While I feel less than happy with many of my previous images, this one still pleases me. Probably my favorite aspect is the texturing, achieved almost entirely by lighting rather than traditional texture mapping.
Lighting (and texturing) is something I’ve traditionally struggled with, and it may not be perfect but the lighting here did accomplish much of what I wanted it to do; flaws are more in the realm of design than technique. Anyway, don’t you just love the contrast from shadow to highlights, and the soft bloom those highlights give off? I do.
The idea for this piece came from two things. One was a mental image I had of sprialling geometry, the other was the soft blue material that originally had more of a smooth chrome look. With reflections and materials this piece looked nice, but the mood quickly became more pronounced as soon as I started to light it.
Some very simple modeling was enhanced by light and shadow, along with reflective materials and a few subtle special effects. In particular, shadows and projector maps for the lights were instrumental in creating the mood. I’ve always found that shadows can add a great deal to the quality of a 3D image, and this is no exception. The early versions of this piece (pre-lighting) focused on symmetry and chromed reflections, giving an entirely different and less threatening look. Lighting and the use of grid-like projector maps of varying sizes added detail and created a more creepy atmosphere. The use of glow in the foreground and depth of field in the background created a softer feel while emphasizing the apparent depth of the piece, instead of allowing it to look flat and tiny. The end result is a twisting, maze-like play of shadows and shapes that seem to lead into depths and darkness.
This image was created in February of 2003.