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Making of Clep

Felix Rodriguez Joleanes 2008-02-04 00:00 tutorial  > 3ds MAX  > modeling

Hello everyone! Clep is one of my latest projects and here i'm gonna explain some techniques that i used to create this image.

To create this project, I needed a basic main idea of what i wanted to show. I wanted to create a clear scence focused on one thing, all the magic will be done only by this object. The beggining was to make its design.

A good way to make good designs is to have a lot of visual references, use them with the creativity, and start to mix things up in the mind finding new ways to show what already exists. Anyway our brains interprets visual stuff relating it with things that they have seen before.

At Google i could find a lot of reference to start with, it's good to save a lot of them in the PC to have them near to watch.

Now with this i started drawing some rough strokes. Honestly i'm not a good drawer at all, but that doesn't have to be a limitation. Anyway Is very necesary to have very clear the ideas in a piece of paper not matter how badly they're drawn. Sometimes some stuff that works pretty fine on paper may not work very well on 3d, so this could change during the process, also because a change of mind or something else, so it's not good to be afraid to make changes to try to get a better looking.

This drawing was pretty easy to draw, because all those circles, i just used a compass.


In modelling i try to be respectful with proportions, they're very important, all the 3d volumes and its esthetic depends on these proportions, the main skill of a good modeler is to be able to figure out how to build 3d models with good porportions, in organic modeling this ability could be called also as sense of anatomy, in inorganic it could be called a good sense of geometry. This artistic eye could be developed by practicing modeling trying to get lookings as similar to real shapes as possible. The remaining skills, the technique, are easier to get, but not less important.

I usually use the same technique to model inorganic pieces. I start with a primitive creating a basic shape, next making the details and finally defining out hard edges, this last one are very important. In the real world is dificult to see surfaces with perfect edges, even most of objects made of metal doesn't have pefect edges. You can check this out by looking at objects around you, they have edges with a little range of smothness, so, the best way to have this kind of edges is to create little chamfers in edges that need to be hard (this is for middle-close shots, but objects that are not too close doesn't have to be like this). Obiously it's not always so easy, if the model has a subdivision like turbosmooth, it's a need to be careful with hard edges in curved surfaces.

Here are some modeling wips:

In Some cases i see useful to use booleans, some people may think booleans are the worst tool to use in modeling, but actually they're very useful to define cuts with a specific shape, cuts that will be hard to make manually, like cilindrical holes. Then i clean up the mesh fixing the topology.

The leather belt stitches are pretty simple, i just modeled one bended cilinder, multiplicate it along the belt, and then bended all together.

Splines are also useful to model some kind of shapes like pipeline-looking ones, insted of extrude a cilinder it's easier to create a spline and make it renderable using its thickness value. Also it's useful to make objects that aren't like pipelines using splines. In the watch base, for example i created and extruded a spline, then added a shell modifier to it, and finally made the final details in editable poly.


When making lighting for this scene i thought about contrast in the lights color, it's a good way to make a rich scene, like sunsets, where the orange color of the sun makes contrast with the bluish light bounced by the sky. It was not supossed to be an exterior render, but the principle of contrast was almost the same. I created a studio setup, starting by the main vray Light, i choose the warm color for this one, a good subdivision amount for this was useful (16). Then two vray lights at the oposite side of the scene with a cold color and a small multiplier. The background was a bended plane.


Some textures like the belt one were done by playing around in photoshop with some photgraphs downloaded from internet. The look that i wanted to get in the leather belt was very difficult to find, so i used some stone cracks and mixed them with some leather textures.


The render was done with vray 1.5 RC5 and i used its materials. Metal, transparent, fabric and plastic were the kind of materials that i used.

The metal material was done with a very dark diffuse and some reflection. Its glossines value was very useful to make it more realistic blurring its reflecions, an amout of 12 in the subdivision value was enought to make it not too much noisy. I set fresnel reflection and some anisotropy.

The transparent material was done with a light color, reflection with fresnel, and a lot of refraction with a bluish fog color.
The fabric materials have a fallof diffuse with Perpendicular/Parallel type, it's a fallof from the normal diffuse texture to a lighter one, i used the same but with a higher output amount.
The plastic materials has some reflections and a suitable glossines amount.


This GI setup was made thinking about the kind of the scene. An Irradiance map for primay bounces to make a good result without not too much rendering time, and Quasi - monte carlo (brute force in recent vray versions) for secundary bounces, a good calculation method in secondary bounces for this studio scene wasn't too expensive because there isn't too much light bounces like interior scenes. I used a bluish color for the GI environment and a hdr image in Relection/refraction environment, i choose this hdri making testing with several images until i find the most suitable. The lights reflection in the metal were too jagged even with a good Antialiasing setup, a good way to fix this was turning on the Sub-pixel mapping and Clamp output checkboxes in the Color mapping rollout.

This was the result:


The zdepth was useful to fake the depth of field in photoshop, i could render it in the Render Elements tab. The Enable Filtering option makes the render antialiased and the zdepth min and max values controls the depth range.

In photoshop i create a new channel (Alpha 1) in the render image and put the zdepth map there, i did this to be able to use it in the Lens Blur filter. the blur focal distance controls where to start blurring and the radius its intensity.

Next i added two layers to make a more interesting feeling, i used again the zdepth this time to make a little fog, obiously it's hard to see a scene like this with fog but i found this effect quite interesting adding some density to the environment and more color contrast with a warm color. It was made with a brown gradient and the inverted zdepth in its alpha. The second layer was a dark surrounding halo to fill the background.

And here's the final result:

I hope you like this making of, see you the next time!.


Felix Rodriguez Joleanes

email: nospam
Author: Felix Rodriguez Joleanes
Tags: tutorial
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motogp 17:55:07  |  13-06-2009
Its an amazing work of 3D!.If only you could give ous a detailed tutorials of it =) it would make 2-3 kinds of modelling techniques clear to the people and also its ending result will be marvellous! Great job ^^
azhole 00:53:17  |  05-08-2009
nice job bro, luxury watch
MaRmAR 15:49:19  |  12-08-2009
Great job man! :O
alaaelalfi 18:06:59  |  13-09-2009
great job .. i learned alot from this .. thanks
giegaand1 12:22:07  |  27-02-2014
thank you, nice one !!
moh.fadly 11:00:56  |  07-02-2016
Amazing tutorial, amazing result. Thumbs up :)