A three week assignment was given to create a digital set extension to match a still frame from a Black and White film of my choice. Modeling the set was strictly to be done using NURBS and proper manipulation.
First, an original "live" image was taken on sight to set a background to the project.
Next came setting the scene in Autodesk Maya, careful to replicate the ground plane for an appropriate camera angle. Construction of the house and the foreground tree began in this instance as well. These two subjects were the main focus of this assemblage.
Modeling with NURBS came with it's own unique struggles, but allowed me to bend my thought process and apply techniques that I was rather unfamiliar with. The house is constructed of many NURBS surfaces based off of planes, cubes, and lofts among created curves.
The tree is an extrusion of a circular curve along a pathed curve, created to replicate the shape of the original image. The same process, applied over and over again, created the various limbs and branches. Once intersected, fillets were used to form a seamless connection from limb to limb.
Finally came the most challenging obstacle in the project: texturing and lighting, to best replicate a seemless, realistic enviroment. Textures found from textures.com were used as Normal Maps and allowed for a "tree bark" effect. Similar actions, though less apparent, are used on the walls of the house to resemble a "wall quality" texture. Lighting was then used to replicate that of the original film. Shadows from each individual branch, along with the porch of the house, provided instances that needed focus and miniscule adjustments.
After attempting to best replicate the subjects, final compositing was constructed in Adobe Photoshop, allowing layers and blend modes to converge the sense of realism. Shadows were further enhanced during this process, along with the construction of surronding foliage. The final image was the result.
Overall, such a project was extremely immersive and expanded my knowledge of both the sofware and the extensive process of using NURBS to replicate a still image from an old film.
Special Thanks to Andre Thomas and Benjamin House!
Textures and composited images aquired from textures.com.
Original Film: Night of the Living Dead
Project Files available upon request.