Friday, October 8th, 2021 Posted by Jim Thacker

Discover expert techniques for building 3D environments

The Gnomon Workshop has released Efficient Techniques for Building 3D Environments: a compendium of expert tricks to speed up environment-building workflows, recorded by industry veteran James Miller.

The three-hour workshop covers a range of environment types and key software applications for VFX and feature animation work, including Clarisse iFX, Houdini, Maya, Metashape, SpeedTree and Nuke.

Time-saving tips, tricks and shortcuts for a range of key environment-building software
During the course of the workshop, Miller discusses how to create a range of different 3D environments, revealing production-proven techniques to speed up workflow along the way.

He begins by demonstrating a large city environment in a desert landscape, exploring Houdini‘s terrain tools, how to model to shot requirements, and object scattering in Clarisse iFX.

Miller moves to Nuke to discuss how to composite render passes generated from the scene to create a finished shot, setting out his best practices for using AOVs.

The workshop then explores the role of photogrammetry in building 3D environments, walking viewers through the creation of a 3D scan in Metashape.

Miller then turns to his second environment, a fantasy-style forest, setting up the trees using the new SpeedTree Engine for Clarisse plugin, and animating the atmosphere in Houdini.

The next section of the workshop brings all of the assets together with textures applied in Clarisse iFX to create a project used as the basis of Miller’s final shot, entitled ‘The Squatter Village’.

Miller concludes by looking at how to work efficiently with complex production scenes, exploring the use of different projection techniques to avoid rendering more than necessary in 3D.

As well as the training videos themselves, viewers gain access to the project files for the workshop.

About the artist
James Miller is a senior generalist in the visual effects and feature animation industry. He has worked at leading studios Industrial Light & Magic, DNEG and DreamWorks Animation.

Over the course of almost two decades working in digital media, he has built environments for franchises including Star Wars, the Marvel Cinematic Universe and How to Train Your Dragon.

Pricing and availability
Efficient Techniques for Building 3D Environments is available via an online subscription to The Gnomon Workshop. Subscriptions cost $49/month or $490/year. You can try the training for free.

Read more about Efficient Techniques for Building 3D Environments

Full disclosure: CG Channel is owned by Gnomon.