Santa Corp. #enscapeunwrapped

  • Merry Christmas and a happy New Year from SANTA CORP.


    The Holiday season of 2019 has come to an end, and it has been another great year for SANTA CORP, the world leader in seasonal toy production and distribution.


    Our goals to further optimize and robotize production has been met, and although that has meant laying off most Elfs, we truly believe this will benefit growth and revenue!


    We have also made great strides to lower material costs, by introducing new exciting chemicals and plastics. Most of them are not even that toxic! True, a couple of reindeers might have had allergic, fatal reactions, but we are (almost) sure that children will be fine.


    The ongoing expansion of the toy factory has also been going as planned, with the new chemical waste system finally in operation. This new, state of the art system, safely transfers toxic waste away from the factory, and out into the empty north pole ice, where no one (except reindeers and polar bears) is harmed.


    The new, drone-based gift distribution system has taken over from the old fashioned “Reindeer- sleigh” -System this year. Our new drone, “SLEIGH-BOT 5000”, is more energy efficient, faster and more reliable than Reindeer… and it even looks cool!


    All in all, it has been a great year, and we are sure that investors and costumers alike will be thrilled to know that SANTA CORP. remains the number one Toy factory in the world!


    Merry Christmas

    CEO, Claus


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    This is my entry for the #EnscapeUnwrapped competition. i've taken a quite different approach, and have told the story of a modern, corporate Santa's toy factory... Gone are the cute elfs and reindeer, and in comes hardcore industry, producing toys for the 2 billion children of the world :-) it is a humorous comment on the excessive consumption and spending of the season :-)


    A LOT of work has gone into the modelling and planing of the scene. many ideas have been tried, and many sketches of layouts and designs have been produced. Some models are found online, but they are all heavily modified to fit with the overall scheme. i've used several new (for me) techniques, including custom quixel mixer materials, clothworks simulations and displacement modelling.

    I might share some images from the process further down in the thread :-)


    I hope You all had a fantastic Christmas and a great new year, and i'm looking forward to a new year with lots of Enscaping and inspiration from You all :-)







  • Thank you very much :-) yep, there has been quite a lot of modelling (and lighting!), but it has been fun :-) Here is an example of how I made the elf in the snow:


    i found a great elf model, that i imported via Transmutr. i made both a high poly version for the render, and a low poly for cloth simulation. I had to redo all the textures, as the model came with "baked" lighting, and therefore did not work with my custom lighting setup. i also chanced the hue of the elf for my renders.


    I then used the low poly version to prepare the drape (the cloth is prepared with a custom "santa's helper" logo):



    and then ran the cloth simulation:



    I used quixel mixer to prepare a custom snow material with the right footprints and tracks to match the elf and sled:



    I then used the generated displacement map to create geometry from, using a plugin called "bitmap to mesh":



    resulting in:


    and this matched the elf and sled perfectly:



    i then started to create the assets that had to go on the sled, including photo scanned boxes and sacks, and a custom "homeless" sign:



    I hope you like it :-) let me know if You want to se more "making of" - stuff :-)

  • Hello Herbo!

    I read this forum for a wile, but I had never leave a comment, actualy, I have just posted my first post a couple of days ago...but man...I just can't ignore this one! First of all, I can't see how could anyone beat you in this contest. Despite the fact that I have seen many beautifull renders and good ideas so far, you just have it all. This is perfection in every posible way - idea, composition, textures, models, atmosphere, post work...and that sarcastic story after all. You have my honest appreciation for everything you have done! Please, share as many "making off-s" as you can...modeling, mapping, tools and extensions used...I want to learn it!

    You already have that RTX...the rest of us will fight for the rest. 👍👍👍👍👍👍👍

  • That part is the first part that arouse my curiosity in the whole model. Therefore your explanation make me happy, thanks!

    I'm glad you could use it! :-)



    Wow! This is fantastic work. Well done.
    Was there a lot of post processing required?

    Thank you very much! yes, this time i spend a lot more time in post than usual. This is due to the very specific lighting and colors i wanted to achieve. with that said, everything in the scene is 3d, and nothing was added in in photoshop (except the smoke and some details in the sky). it is all color grading and adjustments :-)

    I might share some insight of the photoshop work later :-) but I can say that i had to render the images with multiple lighting setups and exposures, and then merge them together to get the feel I wanted :-) at least 4 base renders for was made for each image.


    Hello Herbo!

    I read this forum for a wile, but I had never leave a comment, actualy, I have just posted my first post a couple of days ago...but man...I just can't ignore this one! First of all, I can't see how could anyone beat you in this contest. Despite the fact that I have seen many beautifull renders and good ideas so far, you just have it all. This is perfection in every posible way - idea, composition, textures, models, atmosphere, post work...and that sarcastic story after all. You have my honest appreciation for everything you have done! Please, share as many "making off-s" as you can...modeling, mapping, tools and extensions used...I want to learn it!

    You already have that RTX...the rest of us will fight for the rest. 👍👍👍👍👍👍👍

    Thank you SO much! i'm very honoured, and very warmed by your comment. It seems that none of the work and ideas was lost on you, and that makes me very happy :-) i'll try and share as many tips and tricks as i can :-) Happy New Year!



    best work around !


    wonder about that mountains , 3d or photoshop ?

    Thank you very much :-) i'm glad you like it!
    Everything in the scene is 3d, including the mountains :-) They were basically made the same way as the snow i showed further up:


    first i found a suitable heightmap, and reduced the image size to roughly 300x300. otherwise it gets WAY to heavy for the program to handle:



    then I imported it to sketchup and used the plugin "mesh from bitmap":



    resulting in:



    I found a heightmap that came with a basic albedo texture as well, that i then enhanced in photoshop. I painted that texture over my new geometry, resulting in what you see in the renders :-) hope that helps!

  • Well...you deserve it! :-D

    How heavy is your model? How much time did it take you from start to finish? I would like to know more about your method of texturing complex models...that is what I always struggle with. Do you model everything in separate files and then copy/paste it in composition file? How do you set up your lights? I have so many questions... If you could make the whole start-to-finish "making of" tutorial that would be awsome! I think that everybody here would like to see it... If you want to become a master, you have to learn from the best! ;-)

  • Well...you deserve it! :-D

    How heavy is your model? How much time did it take you from start to finish? I would like to know more about your method of texturing complex models...that is what I always struggle with. Do you model everything in separate files and then copy/paste it in composition file? How do you set up your lights? I have so many questions... If you could make the whole start-to-finish "making of" tutorial that would be awsome! I think that everybody here would like to see it... If you want to become a master, you have to learn from the best! ;-)

    Thank you! I would love to make a complete walk through of the work at some point :-) unfortunately time is limited, so i cant promise i'll get it done any time soon :-) But let me try to answer some of the questions:


    I dont know the total time spend, but definitely more than i should have! I would say i spend 2-3 hours most days since I started around december 5th. with some basic sketches of the layout. this is one of the first "block outs" of the idea:


    For texturing i use a couple of different methods. Sketchup is really bad at handling real UV maps as standard, so plugins are necessary to make it work :-) depending on the complexity of the task i use either:

    1: Sketch-UV

    2: Thru-Paint

    3: WrapR (by far the most powerful, but also a bit complicated to learn if You are not used to UV's)


    I rely Heavily on the Proxy function for sketchup, to setup my scenes without destroying sketchup and my machine :-) as much as possible is kept in seperate files. This includes the whole factory and all the mountains in this case :-) That way it was also easier for me to make changes to specific items, as the models were not as heavy. And it was MUCH faster to move items around the scene to get the compositions to work just right :-) :




    (all the squares and spheres are part of the lighting for the scene)


    I also spend a lot of time tweaking test renders with comments and sketching. this is an example of how I make "notes" for myself to work from:



    I hope that can clarify some of the things :-)

  • Thank you very much! Yes, this helped a lot!

    I see you are very well organized...in my opinion, that is solid foundation for every project.

    If I've done the math right, that is around 75 hours of work...that doesn't sound bad as it would take me at least double (if I would know what I'm doing :$) for this amount of detail.

    I am familiar with those extensions you mentioned for UV texturing, but I found them all hard to handle...a lot of trial and error's wich can be frustrating and time consuming/:-) . So, when you catch some time, please, cover that topic in more detail.

    Everything else is pretty much clear...I think :-)

    Once again...you certainly have my vote. I wish you best of luck!