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Making Of 'Desert Life'

By Miguel Madaíl de Freitas
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Date Added: 9th December 2009
Software used:
Maya
Introduction

867_tid_001_f.jpg
Click to Enlarge

A big welcome to everyone reading this little overview about the making of "Desert Life".

The idea to this picture came to me with the recent happenings in the middle east. It made me remember about the nice colors and architectural elements about oriental and desert places, all being destroyed in these days.

So I thought about doing a quiet and nice place in the desert, where people used to live, but somehow, they run away afraid, leaving their homes standing there by the wind. This is "Desert Life", no matter how, it's always a lonely place.

At least, this is what this picture makes me feel.

Ok, I'm going to write about how I did this picture, from scratch to finish. I'm not going into big details, rather I'll try to explain the procedures and techniques.
 

First things First


After deciding that my picture had something to do with the desert, I searched the web for any reference pics of houses and styles and I came up with these very nice. These pictures gave me what I needed, some reference for modelling, and later for texturing.

867_tid_002.jpg

Modelling

I modelled the walls first so that I had notion of the whole space. I had a very good idea about the final picure, including perspective and lighting, so I didn't model anything that wouldn't appear later.

The walls were made with an editable spline extruded so that I can add noise and bends to it.

867_tid_003.jpg 867_tid_004.jpg 867_tid_005.jpg
Left: editable spline that makes the wall, Centre: bevel modifier applied (use bevel instead of extrude to get round edges, Right: wall after applying noise and bend modifiers

TIP: when using extrude or bevel modifier in 3dsmax, if you are planning to use noise, bend or any similar operation, don't forget to check the "Grid" under "Cap Type". This will add invisible vertexs to your model, thus making it much more able to deform.


The same procedure was used to build the other wall, except this one had the top edge very smooth, very round.

I couldn't just make a front profile of it. I made a side profile and then opened the doors with boolean operacions. After making both walls I made a backstage in each wall, to simulate the interior walls. In the second wall I made some openings in the ceiling to let light enter through it.

867_tid_006.jpg
Altough it is not seen due to blackness, a blue cabinet was built with simple boxes inside the room that is covered with the long curtain. The ground was made with a simple box, in which I changed a bit to add some bumps. The stairs were again built with editable splines, bevel modifier, and a little bit of noise to add displacement. The metal plate and wood bars were made out of simple boxes.

The curtain was made with a simple plane which I then modelled with editable poly to simulate wind blowing it. Finally, the water drainer was modelled with a cylinder that I altered some faces to make a small "mouth" in it (left).

Here's how everything looks like together:

867_tid_007.jpg
Ok, having done the modeling part, it is time to move on to texturing the whole stuff.

...please move on to the 2nd part, to find out about texturing, and lighting...



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