Explore the Weird and Magical Worlds of Victoria Siemer’s Ethereal 3D Designs

A 3D design of portals in a desert landscape at night time leading to an alternate reality of the same world in the daytime.

by RC Woodmass

posted on 03-17-2020

Brooklyn-based designer and photographer Victoria Siemer, also known by the moniker Witchoria, has been well-established in the industry for years now. Her designs have been making waves since the early 2010s, so this isn’t our first artist profile on her. Recently, she has taken the leap into designing in 3D, along with many of her contemporaries.

Her work is very far from typical. When Victoria took her first steps into the world of 3D, she used the new tools available to open our imaginations. Read on to learn more about her surprising and often surreal work, and check out this tutorial she did for us where she walks Dimension users through how to create their own 3D sci-fi landscape.

Creating 3D landscapes: From Photoshop to Dimension

Victoria first started experimenting with Photo Manipulation in Photoshop using public domain imagery, then subsequently taught herself photography, out of a sense that stock photos weren’t able to provide the material she needed to fulfill her creative vision. That direction has served her well, leading her to win substantive contracts with industry giants, and even becoming a member of the Sony Alpha Imaging Collective.

“My classic workflow has been to make something in Photoshop as realistically as I can. Then try to make it (or something similar) in real life and shoot that. Study the difference. Rinse, repeat,” said Victoria, adding that she believes Dimension is going to have a huge impact on that workflow.

“Now, with Dimension, I can build environments to study every time I make a piece. If I don’t have a photo that works for an idea I have, I can build one. That’s wild…The ability to realistically light in Dimension versus guessing in Photoshop was my biggest takeaway”

According to Victoria, the democratization of 3D design platforms is infusing a much-needed creative energy to her creative life.

“I think I haven’t been making as much work for the past year or so because Photoshop is so familiar to me and so the builds became too routine. I’m the type of creator that enjoys the process of making something more than I do the end result,” she said.

“Over the past few years of traveling I’ve built a pretty solid archive of photography to work with during my down time. But traveling is expensive, I have a full-time job, and I live in a city without much access to nature, so that archive has its limitations. So the ability to build worlds from scratch has been something I’ve been interested in for a long time.”

One such world can be seen in her series of portals, made possible with Dimension, which has branched off from her signature geometric reflections.

A 3D design of portals in a desert landscape in the daytime leading to an alternate reality of the same world at night.

Victoria’s ‘Portal’ series, made in Adobe Dimension.

“I wanted something that feels like you could walk through a doorway in time, from night to day or vice versa. With Dimension I was finally able to bring that concept to life. Having that control over how the lighting interacts with the wall/door and falls upon the landscape was really integral to pulling off the effect. Also the ability to add depth to the doorway. I’m used to working with images of real environments, so I want the spaces I create in Dimension to feel as realistic as possible.”

For Victoria, the fresh challenge of achieving photorealism purely through 3D design has been more than welcome.

“Every photo manipulation is sort of like a problem you need to solve. You have an idea for something in your mind and you have to figure out how to make it come to life in a piece of software. Using Dimension to create these pieces felt so refreshing because I got to get back into that trial and error process of creation.”

A series of snowy landscapes using geometric shapes and lighting, designed in 3D.

Victoria’s ‘Illumination’ series, made in Adobe Dimension.

We asked Victoria how much of a learning curve she experienced when first starting out using Adobe Dimension.

“Because of my tinkering with Keyshot and my familiarity with the rest of the Adobe Creative Cloud, I was able to pick up Dimension almost immediately. I’m really looking forward to seeing how [my work evolves] as I grow more comfortable as a 3D creator.”

She also believes that the advent of this type of platform is going to continue to have a broadly felt impact across the industry. “I think with programs like Dimension that are easier to use, 3D is going to start becoming more accessible. That’s going to drive more people to use 3D in their work.”

Would you like to try out one of Victoria’s newest designs in Dimension? Click here for her tutorial on how to create these beautiful landscapes featuring ethereal geometric reflections:

A series of installments from Victoria Siemer's geometrical reflections landscapes.

Victoria’s version of ‘Geometric Reflections’ made in Adobe Dimension. A GIF of five separate Dimension renders.

More material from Victoria Siemer

As we mentioned earlier, this is far from our first encounter with Victoria’s work! Victoria was commissioned in 2016 to create the logo for the Adobe Max conference:

A landscape-based rendition of the Adobe MAX logo, created by Victoria Siemer.

Victoria Siemer’s logo for Adobe Max 2016.

If you’re interested in the making-of the MAX logo, check out this hangout video that was originally live streamed on Adobe Creative Cloud during the 2016 conference. In it, she discusses her experience going into a California desert to get the shot on the “M” panel, and how she uses masking techniques “to create a variety of interesting compositions.”

Create whimsical worlds with Victoria Siemer: Adobe Dimension tutorials

Victoria has done some amazing work with Dimension, and has created tutorials to help you do the same. First, check out her guide to creating an incredible 3D sci-fi scene, 3D Design Tutorial: Geometric Reflections in Adobe Dimension with Victoria Siemer. Then, head over to her site, using the links below, to learn how to create your own whimsical worlds using her style.

Photoshop-specific tutorials from Victoria Siemer:

How to make an exploding portrait in Adobe Photoshop

How to create a gorgeous piece with Adobe’s Photoshop Mix app

Victoria’s Top Tips for Using Adobe Photoshop Mix & Fix

Have fun exploring!

Topics: Design, 3D & AR, Emerging Technology,

Products: Photoshop, Creative Cloud, Dimension