Grammi’s Berry Juice – Art Spotlight

Dec 6, 2018

Recently our very own Bryn Morrison-Elliot (BrynethPaltrow) was featured over on the official Sketchfab blog for his gorgeous Grammi’s Berry Juice scene.

Art Challenge

The Grammi’s Berry Juice scene was created as part of an internal initiative, created by our Art Director to get the artists developing their skills. 

At Coatsink, we can work on the same project for years at a time, and concentrating on one specific style or pipeline for so long can lead other 3D skills getting a little rusty. 

So to stay fresh, we pick a theme at random from a pot of suggestions and allow ourselves one month to complete the challenge. The latest chosen theme was ‘Plant Life.’

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Grammi’s Berry Juice

A month might sound like a fair while but, realistically, it only amounts to three or four hours a week between hobbies and personal work, so any shortcuts or handy tricks are invaluable. 

Like most projects, I started out by gathering reference material from different sites (e.g. Pinterest) and collating them onto a PureRef board. I quickly hit on the idea of a classical still life scene inspired by the work of Johan Wilhelm Preyer

While checking out Preyer’s work, I came across Grammi’s Berry Juice by the wonderfully talented Alexandra Neonakis, and instantly knew it would look great in 3D.

Grammi's Berry Juice

Building the scene and its composition

For 3D modeling, I use 3DS Max. I started out by making the trunk, using splines to create the shape of the top. Next I used a Face Extrude to expand the shape before adding two edge loops in the middle to taper and stylise the trunk.

Grammi’s Berry Juice Scene Build and Composition

Next, the books, bowls, bottles and jars; starting with the largest objects provides an idea of scale and composition. Next I added the smaller details – corks for the bottles and a lid for the jar – before tackling the individual pieces of fruit.

Grammi's Berry Juice Berries

Grammi’s Berry Juice Physics Based Object Arrangement

Berries

To make the berries, I used the MassFX Toolbar to add a static rigid body modifier to the wooden and ceramic bowls and set the shape type to ‘original.’ Finally, I added a Dynamic Rigid Body to the berries with the preset ‘steel.’ 

These might seem like odd choices, but it doesn’t matter so much for a static scene, and I didn’t want the berries bouncing all over the place: the heavier the better. 

I hit play on the toolbar to run the simulation, then tidied up the results. It’s definitely one of the quickest ways of filling up a vessel, saving the hassle of manually placing them.

Juice

Next up, the glass bottles. I added a shell modifier to the glass objects to give them a thickness, then modeled the juice shapes and bubbles inside.

The settings I used in Sketchfab are in the Liquid Setup image. I mostly just used mixed values of refraction with slight color tints.

Grammi's Berry Juice Juice

Grammi’s Berry Juice Liquid Setup

Grammi's Berry Juice Sparkles

Grammi’s Berry Juice Sparkles Setup

Sparkles

I really liked the sparkling bits in the original concept and want to push the idea further into the plants.

I used an emissive map to brighten some of the leaves on some of the plants and the tips of some of the grass. To create the sparkles I made some simple star shapes in 3D, gave them a slightly yellow material color and bumped its emission setting up to 10.

Finally, I tweaked the Bloom in the post-processing options to give all the emissive objects a magical glow.

Texturing

All the meshes were hand-painted. Due to time constraints, I didn’t want to waste time baking maps or dealing with high polys… so I just unwrapped the meshes and painted the textures using Photoshop. 

I got my color palette from the original using an old Photoshop trick: First you reduce the number of colors in the source using Mode > Indexed Colours (settings below) then select Mode > Colour Table. You can then select these colors for your palette. Finally, I used a simple hard brush to paint the textures.

Grammi's Berry Juice Juice

Grammi’s Berry Juice Texturing Setup

Sketchfab Setup

For my scene set-up in Sketchfab, I used the PBR renderer with simple materials using a mix of matte, gloss and refraction. The post-processing filters in Sketchfab did a lot of the legwork in creating the stylised look (and look great!) I added SSAO to get that sense of weight and realism, and subtle Depth Of Field to give the distant sparkles extra glow. Next, a Vignette to frame the composition and create some ambience, then Bloom for the emissive glow. Finally, I tweaked the color balance to really push the reds. Et voila!

Grammis' Berry Juice Sketchfab Setup

Grammi’s Berry Juice Sketchfab Setup

Conclusion

I had a lot of fun creating this scene and taking full advantage of the powerful post-processing effects in Sketchfab. I hope you found this useful, and maybe learned a few new tricks for your next project.

Written by:

Bryn Morrison-Elliot - 3D Artist

A 3D artist hailing from Northampton, Bryn has been with Coatsink since 2014.

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