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Making Of 'Furniture Cluster'

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Date Added: 16th June 2009
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I got the idea for this image, when i had modelled some furniture for architectural vizualisation renderings and then thought about throwing everything together. I carefully moved and rotated the furniture to build a large cluster. This was actually the hardest part. I've then added a really simple environment - a room with 3 windows(at the right, not visible). To make it more interesting I've cut a hole in the ceiling and placed a biped on top of the furniture. I first thought about creating an own character, but I didn't want to spend that much time on this image, so I've just used a chrome biped. To add some mood I've also added some volume light.


I've usually started with primitives and then tweaked them, using Editable Poly. I was trying out the trial version of PolyBoost at this time. It provides some awesome modelling tools - Like Polydraw, Flowconnect, Flowadjust, Looptools, very nice Selection tools and much more.

Take a look at some of the furniture stills:
Chair 1 is made of box primitives.

Chair 1
Chair 2

The curved wooden seat of Chair 2 was done using Polydraw then bended with a bend modifier. To give it some thickness I've used the shell modifier. The chairlegs started out as splines, were then extruded and again thickend by using the shell modifier.

Chair 3
Chair 4
Chair 5

Chair 3 and Chair 5 were initially Editable Patches and were later converted to EPoly. Using Editable Patches you can easily lay out complex curved shapes. The grating of Chair 3 was done using the lattice modifier.Chair 4 was modelled using a box as a base. I've then extruded the back and the 'legs'.

As you can see on this scene picture the room is really simple. It's made of a box with flipped normals. I've then cut in the windows using 'inset' and that's it already.


Materials & Texturing

Not much to say about materials/texturing. I've used photo-textures everywhere; tweaked to my needs. Most of them were free ones I've found on the net ( for example), some of them are from the 3D Total Texture CDs(good stuff!). Don't know what else to say, but here are some general tips:

Reflective materials(metals, chrome, glas,..) will only look as good as the environment around them. A basic room will make a big differencs already. Also make sure there is something really bright to reflect. White self-illuminatiing planes are great for this. You can also use a HDRI map if you like, but i prefer to create the environment myself in most cases(provides more controll and i think it gives a cleaner look).

Most Fabrics have some short and thin fur all over their surfaces. You can mimic this look by using a material which turns brighter as the surface turns away. In Max this can by achieved by using a fresnel map. It can also be done by using backlighting, but this isn't that usefull in complex scenes in my mind.

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