Behind the Scenes with Matti Tauslahti
Art by Matti Tauslahti.
In this next Behind the Scenes article, we will explore some of the ways that Matti Tauslahti creates his beautiful, abstract 3D scenes. His intricate use of amorphous and primitive shapes combined with dynamic lighting and refined color palettes demonstrates the power of Adobe Dimension as a creative tool.
Tauslahti’s interest in design began during high school. When he was 15, he began to experiment with photography and different photo-manipulation techniques. He then focused his attention on photo printing, exploring both photography and design through this work. Two years ago, Tauslahti started to experiment with 3D. As his interest in the medium grew, he began to investigate different software options, eventually narrowing in on Dimension. The ease of use combined with a strong feature set were an excellent match for his creative needs. Initially, Tauslahti would add one to two 3D objects to a photographic scene and render this out, but over time, he began to focus on more complex compositions and even started using 3D modeling software to make his own 3D assets and shapes.
We met with Tauslahti this month to discuss three techniques he used when creating this minimalistic 3D scene.
Harmaa by Matti Tauslahti.
Tip 1: Leveraging asset placement
Tauslahti’s work reflects a simple elegance that originates from intentional choices around composition and asset placement. For this design, he chose to break up the single, straight line with a piece of fabric to allow a more fluid, diagonal movement. In addition, Tauslahti chose to position the organic shapes in a way so that the soft curves were complementary to how the light might strike the scene. For abstract work, Tauslahti suggests taking into account the varying size of each shape and never hesitating to use smaller elements to add a sense of intricacy to the work.
Tip 2: Customizing materials
Material selection and parameters, like the Base Color and Normal Map, are important, especially when working with a minimalist, abstract style. Tauslahti tends to focus on a few materials (two to three on average per work) and maximizes the customizability to create a consistent color palette and design. In this scene, Tauslahti used an image of a stone surface to create the Base Color of the rock, as well as the Normal Map, which adds all the small bumps and dents that bring the rock to life. By focusing in on a limited material set and fine-tuning the elements, he is able to maximize these types of subtle variances while giving the work a uniform appearance.
Tip 3: Experimenting with shadows
For Tauslahti’s work, lighting plays a critical role. Whether maximizing the power of Dimension’s Match Image feature with 3D assets and his own photographs; using a soft light with diffused shadows in stark, semi-monochromatic scenes; or, leveraging the power of colored light to add impact to an abstract composition, Tauslahti finds that lighting is the thread that holds everything together. For this piece, Tauslahti used the Sun from the Direction Lights section of the Dimension Asset Panel. By changing the intensity and cloudiness, he was able to capture an array of subtle shadows on the ground plane, enhancing the overall flow of the work, while highlighting the organic curves of the assets, giving the scene a soft, understated feel.