My name is Semyon Kostuchenkov. I am a 22-year-old aspiring 3D artist from Tver, Russia. I have been studying Blender as a hobby in my free time for about 2 years and I am currently a student at Best Blender Course.
There was no specific inspiration for this project. It was an assignment after completing the 7th block of the course, which focused on professional lighting. The assignment was to choose one of three shots from "The Lego Movie" and try to replicate it.
Although the idea wasn't mine, I am very passionate about Lego and as this movie is one of the best examples of bringing Lego bricks into the digital space, it was a perfect fit for me. This is the original shot from the movie.
A better way to describe this process would be "building." I used the Mecabricks website to construct the scene, and there was not much traditional modeling involved. This was my first time using it, but it is quite intuitive for anyone who dabbled in any 3D software. I constructed a rough version of the scene using only the shot from the movie as a reference.
I then imported the file into Blender using the free Mecabricks Lite addon and added more detail to make it resemble the original more closely.
Mecabricks also exports the materials, so the only thing I needed to do was change the roughness using the reference. I used Blender's shader nodes to make the roughness slightly uneven on every brick, even though the execution may not be perfect, it was good enough for me.
The lamp and the kitchen cupboards had the most noticeable fingerprints, so I wanted to replicate them using geonodes.
Replicating the lighting of the scene was the main goal of this project and the hardest one. But, first of all, to really sell the look and make my image indistinguishable from the real one, I needed to deal with the camera. I tried to research which virtual lenses they used during the production of the movie, but all of their focal length values were not working for me, so I just tried everything using the original shot in the Background Images setting of the Object Data Properties tab of the camera until I settled at the value of 44 mm.
Additionally, I turned on Depth of Field in the same tab and used the minifigure torso as the Focus Object.
Next, I placed a cube around the scene with holes for the windows to direct the light where I wanted it
After trying a Sun type light, I settled on the Sky Texture node and spent a couple of hours of experimenting until I found the best values.
In addition, I filled the scene with a cube to which I assigned a basic Volume Scatter material with almost the lowest possible value of 0.0002, to create a little bit of volumetric lighting. And this was the result.
Which I found to be darker than needed, so I added a simple Area light at the ceiling.
And, while this was still darker than the reference image, I decided that at the moment I lack the knowledge to make it even closer to the original shot, so I stopped there.
THE LEGO MOVIE
I then used my basic Photoshop skills to color correct the render and cut and paste the window background from the original image. This is the final result.
And here’s a clay render just for the fun of it.
And that's it!
Thank you for reading my article. I hope you have a great day!
About the Artist
Semyon Kostuchenkov, a hobbyist 3D artist. Currently a student at Best Blender Course.
Wow! Nice post! :D