What initially sparked my interest in creating a fantasy product to advertise about was simply the fact that I was given permission to create something that wasn’t necessarily real already. This made me really excited as to what I could possibly imagine and model to life in Cinema4D. I decided to go for something a little impossible, a little fantastical – so I took inspiration from various games and movies about what kind of item I wanted to model. I ended up choosing a magic staff because I could see that many staffs had the basic shape of an elongated cylinder integrated into its form and shape, which was something that I knew I could start off with and build upon in Cinema4D. I turned to various 3D models in some RPGs (Role Playing Games) such as Runescape, Maplestory and Final Fantasy. I loved the intricacy and detailing that went into the models and I wanted to emulate some of that in my product.
Initially I started brainstorming different designs for my fantasy staff in my sketchbook. I had a thorough browse online to get inspiration as to what intricacies I should make. I went from robust and symmetric designs with smooth metal or rough rock textures, to more organic and nature orientated designs with materials such as wood and crystals. In the end, I went for something more natural and fairy-like because I really wanted to make something whimsical with glowing elements to emphasise on the themes of magic and fantasy.
The final design came out fairly accurately. When I started building the staff in Cinema4D, I knew that I wouldn’t be able to completely recreate my sketches entirely with my then beginner level of 3D modelling. But thanks to the help and feedback I received from peers and mentors, I quickly learnt how to apply more advanced techniques to really nail the specific shapes and contours of my complex design. Because my final design has embodied many irregular curves and edges, I couldn’t really use most of the basic shapes to help apart from the starter capsule shape for the staff’s handle. Discovering how to sculpt in Cinema4D was a real lifesaver, and I could actually model every section of the staff precisely to give the impression of raw, unprocessed wood – which was exactly what I had in mind.
One of the things that I think I could have included would be to have one of my final designs have a person modelling with the staff. I think it would have been very interesting to see how I would have been able to composite the 3D image into the hand and how I would have Photoshopped it to look realistic. A lot of advertisements do this to show the functionality of the product, and it’s generally a great way of showing the practicality of the product.
However, promotional flyers with just a scenic background can also help say something about the product without having to necessarily demonstrate its use specifically. A good example would be almost any car advert out there. Cars are commonly 3D rendered and composited into photographic environments, so it was a relevant reference to have for this project in terms of the creation process. In this case, the BMW car brand has an exceptional number of excellent examples of 3D compositing.
This advert for the BMW X6 for example, uses some very skilled and dynamic editing on both the background photo and the car itself. It’s a little difficult to tell whether or not the car in this image is actually real or 3D modelled – but I think it’s safe to assume that it was likely 3D modelled by either a team of professional 3D modellers, or commissioned from a professional 3D modeller. Either way, the texturing and rendering on the vehicle is incredibly detailed and photo-realistic. From the number plate and rubber wheel textures, to the accurate lighting and reflections.
There are many similarities with this professional advert and my final project outcome. For example clear sans-serif, white text is used in both our promotional flyers. My one being a little more elaborate in terms of the title font and styling simply because it had to somehow suite the magical fantasy elements of my flyer; more so than looking modern and sleek like the BMW car. Our products advertised completely different products with different themes after all.
The product information on the car advert is more lacking than mine. I can only assume that the image of the product itself would be enough to entice the audience into being interested in the product. With the car being complemented by a high-definition background photograph – slightly edited to meet the grey colour scheme and cool, adventurous mood of the overall design – it certainly gives a very contrasting and exciting impact on the viewer.
With my design, the background is less definite and more blurry and vague due to the bokeh effect. Yet at the same time, it also complements the 3D staff very well as it helps bring the staff to the forefront and puts more focus on the products details. The bokeh particles also resemble the light particles on the staff, making it quite suitable.
The orientation of the two adverts are also both horizontal. But, for different reasons and effects. The BMW advert is landscape to show off the stunning scenic background, as well as the shiny car on the right. My one is horizontal to simply have a place for the text, as well as being able to get a good close-up view of the staff’s head. Both landscape displays are effective, but enhance the design in different ways.
In the end, I think that I did a decent job with this project and I am pleased with the outcome. My choices in design and planning were well-thought out and appropriate to the brief’s requirements. The final design is similar to that of a professional’s, yet could still do with perhaps some more different approaches and routes of exploration.