This is an overview on how my work, "Airbase" was created, from the draft idea through to the final 3D image.
I have split this 'Making Of' into 4 parts; you will find some of references, my sketches and technical snapshots of Maya throughout this article. I will be focusing more on the inspiration of my work and less on the technical side, and I intend this article for those people with a basic understanding of Maya and Photoshop, and who are interested in the process of my work. OK so let's start!
Part I - Overview: Draft Idea of Design
The work "Airbase" is part of my "2200 City without a Name" project; it is the airbase of a city existing in the future. South-east Asian cultures were my references for this design (Bali's grave stones, some Thai influences, Minangkabau's peaked roofs, Hindu colours, etc.), but I did not want to duplicate all of these cultures; rather, I selectively chose elements and re-designed them with a mixture of technology and with my own interpretation (maybe the future is not as prosperous as we expected?).(Fig.001)
At the beginning, I spent some time imagining how everything should look; what was going on; what was happening, etc. I then started making some draft sketches in 2D - most of time falling inside my imagination and putting myself in the position of an architect in the city, or perhaps a guy who had arrived in the city. With this, some virtual pictures started to pop into my mind: the atmosphere, colours, weather and so on. (Fig.002)
After getting a concrete idea down, and with my draft sketches complete, I then went on and made a detailed sketch and colour version of the drawing. (Fig.003)
I could then start building my airbase in 3D. Sometimes I prefer to work like a sculptor, with the added possibility of turning an object around and shaping it. At this point I created some more fragmented sketches for some of the details and added elements that I hadn't included in the sketching stage. This was a lot of fun, and after the basic construction was built, I could then start searching for the right camera position and considering the camera movement before going any further with more detailed works. This is very important for a large scene such as this.
Part II - Production: Modelling/Texturing/Rendering
I didn't import any drawings when working on this piece, because the structure of the building was clear cut and I was using some simple figures as references for scale during the modelling.
Everything was started with a basic polygon cylinder for the top of the building, and a polygon box for the bottom. I usually keep the face as low as possible and use the "Add Edge tool" to add more faces if necessary. I also use the "Extract" tool to separate some faces and the "Booleans" tool to cut out the shape I need. (Fig.004)
With regards to the creation of the dynamic form, I created a "Polygon box" and a "CP curve", selected the face and shift-selected the curve, extruded them with the "Extrude" tool and adjusted with the "Division" and "Taper" sections to get the shape I needed. At the end, I duplicated and grouped them together and used the "Lattice" reformation tools to reshape the form to what I needed. (Fig.005)