Isaac Taracks: Lighting, Textures, Rendering
Aaron Covrett: Art Direction, Modeling
When the project was first made a year ago, it was Aaron's first time attempting to make a 3D animation, and one of his first tries at using Cinema 4D. So the layout of how things were made, and how the modeling was handled were a bit backwards and not as efficient as they could have been. The project could barely open when we first took a look at it so I knew there was going to need to be a bit of work done just to the models before I could start looking at texturing.
Luckily nothing in the project had been made editable, which allowed me to quickly reduce many of the polygonal counts of the objects. Where some of the small detail rings had segmentation subdivisions upwards of 300, but could be moved down to around 60 subdivisions with no real visible detail loss. This is what the first half of the project consisted of, Aaron and I trying to figure out why he had put so many objects in useless boole with their segmentation subdivision cranked up to unreasonable numbers. It became a running joke between us that night that if something wasn't working right, it must be in some strange boole.
The next step in this conversion mission was to retexture the scene, using octane textures instead of, what it was build with originally, Cinema 4D textures. Octane does have a "convert from Cinema 4d textures to octane textures" option, the only problem is it doesn't quit work the best. So most of the conversion was done from making octane textures from scratch. The texturing went very fairly fast because of the ability of checking how a texture looks in real time due to Octanes live viewer, and Aaron's massive render machine. After all the basic textures looked right, it was time to add the bit of ware and tear to the textures.
This was all done through the normals channel using custom scratch textures I had been working on over the past week for a different project. The addition of scratches was the perfect amount of texturing detail to really push the project to looking as photorealistic as it could. The lighting was done through a HDRI provided in the Backlight HDRI pack by Videocopilot. I then built and textured a simple wooden table for the dvd case to sit on. The final step was for Aaron to set up all the camera shots and then render out all the animation. He then did all the editing to the footage and sound. The end result was something we were both extremely proud of and excited to present.