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  • Writer's pictureAmanda Skeith

Senior Studio II - Post #03

Since my last post, I decided to change the direction I will be taking the project. Instead of recreating one of Claude Lorrain's paintings in CG, I will be creating a photoreal late autumn landscape. This environment will be inspired by various photographs and paintings, including Lorrain's work. This direction allows more creative freedom to create my own landscape with several sources of inspiration rather than one.

One of the hallmarks of Lorrain's work is the light and atmospherics and peacefulness of them, which are qualities I still hope to achieve in my project. I was able to read about this and a bit more about Lorrain and one of his paintings in an entry on The Met website:

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Sunrise." The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Accessed March 28, 2023.

I began by looking for several reference images of autumn and late autumn. Creating a late autumn scene will help optimize and work with lower poly counts in Maya, as some areas of trees can be less full and will have less leaves.

References from Unsplash:

Additional Painting Reference:

Fig. 2. Claude Lorrain, Pastoral Landscape with Huntsman, 1639, oil on canvas, (Google Arts and Culture,

Fig. 3. Jasper Francis Cropsey, Wickham Pond and Sugar Loaf Mountain, Orange County, 1876, oil on canvas, New-York Historical Society, New York (Google Arts and Culture,

I also began a little bit of research to find some names of which types of trees are known for their leaves changing color in autumn:

Haiken, Melanie. "The Best National Parks for Phenomenal Fall Foliage." Afar. Updated September 20, 2022.

MacCaskey, Mike. "Get Colorful Fall Foliage With These Trees." Garden Design. Accessed April 2, 2023.

These articles list trees such as aspen, sugar maples, and hickories. I plan to continue researching this topic more!

I also made a sketch of what I plan for the main establishing shot to look like, as shown below. I am planning to have two additional shots to show select areas close up, possibly a section of branches, and a region of the surface of the icy water.

Primary references for above composition: (from Unsplash)

Finally, I have come up with a rough schedule to follow for the rest of the quarter in order to stay on target and make the best use of time:

Week 1: Research and ideation.

Week 2: Wrap up research. Layout, UVs, Previs.

Week 3: Gray model first pass lighting. First pass shaders.

Week 4: Add textures, adjust shaders. Adjust lighting.

Week 5: Adjust/continue textures. Begin compositing. Tests for breeze affecting trees and falling leaves.

Week 6: Set extensions and other comp edits. Shot lighting. Continue any CG tweaks as necessary.

Week 7: Add in breeze affect on trees and falling leaves animation. Continue any CG tweaks.

Week 8: Continue any CG or compositing edits.

Week 9: Final rendering and compositing edits. Breakdowns and final video.

Week 10: Final delivery ready by Monday to have a few days of room before the deadline.

I am still considering what to do regarding sound. If possible, I would love to find a sound designer but will add in the sound myself if necessary.

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