Behind the Scenes with Riya Mahajan

All images courtesy of Riya Mahajan.

by Kimberly Potvin

posted on 07-30-2020

For our next article in the Behind the Scenes series, we caught up with Riya Mahajan, the designer behind this set of three 3D floral scenes. Riya was first introduced to Adobe Dimension during the 36 Days of Type challenge where she leveraged her minimalist style and surreal aesthetic sensibilities to create this stunning collection of letterform scenes.

Artistically focused since childhood, Riya pursued a career in design at the National Institute of Design in Ahmedabad, India. In her words, NID elevated her design process from “whimsical choices to well-articulated rational decision-making.” These experiences helped her introduce strategic design logic and practices into her work.

Initially intimidated by 3D software, Riya excelled at working in Dimension, utilizing the same basic principles that she used for her 2D creative practices. Elements like composition, form, and color remained as key principles while textures and lighting were facets that she was now able to maximize by working in 3D.

We spoke to Riya about her recent floral series and a few of the aesthetic and conceptual strategies she used to create these works.

Tip 1: Using starter assets

Duplicating and arranging assets in Dimension.

For these unique scenes, Riya used primitive models from the Dimension Starter Assets panel. By taking the drop and cone, and adjusting the scale and size, she was able to create individual petal and stem shapes. For this work, Riya also used Duplicate in the Actions panel to quickly iterate on the components without having to rebuild each petal from scratch. By rotating and positioning each petal and branch, she was able to build out the interior of each flower while focusing her attention more on the overall composition.

Tip 2: Leveraging materials

Adding materials to assets in Dimension.

Along with models from the Assets panel, Riya also used some of the materials that can be found there. She focused on the glass, matte and metal Adobe standard materials, being aware that this combination would work well for her vision of the final scene. Playing with color, roughness, and other parameters, Riya achieved a delicate translucence while keeping certain elements of the scene reflective and colorful. According to Riya, the way the metal interacts with the glass allows the light to subtly bounce off surfaces — giving it that soft, diffused appearance.

Tip 3: Crafting the lighting

Adjusting the lighting in Dimension.

The camera angle, position, and light are all critical components of Riya’s final series. During the creative process, she paid close attention to the balance of materials, colors, and object placement in relation to these other elements. Incorporating both environment and directional lights (also found in the Assets Panel), Riya added and adjusted the rotation, cloudiness, and other parameters to give the work a diffused effect. The goal was to ensure that the final light enhanced the materials for a soft, minimalist effect while using the asset placement, camera angle, and position to add a sense of realism to these abstract floral arrangements.

To learn more about Riya and her work, visit her her profile here.

At Adobe, we believe that everyone deserves respect and equal treatment, and we also stand with the Black community against hate, intolerance and racism. We will continue to support, elevate, and amplify diverse voices through our community of employees, creatives, customers and partners. We believe Adobe has a responsibility to drive change and ensure that every individual feels a sense of belonging and inclusion. We must stand up and speak out against racial inequality and injustice. Read more about the actions we’re taking to make lasting change inside and outside of our company.

We also know many people are still impacted by the current COVID-19 crisis and our thoughts are with you. The entire Adobe team wants to thank you, our customers, and all creators around the world for the work you do to keep us inspired during this difficult time.

Topics: 3D & AR, Design

Products: Creative Cloud, Dimension