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Making Of 'The Box'

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Date Added: 9th December 2009
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As the title tells you, this is my very first tutorial so I hope that, inspite of my lack of knowledge of the english language, everything is told and layed out in such a way you find useful.

To begin a new scene I must admid that I always use existing situations to base my composition on, you know, things that can be found in real life, no fantasy stuff. It's not in my power to come up with something fresh and new. I leave that to the real 3D artists out there... I just stick to what I am capable of, and that's making a good looking copy of the real thing.

Like many of you artists out there, I'm always on the lookout for interesting pictures and textures to add to my ever growing library of 'source of inspiration'. And one day I visited this website of a great photographer named, Shaun o'Boyle. He takes beautifull pictures of old and abandened factories, hospitals and jails etc. with a typical atmosphere wich I find very interesting subjects for 3D scene creation. His website can be found here:


Ok, it is a well known fact that the 3D software I use is not so widely used like 3D Max or Lightwave but as you can see in the final render, trueSpace 4.3 output a photorealistic image, even without the use of Brazil or VRay, due to it's powerfull Lightworks render-engine. As a matter of fact, not even a radiosity solution was used, even though it seems like it. Standard lights gives you enough control to fake all this and simulate GI and even a touch of HDRI...;-) Atleast in this scene. I can imagine that other projects do need radiosity or true GI like HDRI but bare in mind that the more realism you want, the more time your machine demand to give what you want! My scene only took a couple of minutes to render on a Athlon 2800...;-) Ofcourse in the near future I will upgrade to the latest version of trueSpace because this one has IBL (image based lighting) wich is a great alternative to HDRI. The results are truly superb!

Building the scene

The box
As you can see the base of the box is made out of primitive cubes. The back, left and right side are plain cubes and only the left and right side have a slight bevel on the frontside to soften the edge a little. The top, middle and bottom planks are quad divided cubes and bend down a little. The plank in the middle a little more due to the weight of the metal adapters. The notes under the pins are quad divided primitive planes, bend a little. I gues the beauty of this scene is not found in modeling but in the way the lights are setup and of course texturing.

The adapter
When you take a look at the picture, you notice that this object is not difficult to make - a primitive, extrusion, lathe and object union - that's all. Yet this will become the eyecather of the scene so it must be done as if it where the real thing. Only in my design the measurements are slightly different than those found on the photograph. The logo is a 'must-add' detail. It adds realism to the object, just like the real thing. It's in the details, remember?

Carefully randomly placed.

A small gap was created on the end of the left side, just enough to allow some light passing trough. It helps your imagination that outside this close-up view all kinds of happy little things are happening.(sounds like Bob Ross ;)

To realize this effect, a spotlight was placed in front of the opening, rotated slightly to illuminate the planks in the back of the box. Not much though, only to add some detail as if global illumination shines through a gap in this old wooden box. Never overdo it mate, unless it's ment to be. Remember, it's all in the details...;)


continued on next page >

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