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Submitted on
September 9, 2013
Image Size
1.6 MB


70 (who?)
Vue Of The ATOL Water Scene by cyNickalCyn Vue Of The ATOL Water Scene by cyNickalCyn
Made with VUE 11. 170 million polygons @ 3 Hours 4 Mins.

Vue Of The ATOL Water scene was a concept originally created by a DeviantArtist known as ATArts, profile page can be found here ( ) and the original piece can be found at (… )

Once again I found myself having a real hard time trying to replicate a scene from a piece of concept art, the main reason here is that there was a lot of different techniques and in-depth knowledge I just didn't have when starting this project and I was going to need to learn and use all of them in order to get this one finished. The more I analysed this scenes requirements the more I knew I was going to have to study and contemplate in order to get close to the desired results.
I will say that this piece was a lot of hassle but I will also say that it was definitely worth every
painstaking hour that was spent working on it :)

Before this description gets too TL;DR I would like to express my sincerest thanks to ATArts for
allowing me the opportunity to replicate one of his works and that it would be an privilege to work on further pieces from his collection.

I would also like to give a big thanks to Dax Pandhi for his many tutorials and insights that he's put out onto the world wide web which have helped me a lot with this piece!

For those who might be interested, here is some in-depth stuff!

The first step was to dissect the scene and see what requirements I would try and meet for the end result. Doing this at the very start can save a lot of time later on in development as having to restart entire sections from scratch is something that nobody wants to do.
Some examples of requirements from the original concept included rock styles, water effects, cloud types, additional terrain features such as trees, grass & rocks, etc.
A separate but very important thing to consider is how everything is placed into the scene, as you work through a project you start to see how the placement of rocks, mountains and trees can subtly or even dramatically change as you realise perspective details you just may not normally notice. Don't be disheartened by this, it comes with the practice :)

For me the next step is to set up the positioning of the most significant parts of the scene in order to begin setting up the correct position of the camera in order to gain the correct perspective.
In this case I decided to start with the waterfall, the rocks on the edge of the waterfall and the mountain on the right-hand side. I first did a basic shaping of the waterfall to help me place the nearby rocks and right-hand mountain. Once this was completed, after some tweaking and repositioning of the rocks, the camera positioning could begin.
Once done I never moved the main camera once throughout the rest of the project. If I had to get a close up look of some extremely distant objects I used a 2nd camera and moved that around instead.

Now the perspective is set up I decided to continue by focusing the detailing of the waterfall with the 'step effects' and started to give better shaping to the waterfall rocks that I'd originally used to help me set up the scene camera.
The waterfall was created with a standard terrain and sculpted around the rocks with a small brush and very weak strength with no flow rate.

Once the waterfall and the waterfall rocks had been given their desired shape I decided to start implementing the textures for both assets.
I first tackled the waterfall, I really wanted to see if using water effect materials was a practical solution to completing the waterfall. I was really glad to find out that water materials and terrains go hand in hand so creating the waterfall material took very little time in comparison to the rock material. The waterfall material consists of three base materials, one single (1) and one mixed (2).
The single material was initially a flat water surface but I managed to add some subtle wind swept effects to the this layer and this helped the flat water section to look more intersting instead of just being a mirror.
The actual waterfall parts were mixed from two materials, one being a white and foamy whilst the other was green to match the colour of the original concept.
The hardest part of the material creation process was trying to create the sharp rocks that are seen in the original concept. I'm still fairly new to making my own textures and I spent so much time trying to create the exact look that I simply gave in and went for a different look that was kinda similar. I was a little hit and miss with this but the whole thing came out rather nicely regardless of the shortcoming :)

I spent literally weeks trying to get the right textures, trying to keep a consistent work flow going when you have live on a ship to go to work every every 8 hours, for 4 hours at a time (or 4 on 8 off), really is a hard thing to do. I often couldn’t remember what exactly I was doing last and subsequently decided to play a game, read a book or watch a movie...

The final step in the terrain creation was to make the rocky outcrops and mountains behind the waterfall. Since I had already made my rock material this process was very quick to finish only taking a matter of days to place and fine tune.
The main reason the placement being so much faster was that I didn't have to arse around with the materials as I'd already spent masses of time getting the look I desired.
The only material changes I made was for the rocky outcrop on the left, I added a simple dynamic grass ecosystem I never looked back :)

Once I was finished with all the small tweaks and placements of the extra details such as trees, waterfalls in the distance and foreground mist for the waterfall I decided to process the image.
When the image was finished I started to add some important details in Photoshop. that I would have spent forever trying to achieve in Vue.
The important details being the splashes around the rocks. I tried to add these effects in Vue in order to keep the image “pure” but after a few hours of achieving absolutely nothing I decided to opt for painting them in Photoshop.
This is the 4th image I've produced with Vue but the first I've ever added extra details with Photoshop.

Thanks for reading that grand wall of text, I hope some part of it was insightful and if you have any questions, leave a message here at this picture, I'll try and answer ASAP but please be patient, I may be at work ;)

- cyNickalCyn
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rskrakau Featured By Owner May 5, 2014   Traditional Artist
Nice so much love for detail
Battle Whale Animated by rskrakau  
cyNickalCyn Featured By Owner May 11, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks, I'm glad it's appreciated :D
dreamdesigner442 Featured By Owner Apr 26, 2014  Professional Interface Designer
This is absolutely Breathtakingly magnificent Vue work! Congrats!! :-)
cyNickalCyn Featured By Owner Apr 26, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks! This was my most popular piece until I made this more recent image (… )
But this one will always have a special place in my heart, a lot of learning came out from this one :D
dreamdesigner442 Featured By Owner Apr 27, 2014  Professional Interface Designer
this was really beautiful :-)
artech7 Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This is a wonderful scene! One of the things I would change with the falling water is stretch it on the y axis so it looks like elongated falling water. However, with being said, obviously it isn't a needed thing. This looks wonderful!
cyNickalCyn Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Wow, thanks for the wonderful comment! I did think about making the waterfalls appear to have more downward velocity but I'd already uploaded the image to DevArt and I'd simply had enough by that point! haha

Thanks again!
biotechbob Featured By Owner Sep 11, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
realy nice work!
and also intrested by a tutorial for the fall :-)
cyNickalCyn Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I uploaded a tutorial for the waterfall material that I created for this render, you can find it at the below address :)…

Thanks for stopping by!
biotechbob Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
thx to you
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