Design & Drawing: Jun Zhou
Art Director: Fenger Zhang
Client: Hunan Education Press Group CO.Ltd
In mid-2022, I took a fresh look at how I was creating mazes and saw that I was spending too much time fixing perspective and drawing props repeatedly. That's when I knew I needed to innovate. After three months of learning Blender, I made this maze. It was my first attempt at crafting a maze in 3D rather than 2D. It turned out to be a maze with richer detail and a more accurate perspective.
Make Model "Illustrated"
Crafting an engaging 2D representation from a 3D model posed a significant hurdle. To tackle this, I painted many of the textures in 2D. To ensure these textures maintained their integrity without warping across the model's surface, I implemented specialized shading nodes. The gif shows the textures remain fixed instead of moving with the model.
In the image, certain elements like the cat head and translucent wings were created by drawings in photoshop. However, the result didn't meet expectations, mainly due to the low precision of the overly geometric edges of the models, like the oversized mushrooms. To address this issue,  larger models will need to be built separately.
New Work Flow
One challenge is when transitioning from sketches to 3D modeling. The poor perspective design of the sketch can hardly provide any help for modeling. Recognizing this, I've identified the need for a fresh approach to design. I plan to sketch in  Blender directly.
I separated rendered the black-and-white image of the creatures from the rest. By using Photoshop, I converted this black-and-white image into a layer mask, making it easier to accurately draw the creatures' shadows. The model had too many faces which made my computer slow down. To manage this, I worked on the background mushrooms separately and merged them later in Photoshop. I also noticed some shadow details were lacking in the render result. To enhance them, I exported the model's line drawing separately and combined it with the picture in Photoshop.
Publish Version & The Key
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