• mOss

#OO3 | Environments PART I : The City

In this post I'll be talking about building the world of Killing Stalking and the process of creation for the environments along with the issues that I've come to face and how they can be resolved.

You may or may not have noticed that Koogi had used 1 of 2 methods at any time for creating her backgrounds; she either used a software like SketchUp to create her own 3D environments or used real-life photographs of environments and added characters or drew details on top. There could be a few reasons for this, 2 of them might be that Koogi didn't have enough time to draw all the backgrounds herself or she didn't have the ability to draw environments/buildings/architecture stuff. Using a 3D software would've been a smart and easy way to keep consistent with the size/placement of the rooms too.

But when you use methods like this, it's not as simple as rendering out the 3D scene and calling it a day, or using the low resolution photographs and barely touching them. If you just render out the 3D environment and put 2D characters on top, it's not consistent with the art style she's chosen, but this is just my opinion.

In some of the backgrounds I can see that she used an effect to reduce the details of the photographs to create the illusion of a 2D scene. With this she simply drew on top as you can see below:

There isn't a problem with this, it worked, and I overlooked it when being so infatuated with the story, but when you come to dissect everything you see that all of this could've been executed a little better. But like I said, she was probably under a lot of pressure and assuming by her hospitalisation and still being in college while producing this manhwa, she definitely was.

The only reason I'm mentioning this at all is because it's another wall for us to climb. I wasn't sure if Koogi made an authentic Korea for her world or if she just used what she had available from the 3D model library. I don't have access to the library or the software but I can't rely on the chance that this library came with a specific South Korean pack of buildings / pieces since other architectural software library's generally don't have many options.

I first came into an issue when I was in the early stages of modelling Sangu's House. I gathered reference images from the manhwa panels of every room and multiple angles of the street, but after a while of me working on this environment I noticed problems like the front door handle being on the right side on both sides of the door / the pipe in the basement went through the ceiling of the hallway / the basement opening isn't big enough to fit Sangu carrying anyone in his arms with the stairs being that steep ect.

Since this is a 3D adaptation and I need a lot of accurate reference, I've had to do my own research and reference gathering from real-life photography and videos. So on top of an already technically difficult production with a small team, we now need to do extra work before the real challenge has even started.

My research consists of cities, architecture, interiors and streets. There are huge differences in different parts of a country, for example, there could be two neighbour cities; one could have advanced architectural developments compared to the other which could have major funding setbacks and remain under-developed. In the case of Killing Stalking since Koogi never chose to name her city or her streets (as shown below), I've had to ask our Series Translator / Interpreter 'Kwonicler' about parts of South Korea that our series could be inspired by. Looking at where Bum lives and where Sangu lives, we needed a city that functions and adheres to the plot while also emphasising the characters lifestyle. I think it would be a lot harder to get away with murder if Sangu had a whole street of neighbours and witnesses in some city that's well developed. I showed him some environment panels from the manhwa and explained that this was to be a 'run down city' based on the state and reputation of Sangu's street and Bum's apartment area. We also have this bit of evidence that at least Killing Stalking doesn't take place in Seoul:

From this we know it definitely isn't Seoul, so when I asked Kwonicler for a city of a similar state he recommended Yeongdeungpo-gu.

This is exactly what we needed, the city is almost identical to the manhwa. The narrowed streets with erosion to the buildings, the messy electrical poles above, the trash left on almost every corner, the rusted metal and the broken concrete are just a few elements that emphasise the depressing atmosphere that Koogi tried to embody.

Now that we have a city chosen, we can really start adding the small details and perfecting the 3D environments. Look out for the livestreams where you'll see the environments being built in real time ~

I will keep this Progression Blog updated with a new post every month. I hope you find some interest in this information 'behind the scenes' of the production. Thank you again for supporting my work and the chAosOPUS STUDIO ~ ¬mOss 🍄