About the Artist
Environment Modeling
The Wizard's Study
Software: 3D Studio Max, Photoshop
Platform: Undefined
Class/Project/Team: 3D Modeling & Animation
When Created: Spring 2008
This environment is a labor of love. Not only because it was the very first environment that I built at the Art Institute, back in Spring of 2008, but also because it was the scene I returned to in 3D Camera and Lighting Techniques when it came to animating a scene that we had previously built. This one, simple room has lasted me through two projects, and I can see it serving as a template for so many more. I learned such an incredible amount while working on building and lighting this scene.

As my very first from-scratch scene, it could be said that a lot of "cheats" were used to create it. Nearly everything in the room was created with 3DSMax's Lathe and Loft tools. Books are lofted, whether they are opened or closed. Bottles are lathed. Even the scrolls and flying pieces of paper are examples of loft with modifiers applied. Primitives are also in abundance in this scene: For the desk, I took a desk pattern that I found on the WOOD Magazine website and rebuilt it board for board, using primitives. Perhaps it was not the best way to build it, but it was the way that I knew how to build things then, and it allowed me to create a reliable, believable piece of furniture. The textures were resources that I had picked up over the years, but scarcely used since I had not known how to properly model yet.

When I went back to this scene to animate it, I confronted one of the first real times when lighting challenged me. Who knew it would become a life-long contest of wills? Not me! I had to create a volumetric light that did not show volume while outside the window (else the sky was nothing but white) but did show light rays inside the room that faded around the time that they hit the floor. I learned my first, strongest lessons about falloff, attenuation, and color (for the main light is a rainbow of colors) while building this scene, and they became the foundation for my ever-enduring quest to master light and color.

Unlike many of my early works, I don't think this is one that I would ever change. It has served such a strong purpose and taught me so much that, to me, it is perfect as it is. Anything I make from here on in would be completely new. There are always new tales to be told!
All information and work on this site is copyright to Mary Williams, unless specified otherwise.
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