The area and architecture is a reconstruction of the lost village of Kurovo (Moscow region, Russia) (56.044693, 37.773067). Reconstruction is based on 1900-1920 photographs. There is a sad history behind this project which I encourage you to read below.
This is my first project in digital art. I started it 3 years ago knowing nothing about 3D graphics.
Huge thanks to Peter Sekula for his invaluable master classes and advice. Also very grateful to Per Gantelius for his help with camera matching the old photographs using fSpy and Rob Tuyel for his inspiring Blender course.
Software used: Blender 2.8, Substance Designer, Substance Painter, SpeedTree
You can find some extra pics on my Artstation page https://www.artstation.com/seethesky
The first written record of this village dates back to 1506. In late 19 century the village was big and rich: 250 villagers, two stone churches with a belfry (all built in the course of 16-18 centuries), wool factory, monument of Alexander II. None of that exists any longer, only some parts of the area and scattered tomb stones remain.
In early 1930s it became apparent that Moscow requires more potable and technical water due to the population growth. Among other man-made reservoirs and channels around Moscow, Joseph Stalin order to create a highly restricted reservoir close to Moscow in order to store potable water. That reservoir was built in 1936 by damming small river Ucha and flooding 19.3 square kilometres of land. Kurovo and a few smaller villages were flooded completely. Before flooding all churches were demolished. Stone, bricks and debris were later used to stabilize the banks. People were relocated to other villages leaving behind and under the water centuries of their history, including graves of their ancestors. Russian writer Mikhail Prishvin was spending summer nearby the area 8 years after the flooding. He went for a walk and had a chat with a local man. The man told him that coffins from the flooded cemeteries were still floating on the surface now and then. Following on this conversation, on 19 July 1944 Mikhail wrote in his personal journal: “This artificial lake is the lake of human tears from which all Moscow residents drink. This conquered nature will never be at peace with itself. Even if you are having a quiet evening like today, you still cannot ever trust that silence.”
This project is in the memory of people, the area and events outlined above.
Znamenskaya Church (Church of Our Lady of the Sign)
Nikolskaya Church (Church of Saint Nicholas)