Beauty Lies in Simplicity II

1. Intro

In this tutorial I will write much more about compositing a scene, and i will try to show you that accidents have nothing to do here. Also, I will write about psychology and physiology in the scene, describe to you, why I place my objects exactly where they are and show you how to create a good looking scene, using very simple objects.

First I will write a list of "UVW Mapping" for objects in my scenes:

Walls                             box mapping
Ground                         planar mapping
Wooden Boards           box mapping
Chairs                           cylindrical mapping & box mapping
Bike parts                     cylindrical mapping (sometimes with 'cap')
Mirror on the Wall       box mapping, planar mapping
Metal Pipe                     cylindrical mapping
Broken Glass                planar mapping
Flower-bed                   cylindrical mapping
Flower                           planar mapping (for leafs), cylindrical mapping (rest of the flower)

2. Modelling

- Interior -

- Interior -

The walls were made out of standard boxes. Only the wall with the window was created using splines that were later extruded. The ground was a 'Standard Plane' object. The parapet was made from a standard box object, coverted into 'Editable poly' object.

The next step was, to increase the complexity of the mesh. To do that I used 'Tesselation' and 'MeshSmooth' tools, the same techniques I used to create all wooden boards (on the ground, as our floor, and on the wall to barricade the window).

The broken glass and mirror were created by extruding splines, the mirror's frame was built using the 'Extrude' tool: I extrude a spline and then I moved the edging vertices a little bit and rotate them by 45 deg. I did that to achieve proper frame joints, just like in the real world. The pipe is just a 'Standard Cylinder'-object, modified, by moving and rotating points, in some parts, decreasing the complexity of the mesh and at the end using an 'FFD' Modyfier. The Door is a simple Box that was slightly modified to create some chamfered edges.

The bike-frame, was created from standard cylinders. In some parts I moved some pointsl and used the 'FFD' modifier. I made it very simple because, I didn't need anything complex here - the bike was not the most important object in my scene. The bike`s wheel hanging on the wall consists of a lofted spline (you had to modify the Gizmo-Axis) and lots of duplicated thin cylinder objects. The bike's chain is a combination of yet another extruded spline - a single link - and lots of duplications of it.

From here starts the real and professional work.
A chair is not an easy model in itself. It is very subtle, has lots of beautiful parts and joints, where care must be taken (in modelling) and PROPORTIONS!
Lots of artists, who model chairs, forget about these proportions. Sometimes, moving some points a little bit greatly increases realism in a model. How to understand those proportion, you might wonder? No problem: sit down on a chair. Feel comfortable? Try to compare some chair parts (like their legs) to other objects in the scene (like in the real world). Try to sketch the chairs! I'm almost certain that you will NOT DO IT properly! After millions of different chair sketches, I know the proportions well. Or how to fake them ;)

...and this is all what I want to say about chairs. You will find some more on them in the last section of this tutorial.

The flower-pot was created from a 'lofted' spline. Scratches, on the flower-pot's surface, were achived by using boolean' operations. The flower-ground was a simple box object, converted to an 'Editable poly'. Then I moved some points, 'Tesselated' some faces, and to some of them I applyed 'MeshSmooth'.

For the leafs, I used Quad-Patches with point modyfications, and a global 'FFD Modifier' applied to all leaves.

3. Lighting

I used 3 lights in my scene. The 1st light (and also main light) is a Spot Light; I used 'Far Attenuation' with 'Inverse Square Decay because I needed real looking light, falling into dark space (dark space inside my room). Also this is a very helpful option, if you want to have a physically correct falling-off of your shadows.

The 2nd light - the volume-light-emitter - is another Spot Light. Also, I selected the [Use Light Smp Range], because I use Attenuation and deacays. And I wanted to have my volume-light's light also fall-off like the main light. This is how my Volume Light looks when I just started setting volume properties (1).

But in the end, my dusty volume light, began to look right (2).

The 3rd light is an 'Omni Light'. This light is inside room, does not cast any shadows and has an almost black colour. This kind of Black-coloured light is often named 'Light-sucker'. These lights create a 'moody' character in my scenes. I like this effect :)

4. Texturing

Big hails to "Total Textures" once again. I dont have to look around chasing good looking walls with my digi-camera. No more walking into restricted areas, just to take one shot. ;) I took almost all necessary textures from ONE CD. A few of them, I painted by myself, like the plant textures, or the mirror.I will not write about how to split single texutres into several, if you do not remember, try to find my earlier tutorial.

But I will show you how I created the main texture for my front wall and how to create a good-looking dusty and old mirror.

Look, how I destroyed a beautitul texture. The Guys from 3dtotal, will kill me! (3DT: No we won't, we like the man ;))

I knew well, what my texture should look like. I didn't need a pure and clean concrete texture but I found a good texture to work from (to destroy), also I chose several other texture-maps. Some of them, I used as masks for scratches, some of them for old paint marks and others just for plain dirt. BUT! I needed more. I needed more details. I needed something that can make it easily recognizable that this is an OLD WALL!

And then I figured something out!

What happens when you move out from your old home, taking with you your favorites furniture, your paintings etc.? What will you discover? That you've got very dirty walls, when you take off a painting from the wall.

Those historical marks, I created in Photoshop. I created a new Layer, then using the 'Rectangular Marquee Tool' and 'Feather' at a value of 2 pixels, I filled those selections with a plain light gray color. Then I changed the opacity of the layer a little bit. And thats it.

Those writings in style of graffiti were created on simple white paper, using a black marker. Then I scanned them and using selection method 'Color Range' I delete the white color, which left only the black color of my marks.
- Mirror-Texture -

...and the shader:

5. Composition and Setting (Object-Placement)

In my scene,you will find a 3-plane based composition. The first plane, holds the standing chair right in front of the camera. This one is blurred ('Depth Of Field').
The second plane contains what's going on on the floor. In fact my second plane is my floor, because the floor appears exactly in the middle of my space (between camera, and wall). Also in the second plane, is the broken chair, and my main chair with the plant. Finally my third plane - the background - is the wall with all those stuffies. I didn't want to cut the viewer away from the space. Thats why I created the door, or rather space where the door shoud be.

6. Physiology and Interpretation

The Window - In the 1st image named "Beauty lies in simplicity", I created only a shadow of the window frame. Those shadows greatly increased the realism in that scene. This time I wanted to show from where that light comes. Why volume light?
Because in those old, dusty homes, there always is lots of dust, flying all over, and there is great humidity (especially in summer). And this dust, and humidity creates our volume effects. If you look closer you willsee single dust particles.

I dont know why I create on old bike object. :) I like the effect of that hanging wheel.

The Flowerpot - I had to place it, because the same object was in the first picture. But there, it was like brand new. A beautiful plant stood on it.
Now, time has passed away...and what was new has become old.

Broken Mirror - Can be a symbol. A very sad symbol...

Standing Chair - A standing chair is a well known symbol. It describes rest and calm. The chair object itself has very powerful intepretation by our minds. When we see a chair, we think of rest, about something calm and warm. A chair has smooth lines. It also has a very good interpretation. People use chairs to rest.Try to compare a chair, for example, to flame...what do you feel?

The Plant - ...also, has something. Look carefully, you will figure out, that only one leaf (the biggest one) is green. It is turned towards the sun, into the light, and towards the only way out...

"Beauty lies in simplicity" ... don't think that 'beauty' word describe the whole nice-looking scene. NO!

'Beauty' describes the plant's fight. Someone who leaves this plant, in such an old house, dosen't think that this plant will survive...
But this is happened. And that's beautiful.
The word 'simplicity' exactly describes the objects in the scene.
They are very simple, easy to model, and easy to place...
They fit to each other composing a nice looking CG scene.

Beauty of imagination lies in simplicity of CG scene...

Thanks to all of you, who read this...hope to see you soon ;)

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