Deep Time: Volcanic Cutaway

As a part of my placement as a research student at the University of Gloucestershire, I am involved in a project for the Herefordshire & Worcestershire Earth Heritage Trust. Two of us are currently developing an environmental flyover of a prehistoric environment. As a part of this, we were asked to produce a cutaway view of the volcano.

To create the model, we exported the height map of the Unity terrain my research colleague had sculpted, and I then brought it into 3ds Max. I proceed to extrude the shape in order to produce sufficient surface space to texture the required details, and unwrapped the model. It was exported as an .obj to be textured in Substance Painter 2.

Render before Photoshop editing

Having used Substance Painter 2 on a number of projects now, I am becoming more comfortable with the required workflow and a few of its more select features – such as generators. It has definitely benefited my ability to produce more realistic textures, as previously I have only had experience producing more stylised ones.

Render after Photoshop editing

Following texturing the terrain, I brought the renders into Photoshop to further refine them. This involved merging the correct sort of rock into the layers, such as diorite and quartz-mica schist, and rounding the sharper corners to give them a more natural look.

Render before Photoshop editing

There is a chance yet that further work will be required on this element of the project, as the inclusion of volcanic ash, or further types of rocks around the heart of the volcano may still be required. It will all depend on feedback from the client.

Render before Photoshop editing

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