Join Zaheer Mukhtar for an in-depth discussion in this video Elements of stylization, part of 3ds Max: Stylized Environment for Animation.
- [Male Narrator] Now before we jump into the modeling process, let us explore some elements of stylization. Now these aren't generic or universal laws or rules but things that I have learned over years of experience in creating stylized art. And I'm sure if you keep these points in mind, you will be able to create some really nice and eye-catching art for your future projects. Let's just quickly go through these points first. So the first point is having exaggerated proportions.
The second thing is having curved, irregular, and tilted shapes. The third point to keep in mind is using hand painted and less busy textures. The fourth point is avoiding unnecessary details. And the fifth, and final point would be breaking the monotony. Now there could be several other things, but you will learn those with your experience and they will be kind of minor things, but these are very important things to keep in mind. Let's just apply these points on some practical art.
Now this is a piece of art I have created several years ago. Looking into the first point, having exaggerated proportions I see that these leaves and this flower is way too big than usually the flower and leaves would be. Consider this a three-story building, so if I bring this flower and these leaves in front of this door. It would be taking almost one third of the part of the door which makes it way too big. Similarly these nails are way too big than usually nails would be, and this chain is way too thick than usually chains would be.
So this is what we would call exaggerated proportions. The next point is having curved, irregular, or tilted shapes. I see that there is a curve in this roof, and these tiles are tilted in different directions and they are very irregular. I also see curves in this building's structure as well. And these pillars are tilted in different directions. Similarly, on this structure I see that these wood planks are irregular. These ones are particularly very irregular in shape.
Now the third point is using hand painted, less busy textures. This model on the left uses hand painted texture for the leaves and almost all parts. And it has less grain on the wood, and similarly these lines in the leaves are very thick and prominent, and using contrasting straws. Which actually pops out the detail. On the other hand, the roof here uses completely flat color, which is kind of good, but there is a lot of monotony completely repeating the same color over and over.
And another problem is, as I look at the bottom, it suddenly starts getting very busy. This texture has a lot of noise ratio. Lots of color variation on them, which actually does not make it looked stylized. On the other hand, this third piece actually breaks almost all laws of stylization. This is very busy, using small details, and this part is completely unreadable. While, on the other hand, the base is very stylized with less busy colors, and the exaggerated proportions of the tiles on the floor.
This example here uses kind of mix, now since this is my very old art, I still realize many mistakes. This part is very busy in terms of texture, it uses a lot of noise. While this part, I have broken the monotony by adding variations of the brown color to the roof which looks kind of good. The next point is avoiding unnecessary details. I see lots of small detail on this part of my building, which actually, if I make this athit smaller and let's say I make it a 256 by 256 pixel image, this detail will almost disappear.
And this detail will become noise. Similarly here, if I render this out on a smaller resolution for mobile games, this detail will be completely be lost. Now these flowers maybe slightly exaggerated, but these are kind of small. So we need to avoid any unnecessary details such as the small tiles on the floors or these decoration pieces on the top of this building. Now the fifth point is breaking the monotony.
Now I see that there is a lot of repetition here. It uses completely single yellow color, though a bit of repetition is broken by using fat strands, but there is still repetition. Now here I have consistent use of brown color, but I have broken the monotony by adding some green leaves to the top. So some of the monotony is broken, but again there is a lot of green color repetition here the same pattern I see, which in this case I have broken down by adding red flowers.
Now here I have red flowers, but I haven't added any further detail or contrasting colors in the middle, which would break the monotony, which here I have added. With the red flower I have added a white contrasting color which actually breaks the monotony of this red color. Similarly, in this piece I see that there is a lot of repetition of these tiles or bricks which share the same color, so I am breaking the monotony by adding grass which is green grass, and then further the grass has repetition so I have broken the monotony by adding some very small red flowers, thus breaking the monotony.
So these were some of the points that you need to keep in mind for your future stylized art creation process. Next we're going to analyze a reference image.
First, Zaheer explores artistic ways to block out the basic forms of your structure, such as using exaggerated proportions and irregular, tilted shapes. Next, he shows how to add details to the forms. Then he demonstrates how to add the more stylized elements including textures, imported materials, color refinements, and lighting. He wraps up the course by wrapping up the workflow, making final render passes and preparing the scene for export. Along the way, he covers art creation, modeling, compositing, and more.
- Exploring the elements of stylization
- Analyzing a reference image
- Blocking out basic shapes
- Reshaping forms
- Creating details
- Creating stylized elements
- Creating materials in 3ds Max
- Color correcting materials
- Preparing materials for export
- Importing elements into a scene
- Adding lights to a scene
- Setting up V-Ray Renderer
- Fixing issues with renders and lights
- Compositing render passes in Photoshop