Concept Art Using SketchUp, Twilight Render and Photoshop

Hard Surface Modeling and Concept Art…

In simple terms, concept art involves producing images and designs for things that haven’t been made or seen; they exist only in the artists head until you put pen to paper. It’s the job of the concept artist to extrapolate these ideas and turn them into a design or visual.  Modeling hard-surface objects allows you to create anything from vehicles, to weapons and environment props.

STEP 1 : Creating a Robot Using 3D Warehouse

I imported the main reference as an image. Then I downloaded free 3D models from the 3D Warehouse that I found interesting to produce this model, in terms of movement, shape, rhythms etc. Using this technique you won’t have to model every single object. I used Twilight Render for a good quality flat render and then some post production in Photoshop. The 3D model/parts I used in this work were as follows:

Caterpillar by Antonio R

Caterpillar Bulldozer by EnExil

Caterpilare Chargeur 953D by EnExil

Modern MBT sketchyphysics by Robert S

Moteur Shelby by Pittm 13

Machine Gun by Masonyan C

I then compiled certain components/pieces of downloaded models to produce my own robot concept model. It’s basically “Kitbashing” using SketchUp 3D Warehouse Models. I used
Scale to change the proportions of each piece to make them fit.

Collection of 3D Models

Using parts of models

More model parts

Scaling and assembling

Beginning to take shape

I found a suitable cool pose for my assembled model.

Model so far

STEP 2 : Render with Twilight Render Plugin
I changed the colors of my 3D model in SketchUp. This part takes time and you will have to do it step by step.

Color 3D model

I used Twilight Render, my choice of render engine ( Hobby version) to export a nice flat render. I just made a good quality render. At this part of the process I don’t care to much about the
materials. I just pay attention to the resolution. It has to be big enough. I also export a mask.

Flat render

STEP 3 : Post Production in Photoshop
I imported the image and the mask. Changed the background and started to work my image. I will paint over it, add some details and textures. At this part of the process I want to make it look
more organic. I have to hide the fact that it was computer made.

Add details and textures

Further texturing

I then added some occlusion and highlights to add volume.

Add volume to image

After that, I got some dirt textures found on the internet to make it more realistic.

Add dirt

Then I added some light sources using flares found on the internet again. I also added a bit of smoke. Adding fire and smoke make it look more savage, more dynamic in a sort of way. You can hear the sound of the machine. It’s really important not to forget the story you want to tell.

Bring your model to life

Add light and smoke

STEP 4 : Layout in Photoshop
I will export some monochrome SketchUp images for background.

Background layout

Finally I Add some text and mesh texture for final presentation, and… voilà you have it.

Final image

Hope you enjoyed my work and if you like to know more on my methodology on making this you can see a quick video version of its construction here.

Thanks again for reading

Timothée Meyrieux  (Rendering advice from Fred Lamy)

Visit Timothée Meyrieux’s website here.








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