The Alley

Status: In progress

Inspired by the Victorian/Edwardian time period, the Alley is a project where 3D, photo-editing, and photography are combined. A 3D model is made in SketchUp picturing a small alley with houses, factories and shops. The 3D will be rendered and edited with Photoshop. The key is to make the scene as realistic as possible. Because of the possibility to use the 3D model for different scenes, a series of artworks can be made.

20 % done!


Today, another update of the development of the 3D-model of the project The Alley. Most of the buildings have their basic construction and I have added some props in the scene, like a carriage, crates, and a tree. I like the composition, but the level of detail is still not good enough. I do not know yet how detailed the model must be and which details I can better add in Photoshop. But that is part of the process for this project 🙂

The model must give an accurate representation of the objects with their reflections and shadows. So everything that emits light or casts shadows must be included in the model. I however do not like how the leaves and water are rendered, so I may add that in Photoshop for a more realistic finish.

I will now start working on the finer details and adding more props to the scene. Maybe I will experiment a little bit with some photoshop editing. Stay tuned for more progress updates 🙂

Progress of the 3D model

The Alley is a scene of a street, inspired by the Victorian/Industrial Era. At the moment, I am busy making the 3D model. I don’t want it to be a long straight street with the same houses, but a little bit more like it grew naturally. Buildings that are very old, buildings that are newer or renovated. I want to add both houses and shops and want the difference between rich and poor to be visible.

In the image below you can see the progress of the 3D model so far. It is not very detailed yet and I am still deciding about the composition of the buildings. Some of the buildings are still just blocks :). I do like the house/shop in the middle with the wood paneling. That is exactly the vibe I want in the buildings. I however still don’t like the factory next to it. I may add things like scaffolding in front of it, so it looks more cohesive with the rest of the model.

Currently, I am working on the little shop with the round bay window at the right. I don’t know yet what they are going to sell or what the name of the shop will be. Maybe you can give ideas?

Progress of the 3D model

Today, I started with making the 3D-model in SketchUp. I start with a very abstract scene and bring in more details as I go further in the process. Also, I decide about and save the scenes I want to render later, so I can get back to the scene to see if everything is working out.

I will work with very simple materials. They will have a little bit of texture, but not too much since I am going to use Photoshop for post-processing too. I will use mainly brick, wood, glass, and metal with some color variations.

This is my first experience with combining 3D-modelling with Photoshop and Photography to create a scene. So it is very exciting and I really hope the end result turns out to be good. I have used SketchUp with rendering before, and sometimes the renders look flat and fake. My goal is to make it very realistic. I have to find a good time-result balance since you can go crazy with your 3D model in terms of detail and complexity. But this will take a lot of modeling time and render time, and maybe the same can be achieved with a little effort in Photoshop. So, this project will be both an experience and a learning project for me. Below you can find a screenshot of the model.

Screenshot of the 3D-model

Personally, I really like the vibe and the architecture of the Victorian and Edwardian era. It looks industrial, yet classy and with many new inventions, rarities, and fashion. This inspired me to make a small piece of a street in this time period with factories, houses, and shops.

I was inspired by a photo I found on Pinterest, which was taken in the 1960s by Phyllis Nicklin. It gives off the vibe I want to create in the scene. Classy, but a little bit urbex-like and hints to the olden times :). The gap between rich and poor is visible and there are a lot of signs and propaganda promoting new and sometimes strange items from this industrial era.

The first thing I am going to do is creating the street with its buildings in 3D with SketchUp. I will make everything from scratch. Some of the 3D models I design will be available as a free download in the SketchUp Warehouse and on Deviant Art.