Create Cityscape Concept Art Using Maya Autodesk

In this tutorial, I will teach you how to easily create a successful piece of cityscape concept art. We’ll be using a very basic 3D scene as a foundation for the piece, then taking it into Photoshop for some creative photo manipulation of reference photos, basic painting and adjustments. Let’s create this urban scene!

Final Image Preview

City Scape Concept Art

Take a look at the image we’ll be creating. Want access to the full PSD files and downloadable copies of every tutorial, including this one? Join Psd Plus for just $9/month. You can view the final image preview below.

Tutorial Details and Requirements

•           3D Program: Any application capable of rendering a daylight system will do.

I used Maya in this tutorial.

•           Lots of reference photos: This will be covered in the steps below.

•           Photoshop, and an Intermediate understanding of its tools and terms.

•           Graphics Tablet: Not essential, but very useful.

•           Difficulty: Intermediate – Advanced

•           Estimated Completion Time: 8-10 hours

The Brief

The brief, in my case, was to create a historical street scene from anywhere in the world before 1914. It wasn’t to be a particular street, but the concept had to serve the purpose of seeming as though it could be a real street in the time and place I chose, to have a sense of architecture and light, and overall atmosphere.

Obviously you can do anything you want for your projects, but for the sake of the tutorial let’s roll with my choice, which was Glasgow (Scotland) in 1900.

Step 1

The first thing to do is to gather lots of visual reference. Just because you’re doing Glasgow in 1900 doesn’t mean you should only be searching for photos or paintings of Glasgow in 1900.

You should be looking at the work of traditional painting masters, contemporary painters and concept artists, photographers, sculptors, arch-vis studios, etc. This will get you thinking about color, composition, lighting, and so on. All of this can be found online, in books, television, newspapers & magazines, and generally just about anywhere. If something inspires you, retain it somehow! I could sit here boring you with lists of incredible work you should look at, but that would take up a whole article in itself…

I can’t emphasize enough how important reference material is, because without it, you’re working blindly. And more often than not, the work you make up in your head will be ten times weaker than work produced with well used reference. Just about any successful concept artist will tell you this.

Another great way to gather visual reference, is of course to capture it yourself! Below for example, are a couple of photographs from a batch I took in London.

City Scape Concept Ar

Step 2

Beyond the general inspirational type of reference, it’s a good idea to gather the more practical and useful type of reference material. By this, I mean actually photos of Glasgow in 1900 we can use to help build our scene in the later stages.

In my case, I found an incredible resource through the AMICA Library, which is a free service for searching all sorts of arts from all sorts of periods, but you have to pay a premium to access the full resolution images.

Here, you’ll see that I came across images from a fantastic book by photographer Thomas Annan called “The Old Streets and Closes of Glasgow,” from 1900. It is these images precisely that we’ll eventually cut up and manipulate in order to add texture to our scene. You can find the images here.

City Scape Concept Art

Step 3

Once you have all your reference images and are roughly sure what sort of image you’d like to create, it’s a good idea to do lots of thumbnail sketches. You can use a pencil or paint directly into Photoshop. These thumbnails were painted using some of Photoshop’s default brushes set to pen opacity, but I’ll go into brushes a little later on.

For this you should work quite small, and spend the smallest amount of time on each one. Speed is key! If I can remember correctly, these were drawn in between 30 seconds and two minutes. This way you really have to figure out the composition and main idea of the image rather than getting caught up in the details.

Don’t be scared to do this step. I’m not a great painter, but you can see in some of the thumbnails below that they are simple yet complex enough to convey the idea for a scene.

City Scape Concept ArtStep 4

Now we’ll actually start working on our final piece. Open up Maya (or the program of your choice), then create a polygon Plane. Make it quite large, so it can act as our floor.

City Scape Concept Art

Step 5

Next, create a cube on top of your plane, this will be the template for our other buildings.

Once it’s created, press the Insert key. This will turn your manipulator into a slightly different icon, and will allow you to move just the pivot point of your object. In a side view, move the pivot point to the bottom of your cube (you can change viewports by pressing the spacebar whilst hovering the mouse over a viewport to maximize it or zoom out to 4-panel view). This will mean when you scale it, that it won’t really scale below the floor, but instead it will grow outwards from the bottom.

Once that’s done, press the Insert key again to get out of pivot point edit mode.

City Scape Concept Art

Step 6

Once you have your basic cube setup, you’ll need to start placing duplicates around the scene to create the street.

To do this, select the cube and press Command + D to duplicate it, the W key to move it, and the R key to scale it. Do this enough times until you have something like the image below.

Don’t try and align things perfectly, the charm of these kinds of streets is the chaotic asymmetry and variation.

City Scape Concept Art

Step 7

Now that we have a basic street setup, we’ll create a simple daylight system. Open up the render settings and under the Render Using drop-down, choose Mental Ray. Then, under the Quality tab, choose the Quality Preset called “Preview: Final Gather.”

City Scape Concept Art

Step 8

Still in the Render Settings window, go to the Indirect Lighting tab, and next to Physical Sun and Sky, press the Create button.

City Scape Concept Art

1 2 3
FOLLOW US
Comments
  1. dating services

    Well spoken. I never thought I would agree with this opinion, but I’m beginning to view things from a different view. I have to research more on this as it seems quite interesting. One thing that is unclear to me though is how everything is related together.

  2. Winifred Flammang

    How often do you write your blogs? I enjoy them a lot 9 9 9

  3. Dallas Eich

    How often do you write your blogs? I enjoy them a lot 9 3 4

  4. NadeemSMB

    Thanks.

  5. NadeemSMB

    you may search & don’t forget to right your views after searching.

  6. Racquel Nian

    This is a great blog you got here but i can’t seem to find the RSS button.

  7. NadeemSMB

    Thanks but you may find RSS Button if you’ll try to find that. you may try & you will find all the relevant commands which are related about the blog.

  8. ebook reader

    As a Newbie, I am always searching online for articles that can help me. Thank you

  9. Sherill Dahnke

    One can find several very nice points made here. Typically, I’m not really keen on weblogs. nevertheless, occasionally all of us should take notice. Inspiring, I am grateful to you.

  10. NadeemSMB

    Thanks 4 that keep visiting this site & send us your feedback as well as you concern i’ll be glad & will try to do it more efficiently.

  11. rapelay download

    That is when you, the actor, john choose your method of assault.

  12. Risa Tomas

    I have to say that it is my best estimation Create Cityscape Concept Art Using Maya Autodesk | Learn Web, Designing and Other Tutorials across the Web is almost certainly a carefully prepared article. Most definately truly worth referfing to and moreover perfectly worth talking about http://www.buildtutorial.com/create-cityscape-concept-art-maya-autodesk-2.html as a result. Truly, Risa Tomas

  13. Page Paire

    Superb content articles in your website, i share it with my buddies from UK, retain growing it, Cheers !

  14. Kimberley Wariner

    this is significant

  15. Rusty Bruzewski

    Justin Bieber might possibly be my favorite! He is totally sweet!

  16. Lecia Nagengast

    I am a big admirer! Appreciate your writing this

  17. best ad program

    Nice blog.

  18. forex system

    Such a cool blog. I liked this post especially the best.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>