[Artist in Residence] Pirate Treasure


(Tob Sn08) #1

H̶i̶ ̶A̶l̶l̶!̶ Arrr!

I'm Tobias (Sketchfab, Artstation, Twitter, Portfolio) and welcome aboard to my thread. In the upcoming weeks I will be working with Sketchfab to create a stylized environment that you can explore in 3D and VR.

In this thread I will be regularly posting my progress (starting next week), answer your questions and listen to your ideas and feedback. Working on an environment is a very iterative process so I am looking forward to hear your opinions and maybe add them to the scene.

Most wip blockouts will be posted privately and will only appear in this thread, so subscribing to this will make it easier to keep track of my progress.

With the formalities out of the way, let me introduce you to my project.

Pirates! :skull_crossbones:

Well, there won't be any Pirates in the scene, but I am aiming to create the inside of a pirate ship on its way back to the pirate bay loaded with treasure. I always wanted to create a pirate environment and I am a big fan of the Monkey Island games and recently found out about "Sea of Thieves" which really wanted me to do something like this.

Some of the pieces that inspired me:

I decided to "only" create the inside of the ship to keep the scope realistic and the quality high rather than going for a big scene. Will it be attacked by a Kraken you ask? I guess we will find out over the upcoming weeks :smiley:

(Nomadking) #2

Arrr, me hearty!

I be looking forward to some fine pirate booty, Argggg!! :wink:

(Shaderbytes) #3

Loved your Jungle diorama the other day .. looking forward to see what you create

(Bart) #4

(Lorenzoderijcke) #5

Hi Tobias,

Looking forward to another one of your stylized environments,

I remember and enjoyed your graduation project for NHTV, and your entry for the THU Reborn contest, and I'm curious what you will come up with next.

Cheers :slight_smile:

(Dark Minaz) #6

arr, matey
the project looks sharp, like ma blade
looking forward to a sort of high quality monkey island scene :wink:

some kraken attack and some shaky animation would really look awesome

(Tob Sn08) #7

thanks Lorenzo :slight_smile:
I haven't done the THU contest, I made an environment for the first Artstation challenge :stuck_out_tongue:

@dark_minaz yeah I want to try to capture the monkey island spirit for sure :smiley: let's see how it goes
animation isn't on my planning, as I only have a limited amount of time for this but if there is time for it I will look into it. Really love some of the very subtle environments with animations in here.

Expect the first update tomorrow. I will share some of the early concepting and greybox/blockout


(Mathijskapteijn) #8

Nice, looking forward to your scene man. Goooone be guut. Good luck man.

(Dark Minaz) #9

nice sounds interesting if you post updates from the start, with a lot of updates this might be very educational for me :slight_smile: especially since most of my scenes just kinda start somewhere rather than with a concept plan

(Tob Sn08) #10

1 The start

When I start working on Environments I try to start with really simple shapes and only use a few block out models if necessary. It is tempting to already throw in all your ideas and start modeling your props but I think it is worth to take a moment and lay the foundation of what you have planned.

In this case I started blocking out the scene in Maya using a few building blocks for the walls and floors. I also imported a human scale reference model to measure my environment against. Even for stylized environments I find this quite helpful to prevent very obvious scaling problems. I used these to lay out the dimensions of the interior.

Then I quickly added a few more custom models to get a better feeling for scale. As a player/viewer, we know how big a barrel usually is for example. Our brain has it a bit easier to make assumptions of the scale of the rest of the room. For me it was important to see if the ceiling appears to low or not. I will probably raise it a little to have some more room for props hanging down.

This block out did not take me long but it helped me making a few more decisions moving forward. The shape of the room could read a lot better for it to work as a pirate ship interior. So I will change the shapes of the walls and the flow of the room.

Have a look at the block out in Sketchfab if you like:
(The model is private and not on my sketchfab profile)

For the next update I will change the layout of the room and start adding props to the environment and talk about the creation of the models.

Feel free to make any kind of suggestions. It's a very iterative process and I am looking forward to your input.

(Paulchambers3d) #11

Interesting to see how efficient you're being with your initial geometry - presumably to limit how many unique objects your scene will need?


This looks like an awesome project! Love where you're going with the mood board and the low ceiling of the ship, for some reason. Looking forward to seeing where this goes! :sailboat:

(Tob Sn08) #13

2 I'm on a Boat

@paulchambers3d I think keeping the inital modules very limited helps making quick iterations on the whole layout, which is something that is probably going to happen very soon, as this post will explain.

For this update I focused on the models and layout work that was needed to add some character to the scene and to make the viewer feel like they are aboard a ship. I curved the walls and added some typical models like barrels and cannons.

I think the curved walls work well and the slightly raised ceilings leaves a little more space for props and it feels a little less claustrophobic. What I do not like at the moment is the general layout and shape of the room. It is a little too symmetrical for my taste and too organized. Also there is not a lot of opportunity to light the scene properly with directional lights because the room is so closed off.

I am still in the early stages of the scene, so I will probably take my modular assets to play around with the shape of the room a little more to make this more interesting to look at. So for the next update expect some major changes on the layout :smiley:

I also started looking into the tiling texture creation for this scene and will make a post about this at a later point.

(Dark Minaz) #14

interesting workflow that is so different from mine.
looks like it's going to be a really big ship, a lot of the older ships didn't have that much space in the height.

So far it's missing a giant pile of gold under the stairs and seems a bit to organized for a pirate thing :slight_smile:
but i like the detailed updates, really interesting

(Krzysztof Zwolinski) #15

The workflow of making tileable environment always wonders me so im glad that you show us your way of doing this :wink:.
For me ship looks to big , there is really too much space, to high and to width. I know this is fantasy but still proportion fills wrong. On one of yours reference images (the low middle one) the height of the deck is a bit more than doors. And the real word reference Wasa 1628 or this(picture) show that the height is bid more than 2m.

(Tob Sn08) #16

@KrzysztofZwolinski Hi, thanks for your input. I definitely agree with you, my ship is quite big. I think it's important to look at all the (real life) references that you can find to make good judgements about the scale and believability of your scene. If it feels wrong, then it usually is wrong. :smiley:

3 Layout Fixes

For this update I have been looking through the feedback I have received so far and have taken a critical look at my work and made a few calls on what works and what doesn't for my environment. Have a look at the changes before I break them down:

1 . Ceiling

I agree, the ceiling for my second update was too high and my first intention was to lower it again but I had trouble getting a good lighting into the room with the limitations I have (3 light sources). So I decided to remove it and create more of a diorama scene, like one of my previous environments. I think dioramas work quite well for viewers like Sketchfab to capture the essence of an environment.

2 . Layout

As discussed earlier, the layout to me was really boring. It was very symmetrical and there wasn't really room to display the pirate treasure properly. So I took all my assets and moved into a different location which resembles a bit more of a captains cabin. I elevated parts of the floor to put the main focus point of the scene into the spot light.

3 . Progress

I have made some progress on the floor and sculpted the individual wooden planks.

I have kept them individual this time so I can take them apart later and rearrange them to reduce the repetition but also to break them apart in case I need the tentacles of the kraken to go through. I didn't go crazy on the detail because the models themselves already create a lot of visual noise.

4 . Planning

For the future updates I still want to get the back wall right, so that the silhouette becomes a little more interesting. After that I can start creating the final models including the treasure and start texturing.

Let me know what you think :slight_smile:

(Dark Minaz) #17

why not break the ship in the middle and create a diorama like that with 2 parts. One hanging and one mostly flat?
not a huge fan of partials, they kinda make me wonder what happened to the rest.

the little plans look cool and can be quite useful if you plan on adding an animation :slight_smile:

(Paulchambers3d) #18

Looks fantastic. Definitely much more visually interesting. I like that you're willing to share even when you decide to go back to the drawing board on a design.


Love the diorama idea! Thanks for showing the progression of the details, really brings it to life. Looking forward to the rest of this!

(Tob Sn08) #20

@dark_minaz hehe, breaking it into 2 parts is a nice idea. I understand that partial environments aren't everyones thing but it helps with time management on my side :stuck_out_tongue: I could do the whole ship but there is only so much time. A diorama really makes you focus on the most important parts and I am trying get those right.

@paulchambers3d thx Paul. I learned over time that I have really no problem showing and sharing designs that don't work. It's all about iteration and the more you share the more feedback you get. It's not always pretty in the beginning :smiley:

@c0re thx, trying to document every step of the way :smiley:

4 Cannon

Today I only have a smaller update but I took some time to define a visual target for my sculpts and took the blockout cannon to completion in zBrush.

As you can see I exaggerated and played with some of the shapes for that stylized look. I will let you have a closer look in a Sketchfab scene once I have baked down the low poly :wink: