Buda repossession
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    FULL 3D recreation of Benczúr Gyula's painting called: Budavár repossession.
    Published:
FULL 3D recreation of Benczúr Gyula's painting called: Budavár repossession.

And the video about the scene:
First of all this project started as a funny challenge from my wife, but became something more.
Little background story:
We were on holiday solving riddles, and there was a medieval painting in the booklet. My wife asked me if i can do it in 3D?! I said yes, of course. Well... And there was an amazing castle in Nafplion (Palamidi fortress) with exactly 1000 stairs. It was fun to climb up, it wasn't funny to walk down. But it was soooo impressive that i decided to make this scene as soon as we get home!
During the creation I've made a few bad decisions, BUT it was extremely useful and instructive. Seeing this kind of popularity (which i've never thought of), i decided to make another one. Now i know the obstacles, and the parts that i have to make differently. Maybe a 2.5D version could look better, but I WANTED to make it in full 3D; for my wife, and for myself of course ;)

The hungarian and a littlebit detailed "making of" is available on my blog!
So here is a small making of:

I had to analyze the painting and figure out the character positions in the 3d space. It wasn't too hard but a scene is a bit crowded.
Then; the modelling. The main idea was this:
i should make every charater with a full rig. (Ready to move and animate IF neccessary, BUT i didn't think of animating at all at that time). The rigging was easy thanks to LW's Genoma ;)
At this time the characters were fully rigged, but due to my computer's low resources (well, not so weak, but not an atomic reactor ), so eventually i had to freeze the whole scene. I was able to handle 8-9 rigs easily, but 32... no way :/
Detailed modeling, without displacement maps. The polycount reached the 8,5 million; so i had to forget any additional sculpting, it was nice and detailed enough tho. Well... at least for me :)
Then the texturing came: usually the simpliest solution is the best, just a planar projection and voilá, finished, but... nah, i had to paint additional maps, to enhance the original image. But yes, it was a simple planar projection, because i didn't think of animation or any movement at all!!! So why should i make
unnecessary UV's right? As i said before: this was made for my loving wife; and nothing more!
At this time, the scene reached the 8.5 million polycount, so i had to forget about displacement maps, however the scene were looking good without them too;) Here is a testrender with maps:
Here is another testrender with the additional maps:
So okay, almost ready, What now?
And the idea came: i should make a small movement/ animation. Yeeyyy :)  But as i said before my hardware limited me because of the high polycount. And there was another mistake/ problem/ obstacle: for a proper animation i ought to remodel the WHOLE SCENE! Why? The answer is the usual, but you have to keep it in mind: when i started the project i didn't think of any movement. So one month modeling and just dump it into the trash??? No way! So i had to work with the stuff i already had.
By the way, this was the time when i discovered Platique image's work! I was amazed about that, extremely cool stuff! The funny thing that 22 people worked on that project, and they finished in one and a half month (if i remember correctly).
AM I CRAZY?? Making this kind of work by myself? eheh. It seems i am...

And here comes the fun part, i had to repaint all of the characters who were partially obscured by those next to them, and as you can see: it is a little bit crowded there :D
Yes, yes mostly clone stamp tool, but i had to repaint ropes, gloves, boots etcetc... It was a hell lot of work.
I cant say too much about camera movement, yes it is maybe too small, but  this was my first project in this type, so sorry about that :)
Soo okay, what now? The movement is almost there, but the entire feeling was too simple. Then another idea came: lets drop some smoke, yeeeeee. But as i said, due to my limited hardware i was unable tho make a smoke simulation :( But it would be sooooo coooooool :( Too bad, maybe if i could grab a few bucks... after i can grab enough money for a cintiq... eh.. not in this year.
So back to buda: i decided to make the smoke effect with layers of masks, with the camera movement exported from LW.
There were 3-4 mask layers / act. But i could bump the overall feeling with the depthmaps. For enchance the dof for example. Oh btw, i used the Dp kit dof in LW.
Here is a depth screenshot:
But back to the smoke: you can reach a lot of stock and free footage onilne, but i decided to make my own smoke footage! It was soo simple: just grabbed my camera+tripod; grabbed two led lights and the backdrop was my turned off monitorscreen! And what was the smoke, well: my ecig :D
The footage was too dark, and it had  a greenish/ blueish tint, but with a little correction it was fine enough to use!
And here is an image with the smoke layers:
See? just a little bit of smoke, for the feeling.
And then, the BIG DAMN. It was almost ready, when i relaized: the online players cant play it properly without lagging, so i had to recut everything, one and a half month work went to the dump. But after 140 tests i was able to reach a desired speed, with a little choppyness.
Almost there, just a little correction and tadaaaaaa.
And the final video again, so you dont have to scroll back :)
And  a little q&a before i finish:

A lot of people told me, it could be much better in 2.5D
-> Yes, maybe but I wanted to make it in 3D!!!

And why?
-> My wife challenged me to do it... + WHY NOT? It is FUN!

It is a half hearted work (as someone said) -> Put one month modeling, 3 weeks painting and another few weeks in masking and effecting into a project  wich you made especially for your wife and not the public audience .. still half hearted? It is full of heart!

You should make you own composition -> I've done enough, this time i waned to TRY something different!

But there isn't enough camera movement! -> Yeapp, because my computer couldnt hande the rigs:( (and try to UV 32 freezed/sculpted model... pain in the...you know where :D)  This project was not made for animation at the first place, so I couldn't really move too much with the camera!
 
You could in 2.5D! -> I dont think so, but if you can; show me the difference! I really want to see it, you can find the painting on wiki! I mean it!

Okay, okay but this is just the original painting pulled over the model. -> Yeah, with extra 8 color layers, 8 bump maps, 4 reflection maps, 4 specular maps and 4 normal maps + 3-4 masklayers / act  (cca 50) + 10 smoke footage yeah...  just :)

And here is a bonus picture:
Final toughts:
It was a really challenging project, with ups and downs. But dont forget:
This project started as a funny challenge from my wife, but became something more.
And yes I've made a few bad decisions during the work, BUT it was extremely useful and instructive. Now i know the obstacles, and the parts that i have to make differently. Seeing this kind of popularity (which i've never thought of) there will be another one, bigger & better... :)

Thanks for watching!

Best wishes:
ekho

Ps: Please visit the Hungarian National Gallery  and don't forget to check out the original painting!