Introducing Steampunk!

Designed by Sebastian Luca and modeled by Jacek Smętek, Steampunk is our biggest kit to date! You can create the science fantasy worlds inspired by the works of H.G. Wells and Jules Verne with this kit’s plethora of imaginative structures, richly detailed edifices, and aesthetically striking filigree. Grab Steampunk for 50% off this week only and use its unique, hybrid combinations of British Victorian or American Wild West styles combined with the mechanical, steam-powered designs of whatever alternative history you can dream up!

An interview with Steampunk Cover Artist:

Ronan Le Fur

Ronan Le Fur aka Do Fresh Concept Art is a freelance concept artist and illustrator from Rennes, France. He has a strong artistic background with a master's degree in computer graphics. The majority of his experience lies in video games, book cover artwork, TV and cinema productions. His clients include Framestore, Ubisoft, Focus Home Interactive, Unit Image, HarperCollins, Axis Animation, Epic Games, and many others. He is currently working on a segment for the forthcoming David Fincher-produced Netflix show Love, Death and Robots

What story is the cover art telling? 

The idea was mostly to depict a steampunk city with a ground level point of view (I like it when you feel "in" the image rather than above it). This point of view allows the viewer to feel the ambiance of the city, the narrow streets, the multiple pipes running like veins along the walls, the massive buildings (like cathedrals of metal and glass) dominating the town. There is also a steam-propelled vehicle in order to add a bit of life to the scene.

How did you come up with that? What inspired you? 

My first ideas when I started working on this illustration were rather classical, I must say. I was thinking of a rather dark mood full of dirt and steam, perhaps at dusk or by nightfall. Eventually I thought it would be interesting to get away from the cliché and try something else. Most of us tend to give steampunk a rather dystopian feel, but if you read the works of someone like Jules Verne it is the absolute contrary. The science and the steam age can be some kind of utopia. I therefore decided to go for a sunny, colorful and vibrant image. Definitely not the easiest choice, and instead rather challenging. I had no particular reference for this image, except maybe vague reminiscence of Katsuhiro Otomo's Steamboy. But like most of the time when I produce a personal piece, I just let the ideas come and guide my process in a very empiric way.

Ronan's grey scale render

Intricate designs, unique structures

Warm brass and stone textures

What was your approach to creating this image? What Software did you use? 

I drew a few very loose sketches in order to get a few composition tests and then jumped into 3DS max. I played with the kit elements and placed them in order to get something graphical, but also to have nice lighting with interesting cast shadows and zones of contrast. It really is like playing with model kits; it's fun and intuitive. For the rendering I used V-Ray, which allowed me to export many render elements that I would use later (or not) in Photoshop. Then, for the final steps of the process I used the 3d raw render as a base in Photoshop and I added many layers of details, textures and light effects. And of course, I made a lot of slight color adjustments until I was happy with the final result. 

What did you think about working with this kit? 

It was very cool. Concerning the buildings, the kit has a lot of variety in terms of shapes, sizes and materials. There is some glass, some bricks, some wood, some metal. It allows you to quickly create something rich and appealing. Since the UVs of the objects are already unwrapped, it is also easy to apply alternate materials and shaders when needed.

Why do you make art?

I would say it is for the pleasure of telling stories mostly. Beyond the technical and graphical aspect of an image the most important quality of a picture, in my humble opinion, is its ability to create emotions. Therefore, I am happy when sometimes I am able to produce a piece that somehow resonates with the viewer. It is like sharing some kind of universal language based on images. Rather fascinating, isn't it?

Steampunk is 50% off until March 19th, so don't miss your chance to grab all the steam-pipe-infused, science-fantasy-inspired structures, edifices, filigree and much more!

Chris Gouchoe 

KB3D Director of Digital Marketing & Customer Experience