This piece has a particular place in my heart. Not only was it my first "original" scene, but it was a key moment for me as an artist where I have experienced amazing growth and found my passion for Look Development, Lighting, and Compositing.
This whole project started with the Knight. I modeled it with Maya and then brought it into Mari to texture it. Thanks to the node-graph I was able to make my process very procedural and re-use some node combinations to make my workflow more efficient.
While a lot of the texturing happened in Mari, there is also a lot that was done in Maya using VRay shaders. One key component to match the look of the concept was using VRay's ray switch node that let me get nice color variations in different areas.
A word about the environment
With the knight on hand, I thought it would be a missed opportunity to not push the project further and create a whole scene out of it.
I used the forest as an opportunity to explore the Unreal Engine foliage system using a mix of Megascans assets and trees made using SpeedTree. The bird model is from RISD's Nature Lab 3D scan collection.
The story I wanted to tell from the beginning was pretty clear. However, it took a few iterations of Layout, Lighting, and Compositing before getting to the final animated render.