Tower Of the Stars (BlenderGuru Fantasy Competition Entry)

I’m a bit of a latecomer to this competition
I’ve been away on holiday, where there is no internet, and only an aged laptop. Therefore, I started of by making a pencil sketch, as a concept. Lets see If I can get this finished before the deadline.

Latest update, attempting to keep as close to the drawing as poss. tried a few textures to start with, but then decided to concentrate on the modeling for now.

Final one for today,
added most of the buildings, and experimented a bit with lighting for a late evening look, still a wip.

Okay , I have an extra days holiday and the weekend to come, so I’m going to make the most of it. Principle changes here are that I have added a sunset environment map, and a base rock texture, I’ve also added the new adaptive subdivision, for the displacement, and done some reading up on the new physically based renderer, which I think is an exciting new developement. I have a better understanding now of how roughness works. I am not using anny third party programmes, such as substance painter as I only intend to use my own textures. This one is taken from a rock face near the ReichenBach falls in Switzerland.

I enjoy your concept art style quite a bit.

I find that a good old fashioned pencil can be much more fun than photoshop, as well as being a good deal more portable.
I’m a big fan of Pauline Baynes, who did the original line drawing illustrations for the Narnia Chronicles back in the 1950s.

Stencilled in some grass on the rocks, added two of the waterfalls, (In fact these are derived from a photo I took lat yeat of the Reichenbach falls themselves, and am now starting to texture the buildings which I reckon will take the most time, as I want to avoid doing too much cloning.

looks awesome, I love the combo of fantasy and space travel

Will you sculpt the dragon, retopologize it and rig it ?

The tower cum rocket is going to be loosely based on one of the soyuz rockets, crossed with the minaret from a mosque, (or maybe an Austrian onion domed church), I always thought they looked a bit like each other.

I’m afraid I’m a low poly sort of guy, sculpting is one of those areas of blender I just haven’t got to grips with. The dragon will be similar to this one, which is part of a music video I’m working on at the moment, (this is absolutely not a finished bit of work!), so it will be rigged, as thats the easiest way of getting the pose right.

Epic! - can’t wait to see how you light it. I’m seeing the dragon and foreground castle in silhouette as in #4.

Close up of the houses on the left, spent most of today texturing these, and the bridges behind.

Had a long day on this, mostly texturing buildings. I’ve made a rod for my own back here, in as far as I could have cloned a lot more, but I wanted the architecture to be varied, and unfortunately that means work.
The rocket looks too much like a rocket and not enough like a tower, so it will probably be replaced by one of the other towers so that it matches better. The exhaust flame is good though. (no volumetrics I’m afraid, just a flat plane with a photo of a rocket exhaust, and an alpha channel, in PNG format). Does wonders for the render time, this rendered using a GTX1060 in 2.25 minutes. (helped along of course by the brilliant new denoising function). I think the lighting is sort of in the right area, but I wouldn’t mind advice here. The street lights look good to my mind. The original drawing had a lot of trees, which I was intending to billboard, but I was thinking that the houses on the left were looking pretty good, and maybe I could extend the buildings up the hillside instead. Again other opinions would be welcome. Also the mountain on the right needs some TLC. Altogether not too bad though.

Really looking amazing

Latest update, I’ve largely finished the textures, and swapped the soyuz for a proper tower, added some extra streetlights, and juggled with one or to objects, as well as the camera, to improve the composition. I am thinking more houses would be good, or maybe trees. But I will think on that, and in the meantime start on the dragon.

Loving the work so far - well played!

I can’t wait for the dragon and watcher as this will fill the left side and add context (pointer) to the rocket. The street lights are beautiful and add depth.

I think you could crush the (bend) colour range. Your image will benefit from having a halo of light around where the rocket is launching. Good practice is to shrink your image and you will see where the composition is - you will see the interplay of light dark better.

Hope you don’t mind but I composed the image to better explain what I meant. I also straightened the rocket visually (are you using a wide angle lens?).

I’m using filmic colour management in my workflow which is a way to get quick contrast presets.

Having a bit of fun with radically different camera angles

Thanks for the advice, I don’t mind at all as color management is an area where I have come unstuck in the past. and I can see that your modifications have improved the overall feel of the picture. My main problem is that there is a good deal of detail in the foreground that has been lost by the increased contrast, and the sky, although it looks great is actually an HDRI freebee, and as such the only part of the scene that I did not make myself, and under the terms of the competition I don’t want it to be too prominent. I am using the 2.79 release candidate so I can see what you mean about the contrast presets. straightening the rocket has also helped. I do muck about with focal length quite a lot but in this case I thing less is more. I might try experimenting with some ambient light in the foreground and there should be some mist rising from the waterfalls, so that might change things a bit too.

My main problem is that there is a good deal of detail in the foreground that has been lost by the increased contrast

As a fellow modeller I feel your pain!

If you search “chiaroscuro” might show you what I meant with light/dark interplay.