Alright then… This week I will be presenting an old piece (I know it’s a bit of a cheat but I have been really busy). And I really gotta present this as a weekly scene cause it’s an important project for me, because I learned so much while working on this piece from lighting setup to composition, color and texturing and I feel it like a nice turning point for me.

planning 3d playground

Started with a sketch I did, then decided to color it a bit just to put down the colors that I had in mind for this piece. I know it looks like a kid’s drawing but it’s enough for planning purposes. One thing I learned is: whenever you are planning your project, be it web design, animation 3d scene or any design or idea it doesn’t matter how detailed the sketch is, it’s a sketch… it does what it suppose to do, and that is to use it as a guide.


planning lonely playground toys


After I did the initial sketch and figured out the scene, I started sketching the playground rides or toys.  I wanted those to have a natural feeling and believable. I ended up changing them a bit cause the sketches seemed a bit like rides you find in a fairy-tale playground, maybe I’ll do that one day, who knows! And, by the way, the playground appear as a cameo in an Animated show for Kids, WOOOHOOOOOO!!! A dream come true for me. You can’t imagine how happy I was when they asked me if I can integrate this playground into their show. I will be adding screenshots from that show as soon as I have the approval from the studio!


lonely playground scene planning


I started blocking the scene in Maya with simple cylinders cubes and sphere, just to have a starting point, also did some grass tests. I used Maya’s Fur for the grass which is just awesome. Here you can see the settings I used for the Grass Fur:

lonely playground 3d grass maya

3d lonely playground trees and buildings


I modeled the tree in Maya, I actually used only one tree, rotated and scaled the tree just to get the feeling that those are different. I duplicated lots of leaves and changed the hue and colors so the leaves on all the trees wouldn’t look exactly the same. For the trees I used procedural texturing for the tree trunks and photo for the leaves.


lonely playground buildings


I wanted the building to look and feel like old New York houses, searched Flickr for lots of houses and old building in New York, just to get the style that I was looking for. So again, planning is crucial. I modeled these buildings very low poly cause they will be in the background and will not see them up-close. For the buildings textures I used both procedural texturing and some photos I found, great brick textures on a great website that I always use at least for the starting point of some of my textures. CG Textures is a great website which you have to try!


weekly seen 05 progress


For lighting, I used Mental Ray’s Sun and Sky which I absolutely love cause it gives such a nice result, it does need a lot of tweaking to get the atmosphere just right.  The scene was rendered with Mental Ray with Final Gathering turned on. Below you can find some settings I used for the Sun and Sky.


setting up sun and sky maya


I rendered this scene with a couple of passes cause I really wanted to do some tweaks in Photoshop. So here are the render passes that I have used for this scene:


Reflection pass


lonely playground reflections


Specular pass


maya specular rendered pass


Z-depth pass


mental ray maya rendered passes


After some great feedback from my friend Guillaume Le Tual and Jeremy Vickery I re-visited the scene and did some crucial changes which made this scene so much more awesome, especially in terms of composition and light.


oasim lighting artist


I really hope you enjoy this scene cause it really really means a lot to me! And don’t forget to check out past weekly scenes.


About Oasim Karmieh

My name is Oasim Karmieh and for the last 12 years I have been working as a freelancer,I have had the pleasure to work with clients all over the world. I have worked on some amazing projects from Animated films, animated short films, commercials and interactive iPad books. I’m what you call a Jack of all trades, but my true love and passion is teaching I always enjoyed sharing my knowledge and technique with all my friends, This is why I started, cause I really believe in sharing knowledge and experience, the only way we can grow as artists is to help other artists grow with us.


  • Yatrik says:

    This is really fantastic.

  • saeed says:

    Thanks, was great just want to know more precisely how many leaves on the branches taking into

  • Edward says:

    wow this is awesome! how’d you make the trees with so many leaves?!

    • oasim says:

      Hey Edward,
      For the tress I used Maya’s Paint Effects, you can start by using the templates that Maya has to offer by going to: Window > General Editors > Visor. A new window will open, make sure you are on the Paint Effects tab. From the list on the left side select trees, on the right window you should see different types of trees, double click and then start drawing in your viewport you will see the trees growing. You can adjust the setting on these trees to get the result that you are looking for. After you have finished drawing the tree in the viewport select it and you will see that in the Attribute Editor you have lots of controls, start playing with these to get the result that you are happy with.

      Really hope you find this helpful.

  • HGBCreator says:

    hi oasim !
    have a Question !
    i saw jeremy vikery art gallary and u too ! nice work and great
    very usefull if set project file this here for download

    • oasim says:

      Hi There, so glad you like the scene mate, but unfortunately I can’t upload the scene files cause it’s not about copying the scene settings it’s about learning some techniques to implement sin your own scenes.

  • HGBCreator says:

    tanx dude ! ok

  • sarab says:

    hi oasim !

    this looks fantastic .

    will you please refer me some beautiful lighting tutorials like this.

    thanks in advance.

  • rakesh says:

    i really love the scene, really great job .. hope i can achieve the same quality :)

  • sikorumbe says:

    How did you make so bright and colourful ? Is it the linear workflow or the compositing technique ?


    • oasim says:

      Hey there,
      When I created this scene I didn’t know how to setup a linear workflow so it’s mostly done with lighting technique and a bit of composition and color correction in Photoshop.

“In learning you will teach, and in teaching you will learn.” ― Phil Collins

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