Making of HOVER 'Time Traveler House' by Tolgahan Gungor

Making of HOVER ‘Time Traveler House’ by Tolgahan Gungor

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June 12, 2011 |  by  |  Making-Of, Native, Tutorials
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The ‘Time Travler House’ earned Tolgahan Gungor the 1st Runner Up award in the HOVER architectural visualization challenge. It is a very unique piece of art which also awarded him the special category prize for best design and a respected CGTalk CG Choice Award. This tutorial focuses more on the conceptual part of things then technical. I hope you’ll enjoy it, learn from it and share your thoughts by commenting at the bottom of this tutorial page.

tolgahan photo Making of HOVER Time Traveler House by Tolgahan GungorAuthor: Tolgahan Gungor
Tolgahan is a 30 years old 3d artist based in Izmir, Turkey. He participated in several CGTalk challenges and works professionally via AVIS Graphics, his own firm. Read the Interview with Tolgahan to learn more about him and the way he works.

Before we start, you we will see my final submitted entry below… I have managed to make many more views for this project during and after the challenge, and I’ll share most of them here too.

hover time traveler house tolgahan gungor final thumb Making of HOVER Time Traveler House by Tolgahan Gungor

Concept

I was inspired greatly by the works of Lebbeus Wood in the making of the ‘Time Traveler House’ entry for the HOVER challenge and I would like to share these samples with you as a starting point for my article.

hover time traveler house tolgahan gungor inspration01 thumb Making of HOVER Time Traveler House by Tolgahan Gungor

hover time traveler house tolgahan gungor inspration02 thumb Making of HOVER Time Traveler House by Tolgahan Gungor

hover time traveler house tolgahan gungor inspration03 thumb Making of HOVER Time Traveler House by Tolgahan Gungor

When the competition had started, I decided to do the first concept that came to my mind. It had to look like as if it was stuck into a rock but at the same time it had to be seen as it was hung up in the air. Although I had the complete structure of the building in my mind, I made some changes due to some comments and suggestions that other participants and visitors made on the WIP thread of the challenge.

Modeling

Because I did not use any references while doing the model, it was a very hard session to complete. Sometimes I had to throw away some samples after studying it for 2-3 hours. I used poly modeling method while creating the models and made load of sketches at the beginning of the project just to be able to visualize every single detail.

hover time traveler house tolgahan gungor sketch02 thumb Making of HOVER Time Traveler House by Tolgahan Gungor

hover time traveler house tolgahan gungor sketch01 thumb Making of HOVER Time Traveler House by Tolgahan Gungor

I started with sketches like the ones you can see above and kept going with the modeling and revisiting this way of sketching over and over again until I came up with the final version.

I had many changes during this stage as I focus on the outside look of the house as well as the inside.

hover time traveler house tolgahan gungor modeling sketch 001 thumb Making of HOVER Time Traveler House by Tolgahan Gungor

hover time traveler house tolgahan gungor modeling sketch 002 thumb Making of HOVER Time Traveler House by Tolgahan Gungor

That was the point I turned to a project by Massimiliano Fuksas – The ‘Grotte Niaux’. This reference sparked more design and modeling changes until I finally got something I was happy with.

04 travel museums thumb Making of HOVER Time Traveler House by Tolgahan Gungor

Here are some of the sketches and modeling parts that I made after this reference.

hover time traveler house tolgahan gungor modeling sketch 004 thumb Making of HOVER Time Traveler House by Tolgahan Gungor

hover time traveler house tolgahan gungor modeling sketch 005 thumb Making of HOVER Time Traveler House by Tolgahan Gungor

And a breakdown of the complete house…

hover time traveler house tolgahan gungor wire5 thumb Making of HOVER Time Traveler House by Tolgahan Gungor

The Rock Face

Before the building I made the rock in which the building is nestled in. I intended for this rock to look like a mountain with a cave in it.

hover time traveler house tolgahan gungor sketch04 thumb Making of HOVER Time Traveler House by Tolgahan Gungor

After the first draft, I started to model it by preparing a low-poly version model first and then, with the help of soft selection inside the edit poly modifier, I shaped the cave in a way that will allow it to receive the house in a natural way.

hover time traveler house tolgahan gungor wire2 thumb Making of HOVER Time Traveler House by Tolgahan Gungor

I did the rock bottom to top to and to accentuate the height and heavy feel I reversed the slope so that the mountain will also seem to hover over the wooded valley below.

hover time traveler house tolgahan gungor sketch03 thumb Making of HOVER Time Traveler House by Tolgahan Gungor

The texturing was basic diffuse painting and then just generating bump and displacement maps out of it is Photoshop.

hover time traveler house tolgahan gungor textures thumb Making of HOVER Time Traveler House by Tolgahan Gungor

The Bottom Surface

While doing the surface I used VRayScatter most of the time but I also applied displacement below the scattered elements to enhance the display of the dried plants. I felt I needed more variation of color and so I added the yellow shorter grass among the dominant greens. I think this single element was the greatest contributor to the render time.

yenilerden42 thumb Making of HOVER Time Traveler House by Tolgahan Gungor

I was greatly inspired by houses located on isolated places that are on Frank Lloyd Wright’s books. ‘Falling Water’ being the most famous one.

falling water frank lloyd wright thumb Making of HOVER Time Traveler House by Tolgahan Gungor

Here is the viewport view with rock face, house and bottom part…

hover time traveler house tolgahan gungor wire6 thumb Making of HOVER Time Traveler House by Tolgahan Gungor

Time Machine

This was first a decorative object to be used at the first place but then I decided to make it the main object located in the middle of the house. Below you can see inspirations for it…

hover time traveler house tolgahan gungor inspration1 thumb Making of HOVER Time Traveler House by Tolgahan Gungor

And one of my first concept sketches too.

hover time traveler house tolgahan gungor time travler thing01 thumb Making of HOVER Time Traveler House by Tolgahan Gungor

When this machine works it gives the impression that the world moves right from here. I made a glass ball and inserted many working wheels and little balls around it that represents the planets.

hover time traveler house tolgahan gungor wire4 thumb Making of HOVER Time Traveler House by Tolgahan Gungor

hover time traveler house tolgahan gungor wire3 thumb Making of HOVER Time Traveler House by Tolgahan Gungor

pafta19 4 thumb Making of HOVER Time Traveler House by Tolgahan Gungor

Trees and Plants

Most of the forest trees that I used were either made using Onyx Tree or pre-made iCube R&D trees (Palm and summer tree sets). For my next project I will model the trees myself and texture them myself because this time they were lacking some amount of details.

hover time traveler house tolgahan gungor modeling01 thumb Making of HOVER Time Traveler House by Tolgahan Gungor

Lighting

While doing the lighting the first impression I wanted was that the shadow of the trees on the house and the sunlight to be seen as little as possible. However it was very hard to do this. With a VRaySun, I back-lighted the scene and lighten the area that the house is located on by using indirect illumination. And for shadows on the house I used an Omni Light that gives out yellow light.

hover time traveler house tolgahan gungor detail thumb Making of HOVER Time Traveler House by Tolgahan Gungor

On most cameras I wanted to see the trees bushy and I wanted the light to be seen ineffective. But it was very hard to control both,  so the the effect of the light became poor. The most important reason of the trees not to have shadows was because the area was sloping.

That was the hardest problem I had and I tried different compositions to sort it out. But I could never do what I really wanted. I wish I had made the area flat. But then it would make the height of the house ineffective.

The struggle I had was mostly about the concept and the composition. I did not have enough time and information to concentrate on technical details. Therefore I mostly focused on the shape of the house and the hole in the mountain.

While lighting the hole of the mountain I stopped the light going inside the mountain by excluding the lights. With this it gained depth and the house came forward.

Because the renders were taking long times with a VRayDome light, I used a VRaySun instead. But I guess if I do another similar project I would think as if the house is lightened in a photography studio. I will light the trees separately, the house separately and the back space separately and use different lights for each object. Otherwise it is so hard to control the light.

hover time traveler house tolgahan gungor HDRItest thumb Making of HOVER Time Traveler House by Tolgahan Gungor

I used HDRI for some glass reflection on some images and fog on some images but because it was my first time trying VRayFog, I wasn’t very successful especially while using noise for fog, renders slowed down. I used VRayZDepth instead to create fog which I believe was enough.

Rendering

For all renders I used i7 860 8gb ram. I tried not to use irradiance map because some subdivs were insufficient due to indirect illumination. These also caused some errors on distributed rendering. So I used brute force and light cache on renders. Even though I had some noise problems still it is better not to have faulty look.

hover time traveler house tolgahan gungor render settings thumb Making of HOVER Time Traveler House by Tolgahan Gungor

Postwork

I saved all images as 16bit EXR because they were mostly dark and later I had to lighten them back in Photoshop. I had to change the sky with the help of an alpha channel for the background. I had to make too many color corrections to suit the main image. Especially on some points I tried hard to seem it greener where the area is green.

I used VRay Material ID render elements. I tried to achieve the look of seasonal changes by gradient map on trees by using soft light layer. I increased the effect of glow by painting those areas with Wacom tablet. While coloring the images inside, I tried the hot colors to come forward and leave the cold colors beneath. Like on most areas I colored the background green and the front in orange. While doing this I made two layers on two Photoshop programs and used alpha channel that was applied a gradient map. I also tried nuke and color grading which were not so good.

Here’s a 2 part video about the color grading work done on the LOTR films that can easily translate into our own work.

Summery

I could do little of what I actually thought of doing. Apart from this I’d like to apologize for the deficiency on uv mapping and technical problems. I’d like to thank Ronen Bekerman for arranging this competition. I’m looking forward to joining the next one.

I’ve started my new project Tesla House. This is the project I’d like to share which I am working on in details.

I also would like to thank Benjamin for helping me out with modeling and Özgen Algan for her ideas.

Tolgahan’s HOVER Challenge thread

Here are more images that I made of these house…

sunumlar2 528x297 Making of HOVER Time Traveler House by Tolgahan Gungor

sunum3 528x616 Making of HOVER Time Traveler House by Tolgahan Gungor

You are welcome to comment on this article and ask questions using the comment box below!

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18 comments
tolgahan
tolgahan

Thanks at everyone (especially the ronenbekerman.com) who followed and liked my works for this challenge. thanks.

San
San

Can you tell more about lighting and materials? Thanks..

Adeel Saeed
Adeel Saeed

Pure dedication looks clear in all of tolgahan's work. I wish him all the bestest best.

MOHAN
MOHAN

Tolgahan Gungor SIR CAN U POST YOUR CAMERA SETTINGS ??

ayan13
ayan13

Great Making of! Thank you for sharing all your thoughts with us!!!

kropped
kropped

Wow - amazing image, and such an in-depth tutorial!

Thanks

xoio
xoio

great making of! i like your workflow and your conceptual drawings - very good and manual way to develop a scene.
kind of gives this render-ting a human touch :)

regards
Lasse

yahia mito
yahia mito

amazing!! that's beautiful , loved the idea of the Time machine :):)
but can i ask about "vegetation" used - shown in lighting image - is it a software?? modeled? or ready for use 3d object??

love the overall making off , it can teach me alot of stuff i need :D

Bobby Parker
Bobby Parker

You are truly an artist! I loved your workflow, using traditional techniques at the beginning, and technology for the finals. GREAT JOB!

troubs
troubs

That was a strong concept! I especially like the fact that you're developing such s scene through your paintings, which are for themselfs worth to decorate a wall. Well done!

ludnid
ludnid

I'm pretty much sure Tolgahan knows my reply ;)

Toktam
Toktam

amazing!!!and also I`d like the concept.I think it feels great spending a night in this place.

glimpse
glimpse

Great!.. by far that was probably my favourite entry.
(With DIA's one =) 'Grotte Niaux’ is a piece of art =)

Arkin
Arkin

Awesome work Tolga! super...

the idea of the time travelling machine inside the building is really cool.. I love the simplicity... eline saglik.

Javier Pintor
Javier Pintor

Very interesting making of, I really enjoy reading it.

Thanks

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