Creating A Simple But Powerful Santa in 3ds Max
FGT3D Santa’s New Ride Challenge organized by the TPN-Accredited cloud rendering services provider, Fox Renderfarm, was started in November, 2020 and sponsored by our amazing sponsors, including XP-Pen, Corona Renderer, Redshift, TopoGun, Friendly Shade, Graswald, Raysync, Textures.com, Texturebox and iCube R&D Group. In early January, 2021, twelve finalists were received votes by our jury and three winners and three honorable mentions were picked! Congratulations to all the winners! And thanks to everyone for participating!
The first place winner is Shiju NK! Congratulations! Shiju took roughly 20 days to finish the award-winning work, The Paramount Ride, made with Autodesk 3ds Max, Corona Renderer, Substance Painter, Marvelous Designer, Mixamo, Adobe Photoshop.
“This rendering utilizes melancholic cinstrongatography to put us in deep contstrongplation of the challenges we went through in 2020. Black humor accompanies the sadness in the composition. The creator wittily transformed Santa’s vehicle into a Vespa scooter and the gifts into a package of the very much needed Vaccine. Details such as Santa’s gesture of looking at his watch shows that time is a pressing matter in this holiday season. With an intersection to the world’s current context, The Paramount Ride is not only exquisite in its technique but also profound in its content. It makes me wonder: is this beard biker in red our savior, or is he an incarnation of our lives’ disorder? ” One of our judges, Frank WANG Yefeng said, who is the Assistant Professor in the Art Department from Rhode Island College.
Let's find out how Shiju made the amazing artwork through the exclusive interview with Fox Renderfarm.
The Paramount Ride © Shiju NK
- Shiju NK
- Senior Manager in the Design & Engineering Dept
- Form: Kerala, India
Fox Renderfarm: Hi, Shiju! Thank you so much for accepting our interview! Could you give us a brief introduction about yourself?
Shiju: My name is Shiju and I hail from Kerala, India. It was by coincidence that I got introduced to the amazing world of 3D visualisation almost 18 years ago. But I knew from day one that this was going to be my field. I find it very interesting to imagine and create new concepts for every project of mine, a way to challenge myself to be better at my work. Currently I'm working with a highly reputed real estate company, Sobha Ltd. as a Senior Manager in the Design & Engineering Dept in Bangalore, India.
Fox Renderfarm: Congratulations on winning 1st place in the FGT3D Santa’s New Ride Challenge, how do you feel about that?
Shiju: Thank you so much to the Fox Renderfarm Team! I would also like to thank you for giving us 3D enthusiasts such an amazing opportunity to showcase our works. It was overwhelming when I got to know that I was chosen as the winner. It was amazing to be judged by the Fox Renderfarm Team and other reputed judges.
Fox Renderfarm: This strong and funny concept really speaks to all of us after 2020. What’s the inspiration behind your artwork?
Shiju: The topic that Fox Renderfarm chose this time really clicked with me, in the sense that it was straight forward and at the same time gave numerous ideas. My first thought was to create a very simple concept yet a powerful one that anyone could relate to- showing Santa like one of us on a scooter, waiting to refill at an isolated gas station. Also, the world is reeling under the attack of the virus and we are all waiting for that one miracle to eradicate it. Who better than Santa to do that for us?
Fox Renderfarm: Composition and lighting both show loneliness, as Santa carrying vaccines reflects the current COVID-19 situation and gives the world some hope even if it's in the dark. How did you make them? Any references?
Shiju: Of course, I did use some reference images for the lighting. Right from the concept stage, I wanted to give an isolated feel to the scene but with a hope that things will change for the better. The initial idea was to add a mask for Santa but that gave a negative vibe. After discussing with my friend, it was he who gave me the idea of mentioning vaccines on the gift bag to reflect the current situation. To depict the isolation, I used very minimal HDRI lighting for the environment. Since it is a night view, I set the intensity of the HDRI light to minimum. The light fixtures that are visible in the view are the only ones that have been used, no other extra lighting.
Fox Renderfarm: Textures and colors are in all the right places and never distracting, reminding of lovable Norman Rockwell style. How did you make them?
Shiju: To get a scene right, it is very important to get the textures and colors right. I believe it's necessary to understand the color combinations and composition in depth. Since Santa is the main subject, the key colors had to be red and white. I wanted to keep the rest to bare minimum and give importance to the scene as a whole. For texturing, I used Substance Painter though I would like to point out that I'm not a pro at it. While doing any renders, it's absolutely important to get every texture in detail to make it look realistic,at the same time artistic.
Fox Renderfarm: Did you meet any difficulties when creating this work? And how did you solve them?
Shiju: Definitely, I faced a lot of challenges while creating this work. Like I said earlier, it took a lot of effort and time to get the textures and colors right in Substance Painter. Also it was challenging to get the character and its pose right. I used Mixamo software for the character rig and brought it to 3ds Max for the pose. Even though it was difficult, the time and effort spent on it was worth it because I got the result that I wanted. Creating the beard and snow was equally fun. For the beard I used Hair and Fur Modifier in 3ds Max. It was challenging to create the natural movement of the beard caused by the breeze. The snow material was created in 3ds Max and spent a lot of time on it for its detailing.
Fox Renderfarm: Any artists or artworks inspired you most?
Shiju: There are many artists and artworks that have inspired me. It's difficult to name because every work is truly an inspiration to me.
Fox Renderfarm: Could you briefly tell us your educational and work experience along your CG journey?
Shiju: CG was never a part of my educational background. It happened by chance when I saw my friend working on 3D visualization and I have never looked back since then. I worked briefly with Architectural firms in Saudi Arabia and UAE as a Visualiser and then moved back to India.
Fox Renderfarm: Do you have any recommendable learning methods to improve professional skills?
Shiju: A visualizer should learn to observe. Observe everything in its minute detail, and keep taking inspiration from photography, artworks and professional 3D artists. Update yourself with new softwares.
Fox Renderfarm: Have you ever tried Fox Renderfarm’s cloud rendering services? If yes, how do you like it?
Shiju: I have not yet used the service. Currently I'm working on an animation project for which I will be using Fox Renderfarm cloud rendering services.
Fox Renderfarm: Anything else you would like to share with CG enthusiasts?
Shiju: Be passionate towards your work. Stay focused on your end result and you will definitely achieve it!
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