How to Build the Garden of Damocles in 3ds Max
John F. Kennedy once said that "Every man, woman and child lives under a nuclear sword of Damocles, hanging by the slenderest of threads, capable of being cut at any moment by accident, or miscalculation, or by madness."
Garden of Damocles, the artwork nominated in the 2020 CGarchitect Architectural 3D Awards, made with 3ds Max, V-Ray, Marvelous Designer and Photoshop, depicts what Kennedy said in an imaginative way.
Garden of Damocles © Csaba Banati
The author of the work, Csaba Banati, is an architectural illustrator who always focuses on illustrating his thoughts in an immersive way.
Fox Renderfarm, the best render farm, is honoured to interview with Csaba, who shared how he built the Garden of Damocles in 3ds Max.
- Freelance Illustrator
- From: Austria
Fox Renderfarm: Hi Csaba, could you give us a brief introduction about yourself?
Csaba: Hi all, I'm Csaba Banati - working as a freelance illustrator currently from the city of Vienna, Austria.
I've been working in the industry for about 8-9 years now. Originally I have a degree in architecture but never worked as an architect. Instead I focused on architectural illustrations and jumped right into it after getting my diploma.
Save Energy! © Csaba Banati
Fox Renderfarm: Congratulations on being nominated in the 2020 CGarchitect Architectural 3D Awards, how do you feel about it?
Csaba: I'm feeling proud and lucky! I got nominated despite the fact that the non-commissioned category is super-duper tough every single year. People are getting better and better so it's a tough competition.
Also I'm super proud of the fact that this was my 3rd nomination in a row. I hope one day I'll win :)
Fox Renderfarm: What's your inspiration for the amazing work “Garden of Damocles”? Why did you select this artwork to participate in the competition?
Csaba: Everything started with a simple idea to investigate my feelings about courtyards. I've always found these spaces intriguing but I never really figured out why.
During the process, I contemplated this idea and one thing led to another and this happened.
For me, it was obvious to choose this image. It's a bit special to me for the above-mentioned reason and also I pushed myself hard on this project. Was curious how it would end up against this tough competition.
Fox Renderfarm: The work shows like an allegory of the future world, what do you want to express through the work?
Csaba: For me, it is always just mildly interesting what the artist wants to say. The beauty of art is that it can and will mean different things to different people based on their past experiences.
I truly believe that as soon as an art piece is out it's not up to the artist to decide what it is about. People will judge and interpret before you could even say a word.
But that's the beauty of it and I find it amazing.
Fox Renderfarm: The sculptures and nuclear bombs in the picture are very realistic and attractive. Could you tell me how you made them (including the model and textures)?
Csaba: This is probably disappointing but it's basic box modelling. :)
I looked up real-life references to model them from scratch and in some cases used free 3D models as a base to further modify them.
For texturing I'm really lazy so I usually try to avoid unwrapping at any cost. :)
So every model got procedural or simple plane projected material.
Final scene and bomb model
Empty courtyard model
Final iteration of cover model
Fox Renderfarm: How long did it take you to finish the project? Did you meet any difficulties?
Csaba: I believe it was about 2 months but to be fair I didn't work on it every single day. At times I didn't even touch it for days. I like to let projects mature a bit so that I can have a bit more objective view on them.
The main difficulty was that I tried to push my boundaries in terms of 3D details. To embrace this fact I wanted to finish it in super high resolution but my PC was not really happy with it, so I had to settle at 7000x5600.
Fox Renderfarm: How long have you been in the visualization field? Who inspires you most in this industry?
Csaba: About 8-9 years now. There are a few companies that I can truly appreciate for their high rate of good consistency they can produce. But for inspiration I like to look outside from the ArchViz box and keep an eye on other creative fields. Such as photography, cinematography, music industry, etc.
Fox Renderfarm: As an outstanding CG artist and Illustrator, what do you do to enhance your professional skills?
Csaba: For me, it's extremely important to do various things outside of ArchViz. It's easy to immerse yourself in the awesome world of 3D and architecture but the circle closes fast and you can find yourself running the same lap over and over again.
It's good to step back a bit and learn new skills in other areas then go back to ArchViz and try to apply them there.
It's also useful to prevent burnout and stay fresh and motivated.
Echo Lake © Csaba Banati
Windy Meadows © Csaba Banati
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