Digital artist, Fescher Neoilustração uses his 18 years' worth of experience to take us through the creation of his studio's ad campaign image, Fatal Attraction.
BASF – The Chemical Company has developed a new product for pest control and we were contacted through ad agency e21. Our challenge was to develop an image that could in no way elicit a sympathetic response for a group of rats, while trying to avoid showing any aggressiveness through the ad. Easy task, right? We came up with the solution by showing the rats mesmerized by the client's product, while working with the agency's input during the development of the traits of each rat, aiming for the right balance between funny and repulsive.
The whole Fatal Attraction illustration took us almost 2 months. An intelligent team co-ordination is vital to keep track of all the parallel workflows we deal with on a daily basis. Any mistake could set us back a few days and the last thing we want is to compromise our reputation of beating all our deadlines while keeping a high quality.
"The concept phase shouldn't be overlooked, since any mis-steps here will show up in the next ones"
The image concept
We wanted each rat to have its own personality, including fur and eye color, to avoid any kind of image staleness. At the studio we have a Cartoon Department that was fundamental in developing the gestures and actions of each character. The concept phase shouldn't be overlooked, since any mis-steps here will show up in the next ones, just like all the modeling and shading work won't cover up for any weak ideas during the early image planning stage.
There was a need for laborious research due to the realistic effect we were trying to achieve. Besides a thorough study of rodent anatomy including tails, skin, eyes, teeth and nails, we needed a convincing environment. A quick walk around the block with a camera in hand can be very surprising, and creating your own textures very rewarding for the complete control it brings to the image planning stage. An ever-expanding reliable texture library can never be a bad thing, too.
The 2D sketched concept for Fatal Attraction
Modeling in Blender
The rats and sewer were modeled in Blender 2.49 with a few touch-ups in ZBrush 4 for hands and eyelid wrinkles. The bricks that appear where the wall has fallen were made from the photos taken in the previous step. Once we edited the texture, we used it to create the 3D bricks by displacing them from a mapped plane in 3ds Max.
No camera on earth could recreate the forced perspective effect we wanted for the image, so the whole sewer was modeled in straight planes. We then used a Lattice Modifier to distort the whole scenario at once, with the benefit that all mapped textures would be following the same distortion, creating a coherent image.
Using straight planes with a Lattice Modifier to create the distorted perspective