Creating Fantasy Worlds


One of the main tasks of a computer graphics artist, particularly if working with 3d, is the creation of fantasy worlds. No matter what the industry, games, film, video or any other, creating backgrounds and environments plays a major role in making the actors or animation look good. In more traditional media such as animation and live film, entire teams specialize in creating sets or backgrounds for the scene. In the computer graphics world there is the same tendency to have people specialize in creating the “sets” and environments for the computer graphics actors.

The first thing to consider, even before discussing design issues, is the meaning of the word “Fantasy”. If we can understand the notion of Fantasy, coming up with the design of fantasy worlds becomes a more natural process.

The second thing to consider is the specific attributes of a 3d computer graphics environment. While fantasy imagery is not a new concept, 3d computer graphics differs itself from illustrations and paintings for its spatial qualities. Creating 3d worlds in the computer is somewhat like designing architecture, except there are not natural and physical barriers to deal with.

To create rich, beautiful fantasy 3d worlds, it is necessary to understand these two concepts before anything else. An overview of the process of coming up with ideas and making them work will also be explained later on.

Concept of Fantasy

Fantasy or fantastic means anything that is different from our mundane, obvious daily lives. The words “our mundane, obvious daily lives” are stressed for many things that exist in our world but are not commonly seen tend to look fantastic to our eyes. Plants, for example, can be quite exotic, especially if foreign. Our minds are used to seeing everyday things, people and places that surround us up to a point were we take it for granted. The next time you walk into a flower shop, take a look closely. Many flowers will seem pretty bizarre when analyzed closely.

While this definition seems a little simplistic (like most of the concepts explained here), it takes some time to let go of our beliefs in order to create those exceptionally fantastic worlds. To create things that are different from our daily lives, we must first understand what are those things that we take for granted. What is fantastic to one person may not seem so unusual to another. That is why most artists work with extremes, which are unlikely to be common place for the majority of people.

Fantasy is also breaking the rules of nature. Nature dictates certain laws that most objects and living creatures comply to. The law of gravity is one of the most obvious rules. When breaking the laws of nature which we live under, we can for sure create things and places that are different from our daily lives. No wonder we are so attracted to space and other planets; we can’t help speculating about the differences these other worlds with have with ours.