For my Digital Modeling class, we were assigned to create a “primitive scene” in Maya. This meant, we were to create an outdoor scene in Maya using only basic polygons, and only using the move, rotate, and resizing tools. We were then to light and render the scene using the Arnold rendering Maya offers.
I was pretty stumped at first over what to do for this project. At first I thought I wanted to do an outdoor scene at the park with an alien spaceship abducting someone using a telescope. As I was clumping a human model together, I was inspired to make a little child instead. And due to the strange “connect the dots” thought process my brain has, I decided that I wanted the little child model to be based off Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes.
For some reason, the scene I was inspired to make was a winter scene. I wanted to base the scene I made off of the Calvin and Hobbes comic strips where Calvin creates hordes of snowmen. Those strips were always my favorites as a child, and I always loved how varied the snowmen would be.
When I started to create polygons for the landscape, I ran into some trouble. I had wanted the scene to be set in a snowy cul-de-sac where my makeshift Calvin’s snowmen could annoy the surrounding neighbors. However, I simply could not get past modeling a house. I didn’t want the houses to just be a literal square, but trying to create the roof, and make the house look semi-affluent was just too hard for me. So I scratched that idea and just set the scene in a park. I made two benches and duplicated a couple of trees.
I chose this camera angle because I thought it gave a nice cone of vision for the scene. I felt like this camera angle allowed for better blocking and varied perspectives. I also really liked the camera being behind I-Can’t-Believe-It’s-Not-Calvin just as he puts the finishing touches on a snowman.
When I set out to render my final scene, I got really into playing with the sky and fog shaders. I absolutely loved experimenting and coordinating with the two of them. Playing around with the lighting inspired me to create a more somber, quiet nighttime sort of feel. So I added some “snow” spheres and duplicated it a bunch of times to fill out the scene. My goal was to create a nice, peaceful nighttime moment. I feel like I accomplished that goal, at least in my view. I really like the yellow tint added to the scene. I felt it helped to keep everything warmer, while still kinda peaceful.