Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The Making of 'Modular Set One'

As of April 2015, the project entitled "Modular Set One" is my most popular portfolio piece. Like all my portfolio pieces so far, it is an exercise, not a finished illustration. Its purpose was to practice modular set design and construction of the type that will be important to illustrate my speculative fiction. As such, it rather looks like a spaceship corridor, or the hallway of a futuristic building. There is a metal grate on the floor, with flood lights below that can shine up through it to cast interesting shadows. The windows, too, were designed with a thought for how shadows would be cast onto a smooth, curving surface below them. Computer terminals form-fit the wall curvature, and can be pulled out when in use.

This is my third time using Autodesk 3ds Max, I believe. I got the Student Version around the same time as Maya (March 2015). The set is based on a relatively small strip of polygons from which most of the other geometry in the scene is generated using modifiers and arrays. It was rendered with NVIDIA iray.

"Modular Set Two" was made in much the same way, but in Maya. Constructing that set was a simpler task and very fast. However, that piece quickly became a long exercise in learning to use Pixar's RenderMan.

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