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Creating colorful low poly scenes


By Calder Moore

Web: https://www.artstation.com/artist/Refriedspinach (will open in new window)

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Date Added: 25th May 2017
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Calder Moore shows us a sample from his vibrant portfolio, including low-poly landscapes and 3D fractals using Softimage and Mandelbulb 3D...


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3dtotal: Hello, Calder! Thanks for talking to 3dcreative. First off, could you introduce yourself with a bit about your background and projects?

Calder Moore: First of all I'd like to thank you for interviewing me in your Spotlight feature! About a year and a half ago I graduated from a 3D modeling course; three months later, I landed my first and current job at Nerd Corps Entertainment Inc. I am currently working on a preschool show called Blaze and the Monster Machines which has been a blast to be a part of.

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Crystal desert – My second attempt at the low poly series, playing with reflections

3dt: You make some brilliant low-poly and fractal 3D artwork. What software do you prefer to use, and why?

CM: I love using Softimage. It's easy to use and set up, and great for visual/spatial-thinking people, which is exactly what I look for in software. Also, the hotkeys are set up almost perfectly for quick modeling workflows.

I recently found an amazing free program called Mandelbulb 3D, which is able to produce stunning and infinite 3D Fractals. I love how you can create such abstract and unique shapes, then after that, be able to go into lighting and post-processing to create something completely original every time.

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Ice Cavern – This was originally going to be a cavern with a stream of lava, and ended up being completely the opposite

3dt: Could you explain some of the creative processes behind the planning and making of your images?

CM: I don't have much free time to create side projects, so I tend to abandon larger personal pieces early on. Therefore I have to think smaller: projects I could complete in one or two sittings.

The way I like to work is by a lot of experimenting and ‘happy accidents', letting the creative process flow and hopefully creating something unique, and ultimately visually striking.

There was a lot of trial and error to come up with a good workflow at the start of the low-poly series. Since time is always a factor, I decided to keep the scenes simple, so I ended up just focusing on the terrain, which I felt helped the viewer create their own story while looking at it and adding in their own details.

I ended up only using ambient occlusion and incidence-based lighting to light and shade my scenes, which gave me an awesome opportunity to get creative with the color palettes, as I had full control over how my objects were lit. I wanted lots of depth in my scene, so adding a tinted fog helped me achieve this and also enforced the scale of the scene.

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Laniakea Supercluster –Superclusters are among the largest known structures of the cosmos

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Microscopium Supercluster

3dt: You use really striking color palettes and compositions in your images. Do you have any advice for artists hoping to make more eye-catching work?

CM: I believe the most important thing is learning your basic fundamentals like composition, color theory, balance, focal points, depth, and so on. The better you can understand them, the more you can use them to your advantage. Having a good composition can create a visual path, helping to drive the focal point and tell the story.

There is tons of resource material out there for learning the fundamentals, but most importantly, you must put them into practice. Without failing a few times, you really don't know what you could possibly achieve.

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Mountain Cave – It's too cold out here!

3dt: Finally, what are your big aspirations and inspirations? What keeps you going and improving with your work?
CM: One of my biggest goals right now is to work full-time on a project where I can have complete creative freedom. Then I can put in all those little details and make something that is completely immersive and personal.

A lot of my inspirations come from everyday life, photography, basically anything and everything related to art, even pulling inspiration from music. I'm always trying to improve with each project I work on. If I'm not improving and challenging myself, the outcome usually isn't as rewarding as it could be.

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Related links

Check out Calder's website
Grab a copy of 3ds Max Projects

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