The spectacular 'faux reliefs' of Grant Parsley

They look real - but they're made from pixels, not metal

We can't believe these Wizard of Oz-themed metallic reliefs aren't solid objects but entirely made of pixels!

Dallas-based illustrator/graphic designer Grant Parsley used a combination of 3D tools Zbrush and Blender to create the collection. A recent convert to the use of 3D software for illustration, he didn't want to just follow in other illustrators' footsteps but create something new.

New approach

"Most artists create either lo-poly work for gaming or high realism work for visual effects," he explains. "And for good reason - this is where most of the jobs are focused for 3D artists. But while this type of work is incredible, I wanted to try something different."

Parsley chose iconic Wizard of Oz characters to try out his technique

As he searched for inspiration, he focused on at the fine art that's closest to 3D - sculpture. "While reviewing museum reliefs, it hit me that a relief style might lend itself to illustrating classic children’s literature. I’d recently read The Wizard of Oz with my young daughter and could envision illustrating these beloved characters in relief form. And I’m thrilled with the results."

How they're made

To create his "faux reliefs", Parsley begins by sketching out several compositions in loose pencil. "Once I’m pleased with a composition, I sculpt my organic hi-poly elements entirely in Zbrush. Then I model the simple hard edge elements in Blender. "

The "faux relief" creations are fashioned using Zbrush and Blender

He merges all elements together in Zbrush and refine the merged mesh. "Next, I create additional variants of the model - working quickly to create slight differences in the surface.

"Finally, I import all of the work into Blender, assign a unique texture to each mesh, light, and render. The combined meshes enhance the texture differences in the relief surface and produce a very natural worn appearance."

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