Old Mine Shaft - Steam Train WIP

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  01 January 2013
Old Mine Shaft - Steam Train WIP

Hi everyone, been a while since I posted (or made) anything and I'm at a stage with this project where I could use some critique.

I went with white light for the lantern on the train because in reference I found white, blue, yellow/orange, etc and it varied a lot from image to image. White is the only one that works because it wont blend in with the major color (blue) and wont pull too much attention (contrast).

Have to redo the displacement maps on the thick wooden beams.

Thanks for looking.

  01 January 2013
Hey man,

I'm no miner, but I'm not sure a train like that would ever be in a mineshaft.

How did your ship cabin piece turn out?

  01 January 2013
Totally out of place in that envieonment, the steam trains would actually wait outside the mine to take the coal away. Not to mention that your scales appears to be way off. Do you know how big those 1880's train are, they are huge!
  01 January 2013
I will convert it into a tunnel then. Guess I should of done more research. Suppose info like this is kind of what I was after, too, then.

Ship cabin didn't turn out. It was boring and I could find no way to breathe life into it. Quite disappointed in myself for that one, it was a lack of initial planning and proper workflow that killed it but to be fair I was (and tbh, still am) quite out of practice.

It doesn't have to be a mine shaft, a tunnel could just as easily look like that couldn't it? (with removal of mine cart).

^ something like this:

I'm no miner either, I'll do some more research and gather more reference.

Oh and AJ, I saw your ship, it looks AMAZING, great work!

Last edited by JaredTaylor : 01 January 2013 at 01:26 AM.
  01 January 2013
Hey man,

Thanks man!

Could you maybe write us a few paragraphs about your goals for this project? What are you trying to achieve here? Are you going for a technically accurate rendering, or something more stylized and moody?

It might help to start with some drawings or super rough 3D block outs, and get the composition worked out before you start detailing.

  01 January 2013

Cheers for your continued feedback

That's a good idea. I don't care much about accuracy here as I'm not trying to impress an engineer or train fanatic, I want something that's visually appealing, stylized and moody is a much more accurate description. I want dramatic high contrast lighting, and composition that visualizes energy and power that you'd expect from a steam train, those things are unstoppable, so strong diagonals.

The train has just entered the tunnel so there is a strong rimlight; trains (and mine included) have a light on top (spot light) that can illuminate the tunnel and possibly have some light bounce around but so far it's kind of just distracting the viewer from the train. Logically a train wouldn't be in a tunnel without it's light on.

I can work on composition with the geometry in scene, it's not heavy at all so might as well just use what I have, right?

This is the latest composition out of a few that I thought was the most effective, the diagonals are exaggerated with a dutch tilt.

Even thinking about using some motionblur on the train, wheels/tracks, etc to simulate energy but at the same time that might detract from the detail, or it might work in my favor since my texturing isn't particularly amazing.

I want strong bloom coming in from the rimlight so it will definitely look quite surreal.

Latest composition attempt:

I really am just a rigger it seems, but I keep trying.. there's no rigging work in my country

Edit: Also it should be quite heavily desaturated, but not a complete loss of color.

Last edited by JaredTaylor : 01 January 2013 at 01:57 AM.
  01 January 2013
Hey man,

Cool! It's popular in the car renders to blur out the background, and keep the vehicle in focus. so maybe you can do something like that.

It might look a little better shown from more of a front angle. I think this image is something like what your talking about with the headlamp.

I like in this image how the dark tunnel frames the image, and the ring of light from the outside frames the train. The tracks form two lines that point right to the engine, and further brings it to the center of the composition. The train of cars curves off into the distance, and I think that really adds some depth.

  01 January 2013
My gripe with those compositions is that you can't really see the detail put into the train (lighting aside) - if it was that frontal then most of my work would be wasted.
  01 January 2013
Hey man,

If you want to show off the detail on your model, placing it in a tunnel probably isn't ideal.

  01 January 2013
Can still be illuminated if it's in a tunnel, all that light bouncing around, and especially since it's at the entrance, what I mean is the composition prevents it even being looked at since it's so front facing.
  01 January 2013
So I was thinking, most of the train compositions I see are different in the sense that they all have carriages, but the initial idea I had didn't need them. Think I'll be making some and do something like this - pay no attention to the lights:

Oh, ignore the lack of environment too :P

I will remodel/resculpt most everything in the environment.
  01 January 2013
Well how about something like this?

Carriage is very incomplete
  01 January 2013
Imho:- either you can remove the train from there if u want your camera under coal mine and find some more refs that suits with location. or you can do what you posted above(train coming out of the tunnel that would be also fine.
  01 January 2013
Thanks for the feedback so far. I've been toying with some ideas as far as composition, environment/setting etc goes. Been gathering more reference.

Mine shaft was okay if it would of been logical, which it wasn't. Tunnel would technically be ok but that just felt boring.

My goal here is to push some surrealism in, I want something that I can have creative freedom with without it having to be grounded completely in reality. Futuristic settings are great for that, so I figure I could have a docking station with towering skyscrapers in the background set some hundred years in the future, with an old restored steam train entering the station.

Lets me do pretty much anything I want and it's an ideal setting for my project goal.

Any thoughts on this?

Beginning of rough concept

  01 January 2013
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