Tips on Environment modeling for CGI/Cinematics



I’m a matte painter and 3d modeller looking to up my game in regards to improving my approach to environment modelling to widen the scope of my career and work opportunities.

I’m looking to create a few environment diorama studies from real world locations, one of them being the Ambroix Bridge as seen here ->

In not looking to create massive scenes, just nice doable chunks to illustrate the attention to detail and realism I can put into an asset.

I’ve created a very quick and dirty block out of the bridge diorama here before I go any further.

I’ve seen some taking the approach of modelling brick by brick and sculpting them each in zbrush, which may be a valid approach, however I see that as possibly being a little inefficient. You tell me.

Some others have used zbrush to create stone tiling patterns and then used substance designer for the texture, with bricks from the zbrush sculpt dotted around the edges and faces of the model to break up the edges and give the ruined look.

I’m essentially looking for the right approach to creating these assets, as would be done for a cinematic trailer made by the blizzard teams, Axis, Blur etc.

They are an extremely high bar to aspire too, however I want to at least begin on the right foot towards grinding my way there.

I haven’t seen much detail online about this compared to how to do it for games, so I thought I might as well ask here and maybe get lucky enough to have some tips thrown my way. Hopefully others can curious about this can benefit as well.

Thanks for reading through and anything you can share. :wink: