Making Of ' Patrol'
In the first phase of work, I created the concept for the scene and spacecraft. I then worked up the concept, and finally came up with these (Fig.01 & Fig.02). Opening up Photoshop I created a new file sized 3000*2000 pixels, at 300 dpi and labelled it Test_001. This was going to be the base of my future image. On the blank canvas I created a layout for the scene (Fig.03), and then closed Photoshop.
From 2D to 3D
The second phase of work was the creation of the previously established scene in the 3ds Max editor. So I opened up 3ds Max and created the main scene file, which I called Main_Scene_. Using the image I created in Photoshop of the marked layout (see Fig.03); I inserted it as the background of my 3D scene.
I created a box object and exposed it so that the inner and side structure of it coincided with the main lines of my background layout. I then created an object, SShip_Pivot, which was made up of three planes, plus a cylindrical object. The cylindrical object was then tied to the facility, SShip_Pivot. I pivoted the same cylinder, locked the far end of it and combined it with the geometric centre of the scene.
Using copy, scale and displacement, I then moved the SShip_Pivot(s) in such a way that all lines coincided with the lines of my background (see Fig.03), and as a result, I got Fig.04, and then Fig.05 when I viewed it in wireframe.
I decided to call the spacecraft Unicorn, because of the very outstanding forward main gun. I won't dwell too much here on the modelling of this unit; I will just say that it took 8 days of 2-3 hours work to complete (Fig.06). The file was a ship called Unicorn_001.
I opened up the file Test_001 (see Fig.03), created a new layer and drowned it in black. I created a wedge-shaped object and slightly deformed it to achieve the curve of a planet form (Fig.07). The resulting layer was then duplicated twice and the sections were set using the Blending Mode parameters of Vivid Light and Colour Dodge.
I opened the Blending Options for the first layer and changed the parameters of Outer Glow and Inner Glow (Menu.01). For the second layer (Vivid Light), the parameters of the Outer Glow and Inner Glow were also edited (Menu.02). Again, for the third layer I changed the Outer Glow and Inner Glow parameters, as shown in Menu.03. And here was the result of the changes (Fig.08).
I copied this layer and set it to the Linear Dodge Blending Mode at opacity 100%. I then consistently applied the same filters to the image: Motion Blur (Amount: 20; Spin; Quality Best) and Gaussian Blur (Radius: 1.7 pixels). The result can be seen in Fig.15.
Once again, I copied the resulting layer and set it to the Hard Light Blending Mode at opacity 30%. And once again, I applied the same filters: Motion Blur (Amount: 50; Spin; Quality Best) and Gaussian Blur (Radius: 2 pixels). Here was the result (Fig.16).
I found the resulting picture to have too many red and yellow hues, and so in the lower left corner I added a few rough patches of dark blue shades. This zone was to play the role of the "solar terminator" (Fig.17).
A few more filters were added: Channel Mixer and Photo filter, which made the image more uniform in colour (Menu.05). I then edited the Curves and Colour Balance settings (Menu.06). The result was an image with alternate lighting zones, from the visual centre of the picture to its edges (Fig.18).
Okay, so with the background finished, let's move on.
Back in 3ds Max, I opened the scene which I called Main_Scene_. The file Unicorn_001 was then inserted into the scene and moved out so that its position coincided with the main axes of the SShip_Pivots (Fig.19). I rendered the resulting scene with an alpha channel, and inserted the result in the Photoshop scene, Test_001.
For this, I used one light source, of the Omni type, and the free Trail plug-in from Mr. Kuznetsova (http://www.lastjedioutpost.cgtalk.ru). Basically, it's possible to use not just one source of illumination for the creation of a flame through the help of this plug-in. First of all, to achieve a high quality "blast", I changed the Particle Quantity parameter, which I set to 2000 (Menu.07).Â , so in the Brightness tab under Final, under the Particle Visualize Parameters section, I made it 30. I also increased the Initial/Final Balance parameter to 0.75. With everything done correctly, I ended up with the result shown (Fig.20).
At this stage it was all about refining the image (Fig.21). As before, I used some filters - Channel Mixer and Photo filter, to achieve the final results shown in Fig.22. To check the accuracy, I superimposed the image of the original markings onto the final image (Fig.23), and for greater emphasis I added two black stripes to the top and bottom of the picture, but this simply a matter of personal tastes (Fig.24).