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  • Elena V Miller

Early Breakfast

Updated: Aug 22, 2018

A combination of reality and fantasy in a composition that gathers some of my favourite things: coffee, sci-fi and sunrise. I created this scene as a personal project, to experiment with a few techniques.


Early Breakfast 2015

Early Breakfast or Coffee and spaceships is one of my few fantasy projects and started from a sudden idea I had - more like an image popping out in my mind - what if you would quietly sit down and drink your coffee and when you look up the window... you see a completely different world, a world of our imagined future with spaceships and huge skyscrapers...

I wanted to create a combination of photorealism and fantasy with the things I enjoy. I went for a natural look for the interior to contrast with the sci-fi backdrop and Zbrush helped to achieve realism for the food related items and the latte froth

And that's how this scene was born. I even sketched it and started to work on it having a proper workflow from sketch to execution.


Early Breakfast Making-of


When I started working on this scene I was very keen to create the realistic details of the table with coffee and food. My starting point was actually watching a tutorial on #digitaltutors about creating realistic food in #zbrush. So that's how I created the muffins and sugar, coffee surface, sugar cubes, butter, chocolate and toast. I was a beginner in zbrush and I can't say I'm very skilled on it even now. I think you need a lot of practice in ZBrush to really become good at using this software. It can be a blessing for the more artistic types but also a curse for people already used to just use the mouse and type in stuff.

example of a few of the food items modelled with zbrush

Next I modelled the rest of the table elements more detailed in 3ds max. After the modelling phase I also used the particle system for creating crumbs. I wanted to achieve a realistic look of the table so I added as much detail as possible but in the same time keeping the poly count not so high, that's why zbrush helped in achieving that extra detail only from #texturing, #mapping and #displacement. At the time I used #Vray as my main rendering engine.

work in progress (WIP) - table details

The outdoor scene - what you can see out the window - is a separate scene I chose to do it as an independent document because I also wanted to animate it. I played a bit with animation in max and also in #Adobe #AfterEffects for the post-production.


WIP -spaceships

As I had my previous experience with spaceship modelling, I wanted to avoid making the same mistakes so instead I baked the high-poly models and tried to work with the mapping. The models are totally random, other experiments in designing such objects, really having fun with building them. The sci-fi city was modelled very quickly mainly #lowpoly and using multi sub-object #texturing just giving basic textures in V-ray considering it is viewed from a very far distance I didn't need a high definition.


Wire render of the composited scene

After completing both scenes I composited them in max using a container for the outdoor scene.

For the animation I created two separate animations and then combined them in #aftereffects with a mask for the window. You can see the animation here:



This scene was featured as a gallery image in #3DArtist magazine issue 85 (September 2015) page 14. I hope the experience of going through the making-of for this scene was useful to you. Thank you so much for following my blog!


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