A New Home - Blog #1 Blockout

General / 06 August 2021

Hey what’s up everyone!! I’ve been back at it working on a new scene. It is more themed around feudal Japan and focuses on a mysterious shrine in the mountains. I was inspired by this concept Hearth and Home by Grady Frederick. The composition, mood, and colors are just awesome and completely resonated with me. 


Hearth and Home by Grady Frederick - https://www.artstation.com/artwork/1zObe

I love to keep decent amount shots that keep me inspired and serve as a reminder of the mood I want to convey through the environment. I just think it’s so important to convey emotion through my work and to make people feel something or connect with it.

I am a HUUUGE fan of cinematographer Bradford Young because of how personal and grounded/natural his shots feel. I feel like I kind of carry that with me when I’m thinking about the framing of my shots or composition.




One area I really struggled with a bit was deciding what the shrine represented. I didn’t want it to just be a regular shrine that people just make the journey to visit. This shrine must represent some quality or blessing that people would travel all through the dangerous snowy mountains just to worship and pay respects. Considering it’s such a focal point in my project I want that to stand out the most. After doing some research it started to hit me that having it represent a deity would really help and it gave me much more ideas on the storytelling aspect of my environment. I could push that a bit further.

I had a lot of references of Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples even more than what I had on the Pureref below, but I condensed it down to the Shinto shrines I found more interesting because it did feel a bit overwhelming. It made it much easier to choose the features I loved the most.

The block out went through a few stages and I’m thankful for all the feedback I received at this stage. This is probably the first time where I didn’t feel as stressed over the block-out stage. I tried something new where instead of just modeling the environment in Maya and going back and forth updating the scene. I instead created Blockout models of what I thought would be important to the environment and I imported them into Unreal and kind of grey boxed the environment out. Kind of how Tim Simpson did in his tutorial https://youtu.be/4wziE0AYCoo

It felt a little more freeing

As I move forward on the scene the one thing I see being challenging is something I love doing and that is sculpting 😂. Sculpting rocks and little statues are new to me so it should be exciting. I set little milestones throughout the project as well to keep me motivated in case I feel I’m not making progress, or I get frustrated. Any reminder to kind of show how far you've come helps so much because those moments of frustration happen. I’ve been learning to just be patient about certain things.  It has been awesome learning about Japanese culture and I'm sure I will learn even more by the end of the project. This is has been exciting to work on! I hope you got an insight into how I work.

Until next time!