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Making of 'Red Baron'

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Date Added: 27th May 2010
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The zeppelin took a long time to create. A ton of details were left out due to time constrains. In the end I was really satisfied with the model. In the beginning, the idea was to make it blurry because of the fast movement of the camera, which is focused on following the airplane; however I realized that this would mean a lot of the details would be blurred out. So I decided to take the blur out a bit so that the details were not completely lost in the big picture. The people on the zeppelin and around it were really simple models, as they were too small for me to spend too much time on the details. All there was left to do was create the other objects in the surrounding scene, which in this case were the steel structure and the sky. Again, the clock was ticking and I threw together some simple models to construct the steel structure (Fig.08).

Fig. 08

OK! The scene with all the models was complete. Just as I started to put everything together I noticed that a few things were missing. The airplane's cockpit was empty. I didn't have a lot of time left to construct the pilot. At the start of the project I'd decided to create a pilot and only show him from the shoulders up to reduce modeling time. For the pilot's outfit I decided to model out a leather jacket without any details and for the inside of the jacket I used fur. Overall the model would do (Fig.09).

Fig. 09

Finally, all the details were worked out, and I could start focusing on the lighting and positioning. Since in my original brainstorming sessions I'd decided I wanted to include an explosion, I now had to think about how, and what to use, to create that effect. I decided to use Afterburn for my solution as I'd also used it for the muffler output of the airplane (Fig.10).

Fig. 10

On the machine guns I used simple sparks that threw red fire sparks when they fired, which reflected on to some of the parts on the airplane. I also used a big spark for the big explosion. For the sun I used the VRay sun light. That was it. For the map of the environment I used VRay rendered and a White/Orange color scheme. For the reflections and reflection map I used a HDRI map. Primary bounces for the indirect illumination was an irradiance map and the second was brute force.

Here's the process that I used (Fig.11).

Fig. 11

And that was it! This is the first time I have described the process of creating a CG image, but I hope that this will help someone is some way. The final composition, as well as color correction, was done in After Effects. It took me about two months to complete this project. Of course that time was prolonged due to other responsibilities such as work, social life, etc. My next project description will include more details and I will do my best to start documenting as I go. Hope to see you again!

Final Render

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