In this tutorial I will explain some general steps that took me to create this image. I used 3dsmax 7, V-Ray 1.46 and Photoshop cs for texture editing. My work based on the art of my talented friend and concept artist "Gil Rimmer" (www.gilrimmer.com)
The first step I always take before getting into the actual 3d process is drawing a rough sketch of the scene I'm going to make. In this case I already had gill's drawing so I moved on to the next step...
The second step is searching for reference Images. Everything that could help me understand the structure of elements I'm going to model, the kind of material and lighting I want to achieve, ect.
Sometimes I combine these two steps together; the references can help with the drawing phase as well.
I have made a list of all the elements in the scene (just like a grocery list).
I modeled and textured each one of them in a different scene but with the same light rig, that way all of my shaders reacts the same to the final light, I'll explain about that later on.
The scene items list, include the following:
Samovar, Book shelves filled with books, Ceiling Vent, Coffee table, Desk, Telephone, Desk Lamp, 2 Drapes Windows, Hat hanger, Hat, Living Room Table, Ashtray, Office Door, Manager Chair, 2 Sofas, Vault, Trophy, Floor Plant, 2 Wall Lamps, Carpet and of course the Room itself.
After I got my references and list of items I proceed to the modeling part...
I won't be covering the whole process of modeling for each model but I'll explain some of the methods I used for two of them, basically I prefer box and surface modeling and I use them most of the time.
The body of the samovar is basically a spline with lathe modifier, the ornament at the base and top of the samovar are Boolean splines that later on I extruded and Boolean them from the lathed object, the handles are lofted shapes on a path, same for the samovar tap, the legs are box modeling, the "peacock tail like plate" is a bunch of splines with surface modifier and shell modifier.
The Manager Chair
I'll explain only about the back rest which is more complex then the other parts which are simple box modeling.
for this part I began with a box primitive and manipulated it to the general shape of the beck rest (#1)(see image below), then I added a mesh smooth modifier with iteration value set to 1(#2), next I applied tessellate modifier on top of the mesh smooth and set it to work on faces, mark the Edge checkbox, tension = 25 and iterations = 3 (#3).
The next step I applied an edit mesh modifier and pulled in some vertexes with soft selection turned on (#4). Next I applied a Relax modifier with Relax Value of 1 and iterations set to 4, other parameters are default (#5). Next, again I applied another edit mesh modifier and with a lot of patience I select all the borders of the diamond shape and extruded them a bit(#6,7). On each corner I put a sphere primitive and squeezed it a little (#8)
Before I got into texturing the props I created a general light rig which I use to light all the props in the shading and texturing faze, its important to do that because once you lit your models with a different light, when it comes to the final lighting in the actual shot, all your shaders will reacts differently to the light and you will have a lot of adjusting to do.
So, for the general light rig I used 3 lights:
V-Ray light (key light)
Target direct light (fill light)
Target direct light (back light)
(see image below)
For the textures I used the "TOTAL TEXTURE CD #5" for some dirt maps and "TOTAL TEXTURE CD #6" for some clean color maps, I want to take this opportunity to thanks 3d total's crew for letting me use their excellent texture CD they were very helpful and useful, thanks guys!!!
I also make a lot of use with the "color correct map" which is a free plug-in that lets you adjust the color, hue, saturation of a bitmap and much more directly from the material editor, which saves you a lot of time, you can grab it at http://www.maxplugins.de just type in the search field "color correct" and there you have it