Making an Eye-catching Vintage Mustang Look Strong and Smart in 3ds Max
For our mutual goal - improving with the community together, Hum 3D and Fox Renderfarm have established a close and significant cooperation. For this year’s Car Render Challenge, Fox Renderfarm, the leading render farm in the CG industry, as the sponsor, is glad to select The Retro Masterpiece by Surjendu Das as the Fox Renderfarm Team Choice.
The Retro Masterpiece by Surjendu Das
“Everything about this work is just well designed, from composition and mood to modeling and materials, making the eye-catching vintage Mustang look strong and smart.”
-- Fox Renderfarm
The powerful Mustang with exquisite lighting was also winning the Autodesk Team Choice. Wouldn’t you want to know more about who’s the magic hand behind the fine artwork and how he has made it? Fox Renderfarm had an interview with Surjendu Das and asked all those questions. Check out out interview for more interesting sharings.
- Surjendu Das
- 3D Artist
- From: Kolkata, India
Fox Renderfarm: Could you please give a brief introduction of yourself?
Surjendu: Hello, I am a student from Kolkata, India. I am currently doing my graduation in Computer Science & Engineering as well as pursuing a diploma in 3D and VFX art. I have a strong desire to learn new things and applying them. I aspire to work for major gaming or VFX studios/companies around the world in the future and be a part of their amazing creativity.
Fox Renderfarm: How do you feel about winning the Fox Renderfarm Team Choice in the Hum3D ‘Car Render Challenge’?
Surjendu: I am feeling very happy to say the least, and proud of myself, my friends, and my parents who helped me a lot to achieve this milestone in my life. This is my first ever international achievement in the field of 3D and it has encouraged me so much to work and create more and more nice artworks. Big thanks to the Fox Renderfarm Team and Hum3D Team for selecting and portraying my artwork, this means a lot to me . And again I want to thank my parents for enabling me to achieve my goals in life.
Fox Renderfarm: What’s your inspiration for the well-made artwork The Retro Masterpiece?
Surjendu: I am a big fan of cyberpunk, retro-night style arts and games like GTA V. So I always take snapshots of those whenever I get the opportunity, from galleries like Pinterest, Artstation etc. And it eventually inspired me to create a similar one like them. Also the main inspiration for my scene was from a famous scene by Marek Denko – “Her Eventual Hesitation”.
Her Eventual Hesitation by Marek Denko
Fox Renderfarm: Could you tell us the making process of the vintage Mustang?
Surjendu: I started by making a rough layout in Photoshop, mainly I photobashed the various images I saved to my collection.
On the modeling part, my friend Ritam Chatterjee really helped me out as he was modeling the Mustang. And I thought that it would be awesome to have the Mustang model in the scene. While he finished the Mustang, I set out the very basic layout of the scene in 3ds Max. After that I added the Mustang and the buildings as per the layout and did the necessary modeling and tweaking. The buildings used in the scene was from a free kit that was available from Kitbash3d.com
For texturing the Mustang I made custom shaders in 3ds Max for the body, headlights, tires and also added some free textures which I googled and photoshopped as per my needs.
Then I used V-Ray lights to light up my scene. As it was a night scene I had to produce many lights at every place which affected the final view of the scene. I rendered out various lighting passes as a test, and composited them in photoshop to judge and finalize the lighting. I also added fake lighting to enhance the scene.
Then I rendered the raw file in 4K in V-Ray along with various passes for my needs and comped it all together in Photoshop, did some crazy color corrections, masking, painting and finally it was ready to publish.
Fox Renderfarm: We noticed the reflection on the surface of the car and the texture of the car lights are exquisite, could you tell us how did you achieve both of them respectively?
Surjendu: The reflection on the surface of the car is what has started to make the scene look good. It was made by adding fake scene lights. Initially I assigned the car with a matte surface and did the lighting with an HDRI / Dome light. But it came out to be worse than ever, so I made the car paint material to be very reflective and added three big plane lights in the scene on the right side of the car which cannot be seen from the scene camera. Then I googled some night images and put them as a light texture in the big lights which eventually worked as reflection lights and changed the look and feel of the scene and the mustang.
The texture of the car headlight is made by connecting a simple procedural grid map to the bump node of the vray glass material. The grid was created by using a composite texture of two Waves maps available in 3ds Max, one having horizontal lines and one having vertical lines, and one of their blend modes was set to multiply in composite node. The image of the shader is attached.
Fox Renderfarm: And the environment design enriches the ambiance of the whole picture, any ideas behind the lighting design?
Surjendu: As it was a night scene I had to create lights at every possible area to illuminate the objects. So I made use of direct and indirect lighting to light up my scene. I created lights on the physical light sources and created bounces off them where the light would spread. I also added fake lights off the camera to help illuminate the scene and especially the Mustang, such as the creating lights on the right side of mustang to help with extra illumination and reflection. Also I used self illumination material on various sign boards which helped catch attention.
I started with a night HDRI for all the light bounces but it eventually made the scene bad so I did lights on my own.
Fox Renderfarm: How long did it take to finish the artwork?
Surjendu: It took approximately 3 months to complete the whole artwork.
Fox Renderfarm: What software and plugins did you use to make the artwork?
Surjendu: I used Autodesk 3ds Max for modeling, texturing, Chaos Group’s V-Ray for lighting and rendering in 3ds Max, Adobe Photoshop for final Compositing.
Fox Renderfarm: What’s the most unforgettable experience in the production process?
Surjendu: For me, during the production, the most unforgettable experience was the individual lighting of the scene, it felt like it would never end, it was a bit monotonous to add lights and test the renders again & again as I was using CPU rendering but I really enjoyed the process as a whole and was surprised at last to see that the lighting of the scene went well.
Fox Renderfarm: Have you met any difficulties? How did you solve it?
Surjendu: The difficulties that I met in the whole scene was again the lighting part and the time left. I used several HDRIs/Dome light for overall environmental lighting but the outputs were bad or not coming up to the mark. I once thought of changing the entire concept but the time was limited and I had to make the change then and there.
So I ended up manually creating the lights for the light sources as well as creating bounce lighting for the scene along with the big reflection lights on the other side of the car which I discussed earlier. There are a total of 150 lights approx in the scene.
Fox Renderfarm: Could you recall your first encounter with CG? How did you come up with pursuing your 3D career?
Surjendu: My first encounter with CG was back in 2014 when I tried to composite a transformer in my home video after watching many tutorials on YouTube and which I failed eventually.
I loved to play video games and watch sci-fi movies since childhood. So one day all of a sudden I thought of filming & creating my own cool action sci-fi scene with my brother. I searched for a hell lot of videos and tutorials of it and came across VideoCopilot and its host Andrew Kramer. He is a great guy who does free tutorials on After Effects and 3D. His way of approach highly impressed me and encouraged me to create cool action scenes like him. I followed him thoroughly and slowly generated a liking towards this subject as it got revealed more and more. That’s how I ended up pursuing a career in 3D.
Tutorial video via VideoCopilot
Fox Renderfarm: Could you briefly tell us about the education and career experience along your 3D journey?
Surjendu: It’s not long since I started my 3D journey, having started it back in 2017. But in these 2 years I have gathered a lot of experience in the course of learning it and I want to say that it is challenging as well as the most fun subject to learn and work in if anyone is really interested. The mix of technology and fine art is groundbreaking and the things that can be achieved is limitless. I have been learning the subject restlessly and the best thing is that I have faced many problems and I learned many things from it eventually solving bigger problems. Hoping to level up my career more and more in the future.
Fox Renderfarm: In your Facebook profile, we saw that you are “Autodesk Certified”, could you share your experience of getting the certification?
Surjendu: After completing the 3ds Max course last year, I was allowed to sit for the Autodesk Certification Examination for 3ds Max from the authorized Training Center I was studying in, as a mark of completing the course successfully. It was a 3-hour long online MCQ-Type exam.
I was given a set of questions from various fields – modeling, texturing, lighting, rigging , animation and particles inside of 3ds Max. The questions were moderate to difficult and consisted of core conceptual questions about using 3ds Max properly and questions asking a lot of keyboard-shortcuts in 3ds Max. I successfully completed the exam with a mark of 970 out of 1000 and got the certification.
Fox Renderfarm: Who or what project inspires you the most in the industry?
Surjendu: In the CG and VFX industry I am inspired the most by many personnels, some of them are:
1> Marek Denko, his CG projects very much detailed which inspires me.
Artworks by Marek Denko
2> Andrew Kramer, he is one of the game changers in the field of VFX and is one of the main reasons why people like me got interested in the world of CG and vfx. His works inspire me the most.
Lock & Load by Andrew Kramer
The project which inspired me the most recently is Project Spotlight by Epic Games where they are doing real time vfx and cg manipulation with actor’s performance in unreal engine, which can save a lot of time in production.
Project Spotlight by Epic Games
Fox Renderfarm: What do you do to get inspired and motivated? And how do you improve your professional skills?
Surjendu: I get inspiration from lots of things. I watch artworks of other artists, play video games which has stunning environments and assets, watch sci-fi short films and watch intros of various films and TV shows.
I take various subscription of online courses whenever possible to further improve my professional skills and creativity and in general I gather knowledge from Youtube and Google any time I face a problem.
Fox Renderfarm: Any other things you wanna share with CG enthusiasts?
Surjendu: I want to say the CG Enthusiasts that you should always remain interested and keep creating and working without thinking twice, because the more you create, the more you face problems, and the more you solve and overcome, creating your best artwork, that is where the real fun in the process of CG lies.
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