Guardians of the Galaxy

lead Environment-DMP

As a lead artist on the show, I worked with a team of 20 artists during 9 months on 3 large sequences such as the Morag sequence, the Mall fight in Xandar, and the final battle on the darkAster crash site.

We had to create a space point of view of Morag and its 3 moons. The director wanted to feel Morag as an abandonned unfriendly planet. The oceans dried out and it remains only relics of an ancient civilisation.

We used multiple earth samples from space to create the DMP. We kept the giant storms and the lightning as separated layer and animated them slightly in order to give a bit of life on the planet.


We created huge arches models taking sea coral rocks as references. We cleaned with ZBrush the lidarscan of the original set and we split it in order to create a collection of pinnacles and various kit of pieces of ground. We also made a collection of small rocks to scatter an extra layer of details on the environment. We finally used the photogrammetry technique to get the models of giant rock structures with photos shot in deserts of Egypt. We used this collection of assets to layout every shots of the sequence.

We used VRay and its own instances proxy feature to layout the scene. We created a collection of triPlanar projection shaders to texture quickly all the asset and lookdev the scene with VRay for maya. At this point, we setup a projectionCamera and we rendered multiple renderLayers and ID according to the depth and the overlap issues. We used photos references of mountains, cliff and rocks to enhance the 3d renders in DMP.


On the planet, few monument still stand up like this old temple where Peter will find the orb. To create this environment, we created the temple exterior in DMP, starting with a base model geometry. We used references of various old ruined temples to made it and added extra corals, rocks and moisture details.


We created the temple interior in fullCG. The same environment has been used for all the interior sequence, without DMP touch up. We begun creating various assets such as columns, kit of grounds with rubble, square pillars, ceiling modules, corals and other mushrooms. For the column, we used once again the photogrammetry technique with photos of the original set. We used VRay and its own instances proxy feature to layout the scene. We used a mix of triplanar generic projection shaders and asset based shaders to lookdev the scene. The renders were optimized using baked irradiance maps, light caches and other vray baking features.


During the chase, Peter finds its ship and runs away.

For this fullCG shot, we had to recreate the set location from the lidarscan in order get a plate that we did not have for this shot. We made the DMP using the set photos of the original set. We created it overcast in order to let it be lit by the thrusters of the starship. We added extra specular and reflection passes in order to give extra small details.


For these shots, we had to create a gigantic crater with blades of rocks on the contour to illustrate the strength of the impact. We used worldmachine in our workflow to extract erosion and color map on our models. We then recombined them in a triplanar texture projection shader on VRay. We finished by populating pinnacles all around to add extra details. For the Bg we made a DMP re using materials from previous shot in order to keep the sequence consistency.


On this final shot, we created the sky in DMP with 2 projectionCamera and multiple layers of clouds. We created the gigantic corals in 3D using natural coral as reference and rendered with VRay. The challenge of this shot was to give enough details informations to keep the scale of the scene.


These shots are part of the XandarMallFigth sequence. We had to create the buildings and the vegetation of XandarCity. We started creating a huge map of Xandar that will be used as a "googleMap" of the city. On top of it we started to layout the buildings, trees, vegetation, props with multiple level of details. One was used for the aerial point of view, an other one for the closer shots. Finally, new layouts have been necessary for the set extension shots where buildings were needed to be adjusted on a shot by shot basis. We used Vray and its proxy feature to layout the buildings and scatter the trees. The sky is a DMP 360 degrees ciclorama.


For the final battle sequence, we made the set extension of the crash site. We started the layout of all the sequence by scattering pieces of the original lidar of the DarkAster. We created more modules to add pattern and size divertisty. We added buildings and trees used previoulsy for the XandarMall sequence. Once again we used Vray and the same proxy technique to render the shots.