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Making Of 'The Conductor'

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Date Added: 9th December 2009
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My work usually starts out as an idea - lots of things come into play when it develops, movies that I've seen, music I'm listening to, people that I've met and so on. And it usually takes some time to brew and flesh itself out. I don't start doing anything until I have a clear picture in my head. This time around I wanted to create something funny and cheerful with a twist of insanity. I was listening to a soundtrack of Donnie Darko and this idea sort of came along - a conductor that has been completely overwhelmed by his creation an emerged into the world of music that he can control by a movement of his hands. It started out as a messy sketch on a side of a paper and later on evolved in my head with the proportions and expression of the character.


I then jumped right into modeling this guy. Since it was meant only for one still image I didn't bother much about the topology or "the right way" how to do my modeling. You won't find any decent edge loops in him! I even used spheres to create his cheeks and a simply tapered sphere for his body. Nose was made out of a sphere that was subdivided and deformed into the shape that I was aiming for and then brutally extruded some faces to create nostrils. You can clearly see that in the picture that shows wire. Working this way it saves tons of time and lets you concentrate on the forms and rhythm of your creation. After all I knew that I was going to correct all of those modeling glitches in Photoshop. Since I was aiming for a cartoony/dreamy style I didn't bother going into too much of a detail


Colouring and basic setup

After that was done I blocked in some colors in 3ds max and some basic material attributes, like the glossiness of the skin. No textures and no advanced rendering techniques or material setups were used here. Same with lightning - just a basic three point light setup- one to give him basic light and shadows, one to soften out the shadows and the third to give him a sort of rim lightning on the sides


After that, he was rendered out in a default scanline renderer. I also rendered an ambient occlusion pass with mental ray to give him some soft shadows, that I multiplied over in Photoshop


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