Making Of 'Training Day'
Hi everyone and welcome to the Making Of 'Training Day', a personal 3d artwork created in my spare time. I conceived this picture in two weeks, and I hope you'll find some answers to some of your own questions in the Making Of.
In this picture, I used a normal working pipeline: Concept > Modelling > Texturing > Lighting > Rendering- > Compositing.
Concept & Modelling
In the beginning, I drew a robot - very quickly. I wanted to model this character because I liked the shape, and it was afterwards that I decided to make an illustration with it - a more important scene with all the graphical elements necessary to creating the dynamic illustration, 'Training Day'. I drew some thumbnails for the composition; the oblique composition intensified and dramatised the situation.
I began modelling the robot, the main character (fig.01), but what is a robot without a BIG gun?! I took some photographic references to create his design; there are two recognisable gun designs (fig.02). With this character, I decided to create a very different picture, so for the environment I didn't make a futuristic landscape or a city in ruins. Instead I made a Zen environment to make the contrast between the final action and the tranquil location. The oriental door contributes a lot in the creation of this atmosphere. For the armchair, I modelled it and then destroyed it and set right in the action, receiving all the bullets. So, all of these props gave me the possibility to create this picture. At the end of the modelling stage, I made the layout of my scene (fig.03). I put the main character in position, ready to fire at this 'unusual' target.
First of all, I began with the unwrapping of all the models. I did this in 3ds Max 8 with pelt mapping. I didn't use any other software to help me in this task (fig.04). For the robot, I used photographic textures for the metallic parts and made lots of photomontages in Photoshop to finalise all the textures (fig.05). I preferred to use aged and stressed metal for the robot, so I illustrated the robot's 'life' (he'd had a very active life!). For the paintings on the wall, behind the robot, I took them from my own 2d artworks (fig.06). For the vases, I created a really quick shader with 3ds Max 8. I used an anisotropic that I adjusted, and an HDRI to give more lighting and reflection information.
For the gun case, I modelled a case and then used the SuperSpray in 3ds Max 8 to create the case action (fig.07). I looked at some video references to estimate a 'case's life'. I used a PCloud for the armchair and for the debris of the floor, but for the armchair particles I painted a fibre cotton in Photoshop - very quickly, and the alpha of this helped me to realise the shader (fig.08). I then adjusted my SuperSpray and all my PCloud to create something realistic.
I conceived the lighting of my scene with Vray 1.5. I used a Vray light and two Target Direct lights to create the mood (fig.09). I chose the Light cache for the GI engine, and adjusted the Irradiance map, the Light cache and the Environment according to my tastes. During this step, I created the beauty pass for the compositing stage. After I made an ambient occlusion pass with Mental Ray (fig.10), I saved another scene and put a mental ray material with an Ambient/Reflective Occlusion onto the Surface on all the elements. In the Material Editor, I adjusted the Ambient/Occlusion parameters (Samples: 128; Spread: 1,0; Max Distance: 30,0). For the DOF, I used the Default Scanline Renderer, but I'll explain this step during the compositing section. For all the images, I took the size of: 1979x3453.
The final step is the most important step for me, because it is the step where I really create the atmosphere of the picture that I want. For this piece, I wanted to make more than just a 3d image...
I did all the compositing work in Photoshop (fig.11). I hand-painted some sparkles on the floor to illustrate the impact of the bullets (fig.12). For the motion blur, I rendered a separate pass of the main character, the robot, and then applied - in Photoshop CS - a Radial Blur.
For the DOF, I rendered a picture in black and white, where the white was the closest to the camera and the black furthest away. I conceived this pass with the Default Scanline Renderer and a white Omni Light in Ambient only, which I turned on in the Advanced Effects, but without shadow. The Far Attenuation gave me the possibility to play with the black and white with my Depth of Field (fig.13). I then used this pass in Photoshop as a fusion mask. I duplicated my beauty pass and applied a Gaussian Blur. So, in the final, I created the DOF of my picture and played with this pass to darken the background of my illustration, with a Level filter for example (fig.14). I rendered some pass shadow to dramatise and intensify some shadows in the final picture (fig.15).
All the smoke in the final picture was painted with a personal custom brush. I added a layer for the gun's explosion to intensify the effect (fig.16). This explosion is the central point of this image, but it was also the most difficult part of the illustration and so I took time to make something satisfying, to me. I studied and looked at a lot of realistic references for this bit!
So, finally, I hope you have appreciated this 'Making Of', and if you want more information about my working process then I'm entirely at your disposal - if I have the time...