Fantastical Realism

By Create Staff

Benoit Challand is a 3D artist known for work that is fantastical but rendered with an amazing amount of realistic detail. We recently commissioned him to create such an illustration for us—to do so, he employed 3D textures and still photos purchased from Adobe Stock, serious Photoshop Brush tool prowess, and what seems like an infinite amount of patience.

Watch the videos below for glimpses into Challand’s process, and then download 10 images from Adobe Stock for free to make your own creation.

Click to zoom in on Benoit Challand’s original sketch and his final illustration. 

To ensure that his perspective is correct, Challand begins with a 3D base, and then he sketches on top of that in Adobe Photoshop CC, using the Brush tool.

Challand then goes to Adobe Stock to purchase 3D textures, which he applies to shapes in Maxon Cinema 4D.

Next, he opens the illustration in Photoshop to correct colors.

Wielding the Brush tool, Challand adds details that make elements look like metal sheets with rivets, and others that resemble machine controls.

Challand pulls a JPG still photo of water from Adobe Stock and carefully blends it into the existing flask of liquid by adjusting Hue/Saturation, removing spillover with the Eraser and Lasso tools, and applying a gradient.

Challand continues to build the illustration’s details; he purchases charts and graphs from Adobe Stock to act as computer screens, and he hand-draws power cords and machine parts using the Brush tool.

Just watching this part of the process could make your drawing hand ache. In it, Challand adds a fish to the water, gives the pink goo more drips, and ages the pink cup using Photoshop’s Brush and Eraser tools.

It’s time for the final touches, one of which is to import an Adobe Stock photo of fire. Challand removes the black pixels from the photo, resizes it, and positions the semi-transparent flame above a pipe. It’s simple (for Challand, anyway) but effective.

To see more work by Benoit Challand, visit his Behance page.