Inspiration: Ken Wellings


Ken Wellings is a master at creating artificial worlds and taking pictures of them. He spends hours creating mountains, wheat fields, gorgeous sunsets, historical ships sailing the high seas, ancient steam locomotives, peaceful coastlines, old country churches, and so on, arranging them just so. He plays with clouds, moves the sun around, adjusts the color of the sky, causes beams of light to fall upon his creation. He does all this from the comfort of his home in Williamsburg, VA, using computer software called Vue Infinite. When he’s got all the elements in place, he performs a bit of magic, known as a render. During the render, the computer takes a digital 2D picture of the 3D world Ken has painstakingly created. The results are just astounding, and I’m thrilled to share some of my favorite images here with you. 

Ken began as a traditional oil painter, learning his craft at the Art Students League in New York. His first foray into the 3D world was with Bryce, but he was not happy with Bryce’s landscape capabilities and now uses Vue instead. Wellings draws on his artistic influences (Frederick Church, Albert Bierstadt, Sanford Gifford, John Constable, and J.M.W. Turner) and his imagination while creating his images. Though he does not rely on photographic references, much of his work looks decidedly photo-realistic. Yet much of it has a distinct painterly glow about it. This is due to Wellings’ mastery of the atmosphere editor in Vue. His advice to artists just starting out in 3D landscapes: “Concentrate on getting to know the atmosphere editor as there is nothing more important than light in a picture. I would also suggest that they not be afraid to move the camera around and find interesting points if view for the subjects they are working on.” 

Wellings is a prolific 3D artist, and you can see his work on the Cornucopia 3D site, and at the CG Society website. His work was featured in the September 2008 issue of 3D World magazine. The works here by Ken Wellings are reproduced with his permission. Tip: Click on the first image, and you’ll see the images full-size in a slideshow viewer. Enjoy!

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