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    How to Create Overgrown Cityscape Environment with ‘Last of Us’ Vibe

    How to Create Overgrown Cityscape Environment with ‘Last of Us’ Vibe

    Initiated and organized by the best render farm and TPN-Accredited cloud rendering service provider Fox Renderfarm, FGT Art becomes a platform for all Fox Renderfarm users to show their impressive artwork and get awarded monthly.

    FGT Art August Winner, 2022 came to Akhil Alukkaran with his work “Stranded”. We are honored to have the opportunity to communicate with him. Here's the interview with Mr. Akhil in which we could find out how he created this overgrown cityscape environment with a ‘Last of Us’ vibe.

    Fox Renderfarm: Hi Akhil! Thanks a lot for accepting our interview. First of all, could you please introduce yourself?

    Akhil: Hi, My name is Akhil Alukkaran. I am an architect & CG generalist from Kerala, India. I started my journey in 3D around 3 years ago and I am still learning. I started with doing architecture visualizations, but since I am also interested in filmmaking, I tend to do a lot of personal projects now and then.

    Currently, I am working as a freelance 3D artist.

    Fox Renderfarm: Congrats on winning the FGT Art August Winner, 2022! How do you feel about it?

    Akhil: Feeling great! This will encourage me to create more.

    Fox Renderfarm: What is the inspiration for this work?

    Akhil: This was just meant to be a project to practice. I wanted to create an overgrown cityscape environment, which gives a ‘Last of Us’ vibe to it.

    An abandoned city. There weren’t any references as such, just a few images in my mind. The rest of it just followed through.

    Fox Renderfarm: What software and plug-ins did you use? And how long did you finish the work?

    Akhil: My workflow is based mostly on Blender. Other than Blender, I just used Blenderesse’s Ivy generator setup to generate Ivy and customized the materials and ivy leaf model.

    Link: https://blenderesse.gumroad.com/l/hHyrG

    Fox Renderfarm: How did you make the lighting and textures to achieve photorealistic rendering?

    Akhil: There was really nothing complicated about it. I just used an overcast Hdri from Polyhaven for the lighting.

    How to Create Overgrown Cityscape Environment with ‘Last of Us’ Vibe 1

    The next step was to create a cityscape with it, so I used the same model and broke it into different portions so that I can Kitbash and make multiple variations.

    How to Create Overgrown Cityscape Environment with ‘Last of Us’ Vibe 2

    © Akhil Alukkaran

    How to Create Overgrown Cityscape Environment with ‘Last of Us’ Vibe 3

    © Akhil Alukkaran

    Also, the base model was a photo-scanned model of the former offices of Royal Doulton (Sketchfab Model Link: https://skfb.ly/6Vvzt) which was pretty good with all the details.

    Then to turn it into what we see in the final animation, I just mixed it with a simple moss texture.

    How to Create Overgrown Cityscape Environment with ‘Last of Us’ Vibe 4

    © Akhil Alukkaran

    How to Create Overgrown Cityscape Environment with ‘Last of Us’ Vibe 5

    © Akhil Alukkaran

    How to Create Overgrown Cityscape Environment with ‘Last of Us’ Vibe 6

    © Akhil Alukkaran

    How to Create Overgrown Cityscape Environment with ‘Last of Us’ Vibe 7

    © Akhil Alukkaran

    Fox Renderfarm: Did you have any difficulties in creating this work? How did you solve them?

    Akhil: The only problem I found was that I could not find any good plugins to create organic-looking Ivy, in the beginning. Later with Blenderesse’s geometry node setup, the problem got solved.

    How to Create Overgrown Cityscape Environment with ‘Last of Us’ Vibe 8

    © Akhil Alukkaran

    How to Create Overgrown Cityscape Environment with ‘Last of Us’ Vibe 9

    © Akhil Alukkaran

    How to Create Overgrown Cityscape Environment with ‘Last of Us’ Vibe 10

    © Akhil Alukkaran

    How to Create Overgrown Cityscape Environment with ‘Last of Us’ Vibe 11

    © Akhil Alukkaran

    How to Create Overgrown Cityscape Environment with ‘Last of Us’ Vibe 12

    © Akhil Alukkaran

    Fox Renderfarm: We noticed that you participated in the Moving Meditations 3D Challenge initiated by Clinton Jones (pwnisher) and your excellent work entered the Top 100. How did you come up with the idea of making this work? What's the most challenging part of creating this artwork?

    Akhil: Yeah, I already had the idea with me before, and when I knew about the challenge, I thought it seemed fitting, so I attempt it. I started working on it a bit late. However, since I had clarity on what to achieve, I was able to do it in a short period of time.

    The challenging part was actually building two different environments for 6 seconds of animation and that too within 3 to 4 days.

    Another important thing was to model the character, which I had no previous experience with at all.

    Since I was looking to deliver a photorealistic environment, it was important to give attention to the character model. So I decided to learn Character Creator and Marvelous Designer. I was not sure whether I would be able to complete it or not.

    Fox Renderfarm: Could you describe your workflow/pipeline?

    Akhil: Most of my workflow is based on Blender. Sometimes I do use several other software as well, depending on the use case and goal that I need to achieve.

    In this case, It was made in Blender and the character was created with the help of Character Creator and Marvelous Designer.

    How to Create Overgrown Cityscape Environment with ‘Last of Us’ Vibe 13

    © Akhil Alukkaran

    How to Create Overgrown Cityscape Environment with ‘Last of Us’ Vibe 14

    © Akhil Alukkaran

    How to Create Overgrown Cityscape Environment with ‘Last of Us’ Vibe 15

    © Akhil Alukkaran

    How to Create Overgrown Cityscape Environment with ‘Last of Us’ Vibe 16

    © Akhil Alukkaran

    How to Create Overgrown Cityscape Environment with ‘Last of Us’ Vibe 17

    © Akhil Alukkaran

    How to Create Overgrown Cityscape Environment with ‘Last of Us’ Vibe 18

    © Akhil Alukkaran

    How to Create Overgrown Cityscape Environment with ‘Last of Us’ Vibe 19

    © Akhil Alukkaran

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    © Akhil Alukkaran

    How to Create Overgrown Cityscape Environment with ‘Last of Us’ Vibe 21

    © Akhil Alukkaran

    How to Create Overgrown Cityscape Environment with ‘Last of Us’ Vibe 22

    © Akhil Alukkaran

    How to Create Overgrown Cityscape Environment with ‘Last of Us’ Vibe 23

    © Akhil Alukkaran

    Fox Renderfarm: Could you introduce some of your unforgettable architectural works? And why?

    Akhil: I just completed my architectural studies recently and I was working as an architect in a firm here in Kerala. I know that I still have a lot of things to learn in architecture and hopefully will be able to share a few of the projects later in the future. However, there is one particular design that I did in my academic years which in a way inspired me to consider exploring the possibilities of CG art in general.

    Akhil’s artwork “CAVE”:

    https://www.artstation.com/artwork/q9L9oy

    https://www.artstation.com/artwork/48lQ02

    A conceptual design of a weekend home which was part of a personal project, hypothetically placed in a context near Umiam lake, Shillong. The design is still conceptual but not realized.

    Fox Renderfarm: Are you learning anything new lately? Do you have any feelings to share with us?

    Akhil: Learning is always there and I believe that it never ends, but at the moment I am trying to learn a little bit about geometry nodes in Blender, specifically to create photoreal Vegetation models.

    Fox Renderfarm: How do you feel about Fox Renderfarm’s cloud rendering services?

    Akhil: Fox Renderfarm's service always felt reliable and it became better than when I started using this in the earlier years.

    Fox Renderfarm: Do you have any advice for people who are new to the CG industry?

    Akhil: I am still learning and not sure exactly what ‘advice’ I should give them. Nowadays, people are so blessed with all the educational content around them. The only thing that stops us from creating is ourselves. There are a lot of new artists out there who are able to create exceptional works, and I am really looking forward to seeing even more.

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