Done for CG Boost Challenge Library.
I liked this topic very much. I learned a lot.
I started with a rough blockout of the scene, and started modelling some assets. After i replaced my blockout scene with the actual models, i realized that the lighting was missing from the beginning, and also i couldent get the mood and motion i wanted.
So i created a new scene reusing some asset and focused on the story, mood and lighting. The problem i had was, my focal point were two flying books, but i feel like a charakter was missing to “surf” the books. I tested a lot of hair particle systems with combing and hair dynamics. But it made the image look worse, so i gave it up.
Instead i got a new idea, why not make this a flying book library in a magic style? I tested cool looking effects with volumetric shaders and a lot of node-work.
Then i had to add more book variations and improve overall model quality.
This looked nice, but i was curious, how the old 2 flying books would look like in the same scene, and i felt in love with them again.
I watched some composition Tutorials and fixed my camera angle and focal point. Thanks for feedback on that.
So i spent the last week improving details and learned some new topics like: Gradients on curves, Motion blur, Separate renderpasses and using muitiple scenes in the same file for masking.
Lesson learned: Include lighting in blockout phase and simple materials and keep composition im mind early.
Time spent about 75 hours, used Blender cycles.
More pictures and breakdown on artstation: