Michele Durazzi walks us through his imaginative mini-series "Once Upon a Time"...
3dtotal: Hello, Michele, and thank you for talking to 3dcreative. First off, could you introduce yourself to our readers with a bit about your background and career?
Hello everyone, and thanks to 3dtotal for the chance to talk about my work. My education started on a self-taught path, until I got to the Department of Architecture at the University of Florence, where I improved a few of my CG techniques. After that, I worked with designing and planning offices, and later became a freelance graphic designer.
Behold Beyond Blindness – J.L. Borges
3dt: Your latest projects combine 3D modeling with a strong sense of geometry and symbolism. How have you arrived at this particular balance in your work?
I researched the strength of simplifying shapes, removing the superfluous and useless from the process of combining the symbolic and narrative. I think that the term ‘symbolic' is probably the most correct way to define the attitude of my work.
The Greek word syn-ballein means "to unite, harmonize, put together” – and in my creative field I try to synthesize concepts and graphical representations. I am of the belief that every representation must transcend itself and defer further meanings, inviting the reader to look beyond the obvious.
Agoraphobia – G. de Chirico
3dt: Who or what inspired Once Upon a Time? Could you share some of the concepts behind this series?
Once Upon a Time is an ironic attempt to combine historical characters with paradoxical, contradictory, or metaphorical situations. In Behold Beyond Blindness, we see an old Borges walking under what appears to be his home, in the heart of a labyrinth – a place very dear to him. His blindness did not prevent him from being a visionary poet.
In Agoraphobia, I guess de Chirico, the Italian metaphysical painter, is sucked away in a maelstrom of the floor because he cannot stand the vastness.
Hyperuranium shows Plato in full contemplation on the threshold of an Academy, Hollywood or Cinecittà style. There is not much solid around him, which could mean either the illusory nature of worldly things compared to the ideas (see the Platonic solids) or the illusory nature of any cultural structure.
In Conspiracy, the figure of Moses makes me laugh a lot. He is disappointed that he cannot close the Red Sea to help the Jewish people.
Ides of March is the famous murder of Julius Caesar. The aperiodic Penrose tessellation, used as flooring, has the characteristic of appearing 3D, as if the upper face is a supporting surface.
Finally, Ulysses is so mocking as to deem his enemies as naive children, giving them a Trojan Rocking Horse.
3dt: I see you favor 3ds Max in your modeling workflow. What is your typical process for creating an image?
It's very difficult to explain. Usually, an idea is born before any attempt at modeling: a concept, a mental image, sometimes just a word. What began as an idea is then built and refined in 3ds Max, sometimes changing during the workflow, but it is important that there's a basic concept.
It may also occur the exact opposite, with a genesis in geometry, from which a meaning can be inferred and developed afterwards. Anyway, the software type is not so important in the creative processes.
I believe it's essential to develop a sense of the hierarchy of elements that will go towards making up your compositions. Understanding their spatial relationship to one another is essential to producing good results.
Ides of March – Julius Caesar
3dt: Finally, can you tell us about your current and future plans – any projects you're working on, or goals you hope to achieve?
I am currently working on a series of illustrations for various clients, from architecture to publishing. A future goal, I hope, will be to publish a book of personal works. I believe in teamwork and hope to meet creative people to collaborate with on interesting projects.
Trojan Rocking Horse – Ulysses' Horse outside Troy
Check out Michele's website
Grab a copy of 3ds Max Projects