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Making Of 'Totem'

By John Thiry
| Your Rating:
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(13 Votes)
| Comments 4
Date Added: 14th February 2013
Software used:
3ds Max


I always enjoy spending time on this step. At this point I used V-Ray materials, which are easily configurable and very intuitive. Then I roughly put in the main light sources, to visualize the reactions of the different materials better.

For water, the tricky part here was the refraction. Many test renders were conducted to get the desired result (a beautiful semi-transparent turquoise). So I played a lot with the intensity of the Refraction, the Fog color and Fog multiplier. Initially, to reduce the rendering time, a Noise map was placed in the bump slot, but the lack of detail quickly led to my decision to use a nice Displacement map on a VRayDisplacementMod. The detail level here was controlled with the Levels parameter of the map.

For the ice I tried a lot of different configurations with the Displacement map, which consumed a lot of rendering time. The blue/green color was generated by the refraction and translucency.

In the end, the only painted texture was the one for ducks! This was also the only object with the hemisphere, created for an environment that required UVW mapping (Fig.04 - 05).

1668_tid_Fig 4.jpg
Fig. 04

1668_tid_Fig 5.jpg
Fig. 05

Lighting and Rendering

The principal light source is a direct light, which simulates sunlight. I could have used a VRaySun, but I find that simple light is easier to use and without a VRaySky it is almost pointless. My sky here is the hemisphere with a VRayLightMtl and a sky texture from It is a good technique to create outdoor scenes and is also quite fast. Finally, I added a large VRayLight at the top of the scene to add more reflection and specularity (Fig.06).

1668_tid_Fig 6.jpg
Fig. 06

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Readers Comments (Newest on Top)
(ID: 204633, pid: 0) Whatsaiththou on Sat, 29 June 2013 5:17pm
dude! this looks out of this world. amazing job. i wish i had two extra thumbs, so i could give this 4 thumbs up!
(ID: 200806, pid: 0) Tinnnpo on Sun, 02 June 2013 12:16pm
what is the size of the plane & units used?
(ID: 182565, pid: 0) Donovan on Tue, 19 February 2013 8:15pm
I cant undertsnad criticism. this is brilliant, absolutely beautiful colour and light. great work/. thanks so much for sharing
(ID: 182479, pid: 0) 48design on Tue, 19 February 2013 9:32am
Couldn't you have done the foam at the base of the ducks with the VrayDistanceTexture and/or VRayDirt?
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