:

-  Bake maps in Substance Painter for procedural workflow

-  Find a good base texture that I can use as a starting point

-  Start layering effects using the fill layers and the grunge maps to get different effects like edge scratches, dirt etc.

-  Add additional layers to break up the reflection and roughness

-  Add overall dust effect on top of everything

Lighting and Rendering

The lighting of this scene was not complicated at all. I started to light the scene using one dome light and an HDRI texture that I got from HDRI Haven.

After that, I added one spotlight to serve as my Key Light to represent the sun coming in through a window. To simulate the leaves of a tree outside the window, I created a light gobo that I plugged into the spotlight. That is nothing but a black and white image with a silhouette of a tree.

I also enabled volume fog for the spotlight to get the sun rays effect. That really adds a lot of atmosphere and depth to the scene.

Because the intensity of the spotlight was not really strong I added area light behind it with the same colour but stronger intensity, to fill the scene with more sunlight.

Last but not least, I added one more spotlight that was light linked only to the wooden sculpture to give it more kick and to make it stand out a bit more. That also helped to get the nice reflections on the statue.

The compositing for this image was very, very simple. I rendered the beauty pass along with ambient occlusion that I set to multiply and then I applied my colour correction using Camera Raw Filter in Photoshop, and the image was done.

The very last thing I did after I finished the image was to render out a few close-up renders of the various props on the table to showcase my work.

That's it, I hope you find this breakdown useful, and thanks for reading!

To see the final render and the close-up images, and for more work from Darko, you can visit his ArtStation!

Anahita Tabarsi

Anahita is Brown Bag Films' Marketing Director, Digital & Social and drinks more than five coffees a day...

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