Digital Art Zone

1 of 5
Posted: 31 August 2013 11:45 PM   [ Ignore ]
Active Member
Total Posts:  397
Joined  2006-08-27

Thank you all for the awesome Carrara Challenge #3!


1st Place: #10 “Lost World” by Fractal Dimensia
2nd Place: #11 “The Teddy Bear Collector” by Headwax
3rd Place:  #14 “Paradise Found” by Antara
Honourable Mention: #3 “Valley of dreams” by Gareth.

Thank you, Age of Armour, for sponsoring this challenge and for selecting the honourable mention winner!


DAZ has been very generous in encouraging these Carrara Challenges and has offered to support us once a month!
DAZ is donating:

1st Place: a $50 coupon
2nd Place will win a $30 coupon
3rd Place wins a $15 coupon
In addition the Honourable Mention will receive a $5 coupon code.

Please note that the coupons are for DAZ3D items.

We also have a great and very generous sponsor this month: Age of Armour, who is kindly donating the following prizes:

The winners will get to choose items from Age of Armour store at DAZ
1st Place: 3 items
2nd Place: 2 items
3rd Place: 1 item

Some background information about the challenge:

Challenge RULES:
- All renders must be done in Carrara. *
- Artists can post up to 2 (two) entries.
- At least 1 (one) WIP image must be posted in this WIP thread. (Could be a pre-render screen grab of the scene set-up.)
- Content use is allowed and welcome, but MUST be credited.
- Restriction: At least 3 (three) items in the scene must be created OR significantly modified in Carrara. **
- Postwork is allowed, but if you use postwork, the raw render(s) that went into your postworked image MUST be posted in the WIP thread.
- The final entry must be submitted with proper description into this “Challenge Entries” thread, which is now open for entry posting. ***
- All entries must be submitted before 11:59 PM UTAH Time on September 7th 2013
- The voting will run from September 8th to the end of the day (Utah time) September 14th, and winners will be decided on September 15th. ****
- The images must be specially created for this challenge and previously unpublished.

To learn more about the rules and to learn what all the * ‘s are about, please head over to the WIP thread and read the first post there.

Voting RULES:
- Each voter has 3 votes to cast.
- You may choose up to 3 images for your votes. Please provide entry numbers for your choices.
If you choose 3 images, each image gets 1 of your votes. If you choose only 2 images, you have to assign 2 of your votes for one of them. If you choose only one, all 3 of your votes will go to that image.
- Votes may NOT be divided (no 0.5 vote, 1.5 votes or any other fractions)
- It would be very nice if you provide some comments about your selections and your thoughts about the images.
- You have 2 ways to cast your vote:
    a) post a comment into this thread.
    b) cast the vote anonymously* by sending me a PM or an email: [my Forum name] followed by ‘.nn’ at Gmail. I will not make your name public, but I will post your comments and your vote into this thread. However, this method has additional restrictions:

* Anonymous voting rules:
- You must provide me with either your Forum name here, or at another well known 3D community and provide a bit of information about yourself (like how are you known in the forums or community) - so I would know you are a real person and not someone who has already voted.
- You MUST provide comments about your selections. (Providing comments is optional if you just vote by posting in this thread, but if you vote anonymously, the comments are mandatory.)
- You may NOT vote for my images (Artist name: Antara).

If there is a tie, I will ask our great sponsor Age of Armour to break it.
The final word on the Honourable Mention also belongs to our sponsor, Age of Armour.
Also, as per challenge rules, I may not get the 1st Place in this challenge.
The person who wins this challenge will host the next one.


WIP thread:

Current Sponsor Age of Armour‘s store: 

Previous Sponsor DimensionTheory’s store:

Previous Sponsor Dartanbeck’s store:




My Showcase at Carrara Cafe

Posted: 02 September 2013 10:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
Total Posts:  7502
Joined  2006-08-27

I guess I’ll go first!

Entry #1


The Apple

The apple and it’s shader were built by me in Carrara. The shader is all procedural. I also built the terrain and the hair for the Homo Erectus.

The content is V4 Homo Erectus available from DAZ3D.

I wanted to do a Darwinian take on Adam and Eve and paradise lost. When I got into it, the apeman holding the bone reminded me of 2001: A Space Odyssey and I felt it held with the deconstruction of the Adam and Eve myth, of the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil or something equally pretentious. wink In point of fact, I just wanted a Twilight Zone like element, so I added the obelisk.

I did use postwork to brighten the image. I must have screwed up my light rig somehow when adding hair to the apemen, so I used Photoshop to brighten it up and also add a DOF. Here’s the link to the untouched WIP image:

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I find it somewhat liberating not to be encumbered by accuracy.

Posted: 02 September 2013 10:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
Total Posts:  7502
Joined  2006-08-27

Entry #2


Sunday Evening at the Border

I created the signs, the textures on the signs, the sign posts, the highway and it’s shaders, except for the asphalt shader.

I used Dystopia City Blocks (1 thru 20) I also used mesh vehicles from Carrara’s Object browser under mesh models.

The scene is something that I used to see quite a bit when going to visit relatives in Illinois. Wisconsin is a big vacation spot for Illinoyances wink and when I would head down there on Friday, there would be a continuous stream of cars in the north bound lane and the southbound lane into Illinois would be practically deserted. The reverse was true on Sunday evening when I would head back north.

So the theme then is Paradise Lost, because the relaxation of the weekend is over, and now it’s time to head back to the city and the drudgery of work until the next weekend.
Some postwork. See edit.
The WIP:

Edited to add: My mind was on the levels and gamma correction that I did for my first entry, so I forgot that I used a depth layer pass in Photoshop to add a depth of field. I edited the brightness and contrast to exaggerate the effect and I added a gradient to foreground, also to exaggerate the effect. My apologies.

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I find it somewhat liberating not to be encumbered by accuracy.

Posted: 02 September 2013 05:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
Total Posts:  72
Joined  2006-03-07

Entry #3


Valley of dreams.

All objects made in Carrara’s vertex modeling room by yours truly, concrete and fabric textures from and other textures made in GIMP 2 and shaders are using Zgock’s YAToon plugin

I wanted to create an image with a anime art style and have a variety of characters, so the first step was to write down a list of the workflow i was going to use to get me to A-Z, the second step was to create files i was going to use so my work wasn’t going to get lost within the bowels of my hard drive, the third step was to fire up the music player, i find that music is very inspiring, so my workflow was-

1:Research on animes and scenery.
2:Sketching a basic scene and character concepts.
3:Modeling the scene, characters, and props.
4:Model cleanup and uv unwrapping.
5:Texturing and creating shaders.
6:Creating bones and weight painting.
7:Setting up the scene and shaders.
8:Lighting and rendering.

The link to the WIP image smile

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Posted: 02 September 2013 07:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
Active Member
Total Posts:  933
Joined  2005-03-08

Entry #4
Title - Crossroads

Artist - Stezza


I modelled the segway, the sign post, the telegraph poles and wire and also photographed the Norfolk Pine.

Content credits - LisaB - Indian Grass, SBRM pelican and flock formations

General process description - I used the wide angle camera, positioning and lighting processes for sunlight, GI and full raytracing for render. No postwork was used.

Interpretation - open to the viewers own imagination… but I reckon if you stay under that post to long trying to decide you will be shat upon

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“I am,... Therefore I think”

Posted: 02 September 2013 07:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
Active Member
Total Posts:  933
Joined  2005-03-08

Entry #5

Title - Paradise almost Lost

Artist - Stezza

Final Modifications - (i) Created new materials for fire truck front and door - ( ii ) raised the fireman at rear of truck up a little

Software - Carrara 8.5pro no postwork apart from signature and Carrara logo

Items used

M4 no textures
M4 Fire Fighter - retextured
Dartanbeck’s Environ Kit
Dimension Theory’s EcoMantics
Val’s chainsaw
Fenric’s Tree Duplicator
Carrara’s Fire
Carrara’s clouds

Isuzu blank untextured 3ds model - from DMI models
13 items modelled creating 32 addons for Isuzu to try and create a firetruck
firetruck retextured

Firehose by keithm - retextured
Easy pose Rope by BionicRooster - retextured

Production Notes - Normal 50mm camera was used to hopefully give the impression of a bystander that may of been there with his/her camera. The scene is a bushfire using Carrara’s fire, lighting & clouds for effect.. The firemen are hopefully giving some emotion, whether it be exhaustion, hopelessness or organised with maybe a hint of either getting away with it or here we go again, I leave the impressions to the viewer to get what emotions they may see. Transforming a basic truck into a fire fighting unit was a challenge, by adding specific parts hopefully represents what I wanted to achieve.

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“I am,... Therefore I think”

Posted: 03 September 2013 07:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
Active Member
Total Posts:  345
Joined  0

Entry no.06

Artist : Varsel

Title : Shangri-La


Content :
Predatron :
Lorenzo Lorez with my own created freebie clothing. Both for soldiers and natives.
LoRez Donkey
LoRez Monk (with custom shaders)
LoRez Cow
LoRez Crow

Trees are some of Howie’s from Arboretum Vol 01 and Maple Meadows.

Hdri from Cloud Nine by DimensionTheory

Carrara Items
Front and middle terrain (created separately) converted to vertex objects and remodeled and adjusted.
Then painted distribution maps, and texture mixer maps.
Back terrain is a very large mountain terrain.

Buildings created with ArchiTools.
Fence to keep the cows in the picture is created in the vertex modeler.

All textures are own creation or modified beyond recognition.

I started this picture with the vision of 1900 centuries explorers discovering the mythical Emerald City of Shangri-La.
Somewhere in the process, when experimenting with ArchiTools, I realized that the idea of having a concept sketch should not be underestimated.
Having a vision is fine, but sketch it first…..

But I did learn how to use ArchiTools.

There are 385 objects, 107 shaders, 3 lights and 1 hdri.
Render time is 1h and 26 min at 1920x1080

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My freebies :

Posted: 03 September 2013 10:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
Power Member
Total Posts:  2153
Joined  2003-10-09

Entry #7

Title - Homage to St Michael Wounds the Devil - this is my final entry

Artist - Diomede64

- 3 original or modified items with notes on creation/modification process,
1) Clouds
2)  armor for M3, helmets and weapons for M3 and M4, and shield for M4.  Modeled and uvmapped in vertex modeling room (devil’s pitchfork is a spline).  Shaders are procedural.
3)  used vertex grids to construct the terrain foreground and the ocean.  Procedural textures.
(also made a custom brush used in the some of the renders)

- Content credits
DAZ Michael 3, Daz Michael 4, and a brush from the carrara brush set from GKDantas and deviney - available in the Daz store.
Wings are the winter queen wings from Poser 6.
- General process description
Found a classic painting related to Paradise Lost.  Edited the mesh of M3 in vertex modeling room to make his arms and legs more muscular and face more aquiline.  Modeled and fit armor to morphed M3, and attached to hip in animation tab.  Posed M3 similar to image, and used the weightmap brush in the vertex modeling room to fix minor poke through.  Posed M4 similar to devil in image (modeled helmet, robe, discarded shield).  Modeled clouds from vertex sphere, reshaped using magnet tool, then smaller distorted vertex spheres were replicated on surface of larger sphere.  Once grouped, those objects were then replicated on a long arched cloud dome to try to give some depth.  Used spot lights in the far corner to try to get a yellow tinge to far middle clouds and purple/bluish tinge further out to the sides.  Used combination of glow channel, bump channel, and difuse to try to make look cloudlike.
Rendered several images in non-photorealistic render room.  Chose a few images that had some elements that I liked (these included one that used a scratch brush available in the DAZ store and one custom brush that I made per Antara’s instructions).  Brought the chosen images in Photoshop and copied them over each other.  Sequentially used the erase tool to choose the elements that I liked from each image.  Did some minor touch ups with the pen tool.

Here are some links to the WIP thread.

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Posted: 03 September 2013 10:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
Power Member
Total Posts:  2153
Joined  2003-10-09

Entry #8

Title - Two tickets to paradise - final entry (number 2 for me)

Artist - Diomede64

- 3 original or modified items with notes on creation/modification process,
1) computer monitor - modeled and uvmapped in vertex modeler - screen shot buying tickets saved to uvmap in photoshop elements
2) computer keyboard - modeled in vertex modeler.  Started with grid with enough polygons for keys, etc.  Added thickness.  Selected keys area on top and extruded without linking.  Repeated for space bar, etc.  For grins, uvmapped and painted the letters on the keys.
3) printer - modeled and uvmapped in vertex modeling room.  Added bones so that the top could be opened and closed.
(everything else was also made using Carrara’s modelers).
- Content credits
no content

- General process description
Made and uvmapped some office equipment in C8.1.  Added 3 point lighting and a softer central bulb light.  Took a screen shot of a list of upcoming Eddie Money appearances.  Used Photoshop to apply the screen shot to the uvmap of the computer monitor screen.  I hope that is not a violation of some sort.  Rendered using Toon effect.

Link to WIP Thread

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Posted: 04 September 2013 12:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
Total Posts:  10196
Joined  2009-07-13

me noes goods wid rulzes

ok entry #9 (edited number for stupid inabilty to count!)
Carrara serial lost and found
modeled cereal box
inner bag

used Daz content Genesis Female Girl 6, Paige dress
Carrara splashscreen edited in Carrara with text objects
browser objects jug, bowl and spoon
added milk, text replicated cereal
metaball drool
postwork irfanview panorama image stitch

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WARNING do not click tongue rolleye what video horrors will be seen if you do cannot be unseen.
my render thread
        never forget
A Drows Walk
Jaderail is at it again

Posted: 04 September 2013 05:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
Active Member
Total Posts:  546
Joined  2011-07-03

Entry Number: #10 (I assume Wendy’s is #9….)

Artist’s name: Fractal Dimensia

Entry Title: “Lost World”

List of the 3 required created or modified items.
I modeled and shaded the following objects in Carrara.
1) Ocean
2) Land
3) Mayan Pyramid
4) Dolphins
5) Seagulls
6) Palm trees

Content credits:
1) Ship was downloaded from ShareCG (“Bryce model Prince William” by Jed) and significantly enhanced for Carrara.
2) Clouds originally from the file “Sunbeams” by Tim Payne, tailored significantly.
3) Island underbrush was from Lisa’s Botanicals – Tropicals.

Production notes
Originally rendered @2880x1620 and then reduced to sharpen the image. No other post work was done on this image.

Link to WIP thread‘s comment where you have posted the latest WIP image for this entry.
Full image:
Detail work:

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The most complex object in mathematics, the Mandelbrot Set ... is so complex as to be uncontrollable by mankind and describable as ‘chaos’. — Benoit Mandelbrot

Posted: 04 September 2013 06:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
Total Posts:  2734
Joined  2008-01-28

Entry Number: #11

Artist’s name: Headwax

Entry Title: “The Teddy Bear Collector”

List of the 3 required created or modified items.

All the signs are vertex planes with custom textures.
The Teddy bears have custom textures. Some of the meshes are modded.
The train uses anything goos to break up the texture.
The soldiers textures are grimed up.
The dogs heads are daz dog freed from the skeleton and sans body.
The Cheyenne outfit on the kid is retextured.
Most of the other textures are customized or use commercial shaders made for Carrara.
Cardboard boxes retexturedd

Content credits:

K4, with Danyel hair, Rascals textures?, Cheyenne outfit.
PHIL W’s Bright Eyes shaders (great stuff phil)

M4 has working mans clothes.
Trains are from Daz’s Toy dept.
Toy Soldiers from Daz.
Teddy Bears from RCC zero daz toy shop.
Plinth and Cage and weight machine from Magic shoppe
Lighting setup tweakd from PhilW’s portrait studio
Age of Armour’s Paris Studio provides tea cup and books
Cardboard Boxes from Stone mason’s Alley
Cobwebs and spiders webs in post from Ron’s Brushes
Albert Bear from SkipsFreebies
HouseMouse Daz
Toonanimals Lamb
Carrara Shaders: MCC pro master shaders
Woodland Pack shaders

I probably left something out?

Rendered at 2000 pixesl wide
I isolated the background with a plane with and alpha of 80 percent
5/% ambient. 1.8 gamma, just ordinary rendering in render room (no skylights etc)
the gamma picks up the shadows while not washing out the highlights

A BIG thank you to Fenric’s plugins - esp Shader Doctor and Tree duplicate and the shader plugin that lets you reduce/increase saturation and tonal value of a texture

Thanks for looking! smile Great job Antara!

And a REALLY big thank you to our sponsor Age of Armour smile

Link to WIP thread where I have posted the latest WIP image for this entry.


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Posted: 05 September 2013 07:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
Active Member
Total Posts:  397
Joined  2006-08-27

Entry Number: # 12

Artist’s name: Antara

Entry Title: Paradise Found (While Reading “Paradise Lost”)

List of the 3 required created or modified items:
- All shaders except the cottage and books are either my own, or heavily modified from original content texture maps. The armchair was completely reshaded. The shader uses Shader Ops Fake Fresnel as one of the mixers.
- Both draped dresses were morphed to alter exported OBJ drapes in order to fit the changed pose and the character morphs I added.
- The books were extracted from Bookshelf object of DM Chronicle’s set, and the extracted object’s shading domains were changed.
- V4 is wearing a crazy mix shader that uses several different character maps (Elite Laba, Reby Sky, Danae London) in different channels to create a more realistic multi-layered skin effect.
- The cushion was morphed to fit the reclining figure’s shape.

Content credits:
- V4 with Danae’s London morph and my own body morph. The crazy texture mix is listed above.
- Hair is Trixie Hair by Lady Littlefox.
- Dresses are 2 dynamic items from Neoclassical Gown and Robe, draped over each other in DS, exported in their messed up state (the collision didn’t want to work properly) and then fixed manually in Carrara to fit the character (with the pose and body shape altered later, I was too lazy to re-drape) and to play nice with each other.
- The room and the open book (I morphed it to fit the figure’s pose) are from “IN Fantasy RiverCottage” by winnston1984 (sold at Renderosity) with one of HolyForest’s painted surfaces shaders (colour-modified) from one of his packs he used to sell at Renderosity (I don’t see the sample pack in his products here, but I think Painted Surfaces will include a variation of it)
- The armchair is from Faveral’s excellent, Carrara-supporting, Kelly Lodge. I love that product!
- The books are from DM’s Chronicles. (Extracted from bookshelf, which comes as a single prop in the package with a few extra things attached.)
- Millennium Cat with Livia Zita’s Real Fur for the Millennium Cat, and textures from the cat bundle driving the hair shader colours.
- HDRI background is from DimensionTheory’s Skies Of Terra.

Hope this is it…

Production notes This was fairly straightforward. Pose and drape created in DS, exported. Then the scene was built in Carrara: added hair, changed pose, draped dresses, added room, chair, book. Added HDRI, as background, and a simple GI-faking light rig with reduced shadow intensities. Then added another light that does not affect any object in the scene and is only there to show flare in the camera. Added cat and books after helpful feedback in the WIP thread, changed armchair shaders again.
Postwork is really minimal. Some compositing, some messing about with layer opacities for various passes, removed the small round flare circle and then reused the flare with changed colours and added blur to add the sunset glow.

Link to WIP:

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My Showcase at Carrara Cafe

Posted: 06 September 2013 09:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
Active Member
Total Posts:  327
Joined  2009-04-06

Entry #13

Title – Eased off Eden
A tribute to Gustave Doré

Artist - Philemo

Final image
Heck, I’m late !
initial idea

Software - Carrara 8.5pro, GIMP

Items used
Simon, Messy hair, James, Sidney, Long hair from Poser 9 content
Virus angle wings by Virus from ShareCG

List of the 3 required created or modified items:
Plants are made with the plant editor and converted to vertex
Rocks are made with the vertex editor
Wings are altered in the vertex editor
Every object reshaded

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Posted: 06 September 2013 11:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
Active Member
Total Posts:  397
Joined  2006-08-27

Entry Number: # 14

Artist’s name: Antara

Entry Title: Paradise Found

List of the 3 required created or modified items:
- Stonemason’s The Enchanted Forest trees and tree groups (4 individual items: 2 trees and 2 tree groups) were morphed, shading domains changed (added new ones) and used as base for surface replication of HowieFarkes’ Country Lane 2 Oak branches.
- A bunch of custom replicators and surface replicators for rocks, branches, pebbles, shrubs, trees, ferns. All distribution shaders for surface replicators are my own procedurals created for this scene.
- Custom shaders on everything except rocks/pebbles, horizontal log and ground - these were left unchanged from HowieFarkes’ Stone Creek presets, but everything esle, including HowieFarkes’ trees, branches and plants shaders were changed.
- V4 is wearing a crazy mix shader that uses several different character maps (Elite Lana, Reby Sky, Silver’s Fawne and Surreality‘s Ashe) in different channels to create a more realistic multi-layered skin effect. The Fawne maps were hand repainted by me.

Content credits:
- V4 with Silver’s Fawne morph. The crazy texture mix is listed above.
- Hair is Esidor Hair by 3Dream and Mairy.
- Horns are from Creature Creator Bundle
- Terrain, water, pebbles, rocks, log, ferns and shrubs are from HowieFarkesStone Creek
- Pin Oaks and Pin Oak branches for replication are from HowieFarkesCountry Lane 2
- Big trees, tree bridge and tree groups are from Stonemason‘s The Enchanted Forest.
- Butterflies are a freebie by our wonderful sponsor this month: Age of Armour.

Am I forgetting anything?

Production notes:
I had a very specific composition in my mind and I know Stonemason’s Forest package will be helpful in creating it because of the interestingly shaped trees and the tree bridge. So I started with them and then discovered that their branches are a major bottleneck for any sort of lighting I might want to do, so I had to replace the transparency-heavy branches. Thus Pin Oak branches and Pin Oak trees became part of the image and got arranged how I wanted them. I spent a lot of time optimizing things for render speed. Making sure that only necessary things are showing, that all the shaders are not using anything rendering-heavy, that I could get away without using Light Through Transparency settings (and I did) for my background layer. And that all the lights are a) minimal b) are faking radiosity well enough.
For the front layer I changed the lights to cast slightly blurred shadows, added the character and rendered at hight precision level.
The butterflies were rendered pretty much wherever. just with the same lighting rig and I just positioned them where I wanted them in the image in post.
Postwork: layer compositing of all layers, added atmospheric effects like lens blur, distance fog, water sparkles and sun rays using the Distance pass. The distance passes from all layers were manipulated using Curves to combine into a single coherent distance pass. And the pass of the background layer was first blurred a bit to remove rough edges from poor-quality render settings.

Link to WIP: - final WIP with layer tree - postwork variations - base renders and first postwork attempt - first render-sketch

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My Showcase at Carrara Cafe

Posted: 06 September 2013 05:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
Total Posts:  2734
Joined  2008-01-28

Entry Number: # 15
Artist’s name: Headwax
Entry Title: “Big Yellow Taxi”

List of the 3 required created or modified items:

Vertex Signs and textures.
Big Yellow Taxi textures. Text in glow channel.
Used Crossdresser to fit M4 clothes to K4
Retextured Jacket.
Modelled Specimen Glass Thingy.
Retextured Gate


K4, Homo Erecrus Morph
Dartanbeck’s Environ Kit - especially the CrabApple Tree
Dimension Theory Ecomantics
Predatron Grass and Poppys
Shanty Town
Various Fenric plugins
36 Am Chevy P4
Enchanted Forest - stonemason
Teddy from DAZ Toyshop
Gate from Curious passageway
Tosca Happy Kids face texture
PhilW Bright eyes
Working Man 1930’s clothes
Words from Joni Mitchell’‘s Big Yellow Taxi

Production Notes

Well this started off as illustrating the whole Big Yellow Taxi Song - which is why there are so many elements from it but not all.
To darken the distant elements I added a series of planes with block colour and 20percent alpha to cut out the light. No shadows on these planes etc.
The text is added to the glow channel in the taxi texture.
I did three different r enders and combined parts of them in post.
The big eye opener for me was using Caustics. Without Caustics the taxi door was very poorly lit. With Caustics the light seemed to bend through the specimen “jar” and lit up the taxi door.
The stars and light effects were added in post in an attempt to give a feeling of atmosphere.

Thanks for looking smile

Link to WIP:
early concepts








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