Making Of '5 o'clock'

Introduction

This is my very first Making Of in four years working with 3D graphics, and it is a pleasure to share my work process here, with you. I graduated in Digital Design from São Paulo, Brazil, but my passion is computer graphics. In this Making Of, I'll try to give you an objective explanation of my work titled, "5 o'clock". So, here we go...

Inspiration

As an attentive taster of English teas, together with my passion of product visualisation and appreciation of the English culture, I decided to build this typical English tea-time. In this scenery made from scratch I tried to achieve a photo real quality work.

Sketching

Before I start the modelling process I usually make a fast sketch, with primitives, to test the composition, lighting and some render setups. I think this is very interesting because since the beginning I had a brief idea about how the final image would look. This sketch was not a complex work; just boxes, cylinders and planes shaped to the objects that I had in mind. The lighting sketch was just to test how the shadows would behave, to define its direction and the mood I wanted to achieve. For accurate setups like GI and image based lighting with HDR maps I work just on the final lighting.

The Modelling Process

The modelling work began here. It was time to get lots of references of cups, jars, breakfast stuff, tea stuff, and other kitchen objects. To create the objects I just used polygon modelling on primitives, like box and cylinder, modified with bevel, extrude, cut, chamfer, lathe, etc. I consider this modelling work to be basic, but the union of many objects will give the work a complex look. For some objects I used photo references which I took from the Internet, such as tea boxes, coffee and honey bottles. All of the others I created myself. One very important thing that 3D modellers, mostly beginners, have to keep in mind when working with many objects in a scene, to avoid the slowing down of computer memory, is to smooth the objects just in the render iterations, then they will have a low poly count to work on and the processes will be fast. Some objects I prefer to model outside the scene and then merge them, or use an XREF, to link it.  Fig01 shows the wireframe of the scene overview. The tea tin can be seen in Fig02, shelf support in Fig03, coffee cups in Fig04, tea cup in Fig05, sugar pack in Fig06, coffee jar in Fig07, and the flag can be seen in Fig08.

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Textures

To texture the objects I usually unwrap all the meshes, and when I don't feel the need to do that I apply a simple UVW modifier to the objects. Most of the textures were taken as photographs. Some maps such as "Twinings" and "Ahmad" tea I needed to paint in Photoshop. The logos were taken from www.brandsoftheworld.com. All the maps vary between 2500 and 4000 pixels, depending upon the details and how much they will appear in the scene. As I use V-Ray for rendering, all the shaders are V-Ray 1.5 power shaders. There are no standard materials in this scene. Texture map samples can be seen in Fig09. Some close-ups of the textures on objects in different views can be seen in the following images; tea bag pack (Fig10), sugar pack (Fig11), tea box (Fig12), tea bag string (Fig13), tea cup (Fig14), Buckingham guard (Fig15). The shader samples can be seen in Fig16

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Lighting

The lighting that I created for this work consists in one HDR map for the environment, to control the "5 o'clock" mood, and one direct target to simulate a few sunlight rays entering the ambient setting. Together I set up the V-Ray GI engine. The light position can be seen in Fig17, the light setup Fig18, V-Ray lighting + GI pass in Fig19, and the GI pass in Fig20.

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Lighting

This is the cool bit in my opinion; it is the time that you get to see the result of all of the processes and the time that the 3D meshes come to life. To render I used Chaos Group V-Ray 1.5, which has a wonderful GI engine and allows users to reach maximum realism. I rendered this scene in passes, such as diffuse, GI, shadows, reflections and refractions, in V-Ray elements. I then put it all together in Photoshop. The render setup can be seen in Fig21 - 23. Passes can be seen in Fig24a - e.

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Post- Production

In Photoshop I made some colour corrections, tweaked the levels and added some details, like cracks in the jar, and gave the image some dirt and noise to kick off the CG look, and generally tried to give the image a natural, and old, effect. Post-production work can be seen in Fig25 - 26.

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