Return to Home

The Water House

July 28th, 2015

The Water House was an exercise in manually constructing and lighting three-dimensional scenes on a two dimensional Adobe Illustrator canvas. I started by building a very simple, three-dimensional grid.

With this I could easily add, move and remove guidelines to check my perspective throughout the piece. The next step was building out a water wheel. I figured that this house needed some way of generating electricity and why not take advantage of hydropower?

It was hard to get the perspective just right on a round three-dimensional object, but I am fairly happy with the results and left it to tweak later. Next I constructed the foundation walls and posts.

Here I’ve got a simple roof on, and some translucent water. I wanted to create a “fish tank” effect where it looks like you are viewing a cut out piece of the water. I also spent some time tediously drawing stones for the wall behind the wheel.

At this point I added in my final textures and lighting effects. This was definitely the greatest challenge of the piece. I decided on 4 light sources. An ambient source (the sun) that is hitting the house from the top right, two lights on the porch, and light coming from the interior. I started by drawing the sun’s shadow onto the deck, roof, and into the water. From here I added light effects for the interior lighting that cast across the deck. I figured that the two lanterns on the porch probably wouldn’t cast much light, so I simply added some faint lighting to the posts which they hang from.

The piece was in need of detailed effects that could only be accomplished with Photoshop. I exported the piece to Photoshop and carefully added shadows to each of the rocks in the wall and additionally added some more detail to the water so it appeared to flow past the turbine. Here is the finished piece in all of its glory.