Bridging the Gap Between Imagination and 3D

Thomas Dubois is actually an architect but also likes to create stories with his friends that he then uses as an inspiration for his illustrations. This is exactly how The Ark was created!

Architect, graphic designer or storyteller? Thomas Dubois lets those who experience his work decide for themselves. The fact that architecture is not his only profession is obvious when you see his work. Despite his calling to become an architect, Thomas is also fascinated by stories, which he creates together with his brother Alexandre and his good friend Pablo Garcia. Putting these stories to paper in the form of words is only one aspect of what they do during their brainstorming sessions. Thomas wouldn’t be the visual visionary that he is if he didn’t use them as an inspiration for illustrations. He creates his illustrations using Cinema 4D and Photoshop – tools that are a part of his everyday workflow.

The common theme of these stories is planet Earth, whose rising sea levels have transformed the living spaces for its inhabitants. The concept that in such an event living spaces must be used in new and more effective ways was what gave ‘The Ark’ its initial spark. Thomas’ idea of hanging structures on a natural arc structure made of rock was an attempt at placing as many structures for living and working in as small a place as possible. Thomas starts with modeling low-poly models of the rock arc in Cinema 4D, to which he then adds UV coordinates.

He then creates another displacement map in Cinema 4D with noise and distortion properties, and renders the arc using VRay to create an impressive stone structure for the arc. Next, he created the structures that hang like swallows’ nests along the arc, which were also created using Cinema 4D. Cinema 4D’s MoGraph feature was used to duplicate and distribute these objects.

“As a whole, ‘The Ark’ is actually not a very complex scene,”
says Thomas. “The only issue I encountered was when I rendered the scene. Since the image had to be rendered at a very high resolution, the render times proved to be exorbitant when I did the first tests. Especially the arc’s high-res displacement map played a major role in bloating the render time! This is why I rendered the arc and the structures separately and later composited and fine-tuned both elements in Photoshop.” The result speaks for itself and is an excellent example of how Thomas creates spectacular images of his science fiction visions using Cinema 4D.

Once you’ve seen Thomas Dubois’ work you quickly realize why lectures and symposiums at which he speaks are quickly sold out.

Thomas Dubois’ web site:

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