How ‘Colonial’ Inspired Oliver Beck’s Latest Creation
We are pleased to kick off 2021 with the release of our newest kit, Colonial! This kit was designed to help creators like you build anything from historical municipal squares to the ultimate Neo-Classical fantasy city. In order to showcase what’s possible with Colonial, we needed a great piece of cover art, so we turned to concept artist Oliver Beck. Today, Oliver joins us to share his artistic journey and how he created this grand cover piece.
Oliver is a freelance concept artist and indispensable member of the KB3D community. During our discussion, he shared with us that he uses our kits for work and personal projects nearly everyday, so he was the perfect choice to feature in today’s blog. If you look at the epic 3D worlds he’s built so far, we think you’ll agree he more than deserves the shoutout.
KitBash3D: Thanks so much for joining us, Oliver. With all of our guests we like to ask, “what drives you to make art?”
Oliver: I do art because I always loved the visual aspect of it. I thought about becoming an author for some time instead of doing 3D art, but there is something about the visual representation of it that just draws me in. Looking at illustrations or concept art when I was younger always had a special magic to me – something you could only capture in an image. Aside from that I also love exploring all the various mediums that exist for creating art. It’s a very broad field which just keeps it fun and interesting.
KitBash3D: And we’re so glad to be a part of your experience. Speaking of which, can you share more about your journey as an artist thus far?
Oliver: I started my artistic journey around three years ago and then landed my first jobs in 2019. My “big break” was in 2020 and I’ve kept working hard on my career and skills since then. Currently I am getting into Unreal and real time rendering while also improving my concept art and illustration skills on the side. I constantly experiment with workflows and love to try new ideas. While 2020 was a difficult year for most, for me it was actually very fulfilling, both in terms of career/art and personal development. I look forward to experimenting more, getting better, and working even harder in 2021!
KitBash3D: We’re looking forward to 2021 too, and we can’t wait to see what you create. You’ve done an excellent job with the Colonial cover already! Could you share the process you went through for that piece with the community?
Oliver: For pieces like this one, where I have a full set of fleshed out models available, I actually do very little research and love to just experiment and see where it takes me. Looking at the kit, I knew right away that I wanted to create some big gateway – something epic and grand. With that idea in mind, the process was very straightforward.
Oliver: I started by pulling out all the models of the kit that seemed interesting for my idea. I established the first blocking very quickly. At that point, Darren at KitBash3D was already pretty happy with the piece, so I moved on to experiment with some lighting iterations. Nothing too complicated here - just playing with the daylight system in Octane C4D and some volumetrics.
Oliver: Darren and I really liked the feel of the evening version and the shapes of the light, so I continued developing the piece with this in mind. I started by detailing the upper levels of the city more as well as placing some smaller local lights to add more life to the scene. I also brought in some trees and hinted at a garden area at the bottom to prevent the piece from looking too stale.
As that was taking shape, I did a quick render with passes to get a feel of what the final could look like.
Oliver: Darren suggested adding some more buildings at the far gate as well as some rim light in the foreground. After a few more tweaks, I rendered out the final at 8k. If I have the time, I like to do the raw render at twice the resolution of the final image. I again rendered out various passes in Octane and comped them together in Photoshop with some additional touches as necessary. Some noise and chroma blur can go a long way!
Oliver: And this is the end result! Thank you again for the fun collaboration, and I hope you guys enjoy the piece!
KitBash3D: We absolutely enjoyed it. We really appreciate you trying something bold and unique for this kit. Hopefully it will inspire others to put Colonial to the test and create something that none of us expected. And thank you again for sharing, Oliver. The pleasure was all ours!
We hope you enjoyed Oliver’s insight! Feel free to let us know if there’s anything you’d like us to focus more on in the future and don’t hesitate to tag us with your Colonial kit creations!
About Oliver Beck