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Making Of 'Furniture Cluster'

By Mathias Koehler
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Date Added: 16th June 2009
Software used:
Maya
580_tid_final.jpg

Introduction

I got the idea for this image, when i had modelled some furniture for architectural vizualisation renderings and then thought about throwing everything together. I carefully moved and rotated the furniture to build a large cluster. This was actually the hardest part. I've then added a really simple environment - a room with 3 windows(at the right, not visible). To make it more interesting I've cut a hole in the ceiling and placed a biped on top of the furniture. I first thought about creating an own character, but I didn't want to spend that much time on this image, so I've just used a chrome biped. To add some mood I've also added some volume light.

Modelling

I've usually started with primitives and then tweaked them, using Editable Poly. I was trying out the trial version of PolyBoost at this time. It provides some awesome modelling tools - Like Polydraw, Flowconnect, Flowadjust, Looptools, very nice Selection tools and much more.

Take a look at some of the furniture stills:
Chair 1 is made of box primitives.

580_tid_chair_01.jpg
Chair 1
580_tid_chair_02.jpg
Chair 2

The curved wooden seat of Chair 2 was done using Polydraw then bended with a bend modifier. To give it some thickness I've used the shell modifier. The chairlegs started out as splines, were then extruded and again thickend by using the shell modifier.

580_tid_chair_03.jpg
Chair 3
580_tid_chair_04.jpg
Chair 4
580_tid_chair_05.jpg
Chair 5

Chair 3 and Chair 5 were initially Editable Patches and were later converted to EPoly. Using Editable Patches you can easily lay out complex curved shapes. The grating of Chair 3 was done using the lattice modifier.Chair 4 was modelled using a box as a base. I've then extruded the back and the 'legs'.

As you can see on this scene picture the room is really simple. It's made of a box with flipped normals. I've then cut in the windows using 'inset' and that's it already.

580_tid_scene_01.jpg

Materials & Texturing

Not much to say about materials/texturing. I've used photo-textures everywhere; tweaked to my needs. Most of them were free ones I've found on the net (mayang.com for example), some of them are from the 3D Total Texture CDs(good stuff!). Don't know what else to say, but here are some general tips:

Reflective materials(metals, chrome, glas,..) will only look as good as the environment around them. A basic room will make a big differencs already. Also make sure there is something really bright to reflect. White self-illuminatiing planes are great for this. You can also use a HDRI map if you like, but i prefer to create the environment myself in most cases(provides more controll and i think it gives a cleaner look).

Most Fabrics have some short and thin fur all over their surfaces. You can mimic this look by using a material which turns brighter as the surface turns away. In Max this can by achieved by using a fresnel map. It can also be done by using backlighting, but this isn't that usefull in complex scenes in my mind.



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