How to turn a 2D image into stylised 3D

Web Design

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Sometimes an illustration or piece of artwork just demands to be rendered and turned into 3D art, and that was the spark that ignited Media Molecule's Emilie Stabell to spend a year adding an extra dimension to a beloved 2D image.

Stabell is fan of illustrator Sam Bosma, and in particular his concept Stability. "When I showed his illustration to a friend, I joked: "Imagine if I made this in 3D. It would be absolutely insane." Not long after that, I began modelling the first asset," says Stabell. 

"The sheer scale of the project was quite overwhelming, though, so on the first day I started by creating a cube in Maya, and that was it: a small beginning."

Stabell says her 3D workflow was very simple: Maya was used for modelling, Photoshop for texturing and ZBrush was used to project from the concept. Once her 3D model was complete she rendered using Maya Hardware 2.0, and also used After Effects and Photoshop to add the finishing touches to the animated scene.

01. Start simple, using silhouettes

A female model split into parts

"I make sure that my model doesn't cover up the outline on the concept," explains Stabell. "I'm going to need that little bit of extra space for when I

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