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.
For my third design, I chose a photo that I took by the coast from when I went location shooting.
This one in particular was really appealing to me because the sky and ocean horizon gave a sense of wonder and adventure. The strong sunlight also gave me the idea of having the staff as a silhouette against it.
I copied and pasted my staff into the file and adjusted it with the Transform tool. I often used the Mac keyboard short-cut Cmd+T to transform things.
Then, I moved it so that it was placed directly in front of the light to create a sort of silhouette. I then edited the Eraser tool so that it was softer and erased the lower parts of the staff to give the illusion that it was standing in the grass.
Now that I had the staff and photograph in place, I adjusted the Brightness and Contrast to get a clearer image before moving on.
Then I applied some precise shadows to the staff to give a better sense of depth. I used the brush tool and worked a new layer that was set to Multiply.
I also right-clicked on the layer and selected Create a Clipping Mask so that everything that was drawn onto this layer would only show up on top of what was underneath it. This stopped the shadows from unnecessarily going outside of the staff.
After that, I moved onto making the highlights of the staff. Because of the light source behind it, I decided to give the staff a sort of halo effect by adding a simple large highlight over the entire staff on another clipped layer.
I used the Brush tool as a big airbrush and very carefully painted on top of the staff. I set the new layer to Linear Dodge (Add) to make the yellow look more luminescent against the staff background. Because the layer was clipped, the highlight only applied itself to the staff layer directly underneath it, leaving the rest of the photo unaffected.
Once I had completed the highlights, I also made a vignette shadow around the edge of the image to help with the text later on. Because I still wanted to use white coloured type, I had to make it clearer to read against the light blue sky in particular. So I added some shadows around parts of the image to help darken those areas and also to help make the direction of light more obvious. I lowered the layer’s opacity to make more subtle.
Once I was happy with the shadows, I added the text in. Because the mood and theme of this design was more brighter and lighter than the previous two, I decided to adjust the title font a little. I chose Cambria because of how clean and clear it was for a serif font. It matched the atmosphere of the sky behind it – plain and simple, yet still appealing.
I didn’t add any glow or outline to it because it was already very bright and delicate, and also because it would ruin the simplicity and neatness of it.
Lastly, I added in the product details and logo at the bottom. The dark grass behind it made it easier to see than the sky above, so I didn’t need to do too much editing here.
Here’s the final:
In Cinema4D, I learnt various modelling functions and techniques that helped me create more realistic and professional looking 3D designs.
One of the tasks I was given was to replicate the basic shape of a car using a wide range of methods. I learnt how to import the photograph below into the programme as a background image to help me trace and get more accuracy with drawing splines.
I also used the Symmetry functions in the programme to help duplicate the car wheels accurately. I divided the car’s build into separate shapes on different layers to give a clearer sense of depth. I used the Loft tool and edited the Filler Caps on the shapes to smooth out the edges.
The other techniques that I learnt more about were lighting and texturing models. The lighting task introduced me to the basics of lighting and the various effects I can achieve with different amounts of light sources and different Luminescence intensities.
Finally, we learnt more about texturing and the in-depth adjustments that you can make to a default material to make it suite whatever texture you’re trying to achieve more precisely. The are a large number of options to edit and fine-tune a material; from adjusting the patterns and reflection intensity, to adding bump-maps and colours!
I decided to make this one landscape to play around with the layout and composition. It made the overall design more interesting and allowed room for me to show a close-up of the staff’s main details.
I took the photo by a river originally, but I really liked the bokeh-styled photography and thought it would compliment my fantasy staff really nicely without overpowering the overall design too much.
I copied and pasted my fantasy staff in, this time with a close-up of the staff’s head so that there was more focus on the textures and details, rather than the overall shape and form.
I adjusted the Levels on the overall image to give it some darker and more defined contrasts.
Then, I added a soft glow to the crystal gemstones on a couple of new layers set them to Linear Dodge (Add) and Soft Light. I adjusted the Brush tool to get a soft airbrush effect with a light lilac.
After finishing the image editing, I went on to add the text in. I used the same typeface as the previous design, keeping the glow on the title text to make it really stand out against the night sky.
I also changed the tagline so that it suited the context of this design more appropriately.
Lastly, I inserted the branding and placed it in the corner of the flyer to not let it obscure the main design.
Here’s the final:
For my final promotional flyer design, I had to create three examples of it using Photoshop.
I used the .png files that I had saved from my previous post in Cinema4D and opened them in a new A4 Photoshop document.
I then did some basic adjustments on the on the photo before composing the .png file of my fantasy staff that I had saved in Cinema4D.
Creating the shadow for the staff was a little tricky because using the Drop Shadow function would only make it look like it’s floating from the photo which was not what I wanted. So I ended up duplicating the staff layer and colouring it all black with the opacity locked. I then set the layer mode to Multiply and went to Filter –> Blur –> Gaussian Blur to soften the shadow.
I then went into Filter –> Liquify and made the brush large so that I could move areas of the shadow to make it look like it was on the stone wall around it.
I then added the glow on the gemstones and the light particles surrounding it by creating a new layer and setting it to Lighter Colour. I then set the Brush tool to an airbrush setting and went in with a light aqua blue. I varied the opacity and size of the brush as a went along to give a feeling of depth.
I then created a vignette border to bring more focus to the source of light coming from the product. I created a new layer and set it to Multiply and used a very large airbrush to go around the edges of the canvas. I lowered the opacity a little so that it wouldn’t be too obvious.
After that, I played around with the overall Levels adjustment of the document to help bring more contrast and definition to the piece.
Once I was happy with the composition, I added the text in. I wanted something that was modest, but modern to contrast the setting a little. I chose the colour white because it really stood out from the dark background, making it more easy to read.
I gave the title of the product a glow to make it stand out even more. I also placed it at the top of the canvas to make sure that it was seen and read first in regards to the information hierarchy. The punchy tagline came next to help link the text to the related image.
At the very bottom, I typed in a little small print and threw in a fake company logo to give the flyer cover a more realistic and professional presentation.
I had to start a new document to create the logo separately. I did some quick brainstorming on a piece of paper and stuck with a design to then re-create in Photoshop.
Here, I used various tools such as the Ellipse tool and the Path tool to create the wings. For the diamond, I just edited a regular square by using the Transform function. I made it black and white so that it would match the white text in the flyer and also not overpower the main features of the flyer.
After I finished creating the logo, I thought of a fantasy-esque company name and a fantasy typeface that wasn’t too obscure and added it to my promotional flyer.
I created the trademark symbol by going to the drop-down by the Rectangle tool and selecting the Custom Shape tool. From there, I could choose the trademark shape from the edit menu along the top of the window.
I took one of my previous modified advertisements for the lawn mower and edited it so that it became a proper promotional flyer cover.
I first opened the previous image into Photoshop and began adding text with the Type tool. I chose the font Stencil because it really gave a rough and bold appearance that fitted with the rest of the design and theme.
After typing in the tag line, I added a dark but faded outline on it so that it would stand out from the busy background and become more readable.
I then added the rest of the promotional text in and edited them the same way to keep consistency. I based the text off of this product’s description as they’re both lawn mowers.
I then thought that the lawn mower was a little too dark and almost camouflaged within the background – so I created a new layer, set it to Linear Light and picked a light lime with the Brush tool and highlighted the product. I turned down the layer’s opacity to make it not too obvious.
I then created a dark border around the edge to reinforce the product and make the background less busy looking.
Again, I lowered the layer’s opacity to make it more subtle. I then saved the image as a .PNG once I was done.
For our Promotional Flyers project, I decided on creating a magical fantasy staff. I first sketched some ideas out into my sketchbook, then created a 3-view sketch of a final design and began building it in Cinema4D.
Once preparations were complete, I opened up Cinema4D and started building it. I used a basic capsule shape to create the main part of the staff. I elongated and adjusted its dimensions by using the Move and Scale tool.
Before I moved on, I wanted to be able to easily reference and compare my model to my sketches to make it as accurate as possible. So, I went into the multiple window view mode by clicking on the far right icon on the top-right hand corner of my current working view window.
Then, I selected the Right view window and under Mode I clicked on View Settings and then went to the Back tab and uploaded an image from my folders.
The image then appeared in the background of my model on that view, giving me something to instantly refer to when modelling to keep it accurate.
I moved onto making the coil at the top end of the staff. I edited the properties of a Helix spline so that it matched my design and used a Circle spline to follow alone the path, creating a coil.
After that, I made the coiled shape into an Editable Object. This allowed me to customise the points and faces of my shape a little further so that I could get it to coil around in a specific way at the end. I used the Knife tool to cut in new points in the object that I could then bend and shape.
I then went into Sculpting mode by going to the top right-hand corner of the program and selecting it in the drop-down.
Here, I could start to really mould my piece and fine-tune the shape and surface contours.
I had to create quite a few Subdivisions in order to achieve the right amount of smoothness and extensions to the basic shapes, which unfortunately made the program lag quite a bit whilst I was working. Although in the end, it wasn’t that bad and I could still work without having Cinema4D crash on me!
I also went back and forth to the basic editing tools on the left Editable Object toolbar to help with creating extra parts and points.
This part definitely took the longest, as I really had to work on the details and shapes of the staff to make it look like it could be smoothly carved wood. It was incredibly fun to sculpt though!
After most of the gruelling shaping was finished, it was time to add the final parts and texture it.
In my final design, the staff had four gemstones floating in-between the branches. I created these in a new file. I went to the Front view window and drew in three diamond shapes using the Linear Spline tool.
I then spread the three splines out in the Right view window to create depth. Once I had spaced them out, I used the Loft tool to create a shape out of the three splines!
I then textured this by using editing a pre-made material. I chose a diamond-like material and changed the properties a little so that it had more colour and crystal-like properties to it.
After I had finished texturing it, it was time to copy it into my staff model. I pretty much just copied and pasted the stone over from one file to the other. From there, I resized it and moved it so that it was in place. I then repeated these steps for the other three smaller stones, adjusting the dimensions and positioning so that they were in place and varied slightly.
And last but not least, I added the final wooden texture to my staff! I edited a pre-made material like how I did with my gemstones. I then dragged the material to the staff layer to apply it. I also added various lights to help with the setting of the staff and the composing. I saved it for the final time and rendered it. It didn’t actually take as long as I anticipated for it to render, which was great!
To save it as a png with a transparent background for my Photoshopping, I had to change the rendering settings. I selected the file type to be .png with the alpha channel (transparency) options selected.
I then went through the final rendering and saved the 3D model as an image.
Today I was given the task of finding two backgrounds that would go with various day-to-day products that will have two very different effects on them. One background will compliment the product and be set in a very obvious and fitting environment – whereas the other background will be contrasting and unexpected, making the product have a different kind of impact to the viewer.
The first object was a lawn mower.
The first background of a garden is quite suitable for a lawn mower. It shows what the product is capable of by showing a neat and well-kept lawn – a fairly standard depiction of a lawn mower in an advertisement.
The second version shows a lawn mower in a jungle environment, the complete opposite of the neat lawn in the previous advert. This suggests the potential of a really powerful lawn mower. Almost as if it the lawn mower is ready to sort out the jungle surrounding it. It gives a more interesting an adventurous approach than the first background and the mood is sends to the viewer is that of a more confident and impressive one.
The second item was a hairdryer.
The first background is used as a very common depiction of a hairdryer advert. Models are in almost every advert out there that is somewhat hair-related to show how good the product is and to compliment both the product’s design and performance.
The second background gives the entire advert a more contemporary interpretation to it. Using a completely organic and natural form to contrast with the modern and man-made item is a stark contrast to the previous advert. I took the “dryer” part of the word “hairdryer” and ended up searching for dry environments and ended up with the Grand Canyon. I chose this photo in particular because of the way the walls of the structure are so smooth, much like that of the hair in the typical hair-styling adverts. Except these smooth lines were natural, suggesting that this hairdryer could be a necessary part in creating totally smooth and natural looking hair.
The third was a vacuum cleaner.
The first vacuum cleaner advert is set next to a background of an office with a really clean floor, so much so that it’s reflective. This gives the impression of a professional, industrial vacuum cleaner that is capable of leaving floors immaculately clean.
The second advert is again, a more contemporary one compared to the first. It’s strangely irrelevant dancer on the right is contrasting compared to the product on the left, but the simplistic and exposing design draws the viewer’s attention as to how these two are related. The tag line that I had in mind for this was, “High Performance” – a high performing dancer, and a high performing vacuum cleaner. The product can also be seen as flexible and easy to move like the dancer.
The fourth was an iron.
The first advert shows the iron against a row of well ironed and neatly hung shirts, a very obvious background that suites the purpose of the product. It depicts and environment that is commonly seen with clothes irons and demonstrates its household use logically.
The second advert throws in a pinch of comedy into the design as the household iron is compared to a road roller, suggesting that it’s a very powerful product. A few tag lines to create a clearer comparison and understanding, and you have a very contrasting yet effective advertisement.
The fifth was a pair of ice skates.
The first advert shows an ice skate in an ice rink. Typical, yet very colourful and vibrant. The original image was horizontal, but I decided to crop it so that the layout was portrait. This way, there’d be room for text at the top and maybe even below the product.
The second layout was flipped horizontally to create ‘Z’ layout. I had an idea that the text would be placed on the top left of the design. You wouldn’t normally find a pair of skates in the sky, but it does suggest that the skates are capable of ‘flying’ and are streamline.
The sixth was a wood plane.
These two images both feature something wooden and crafted. The first being a bedroom with regular household furniture, and the second one being a boat washed ashore. A slightly more extreme example, but effected nonetheless.
And the seventh and last item was a rose flower.
The moods and tones of the two images are set in day and night, making them both contrast each other and draw out different impressions from the viewer. The first rose has warm colours in its environment making it welcoming. The couple in the background implies the idea of a wedding or engagement. The second rose has a dark and cold night-time background, making the flower seem mysterious, alluring and perhaps even haunting. The mood is completely different from the first one.
This promotional flyer is for the company “White Toque” that imports food from Europe to the USA. This flyer is poorly designed due to its overwhelming amount of text, it’s tiny, tiny images and its poor composition. The overall look of the flyer is incredibly busy. The colour scheme and type font aren’t as bad – but the sheer amount of text will simply put off passers-by, as there simply isn’t enough time for people to invest into reading all of it!
The hierarchy of information is also confusing, as the text has been split in two in the centre and is unclear as to which one should be read first. The different fonts are nice and provide diversity, but unfortunately do not help with the order of reading and it’s difficult to justify which section of text should be more important. The things that are mentioned in the large paragraphs of text should really be put on something like the website instead, where people will be more inclined to read. Having so much text on a flyer is useless nothing if nobody wants to read it. The focus should really be put on the images and photos rather than the text because the images help attract attention immediately and will interest the viewer rather than put them off.
Alas, the photos themselves have been brutally scaled-own, leaving them indistinguishable and very difficult to make out. The photos have been edited poorly, as some of them seem to still have a white outline around them – a “halo” as it were – from presumably being poorly cropped from their original images. This makes the photos look cheap and badly handled, lowering the overall quality of the flyer. They have also been arranged far too close to the edges of their surroundings, making them look cramped and squashed together carelessly. This really doesn’t help with the spacing of the entire flyer, as the heavy text on the right is also very crowded.
When people see a promotional flyer, most of them hardly spend any time looking at them or reading them as they pass by. Some of them even ignore them, especially when there’s someone handing them out. People just aren’t interested enough to want to take one, which is why it’s crucial to have the best design on your flyer. Something that is eye-catching and that will grab the attention of whoever may get a glimpse of it, yet still retains the uniqueness of your brand. If this flyer just got rid of all the text except for the crucial information like the logo, brand name, catch line, contact details and maybe a short bit about the company – and then just used images and colour to communicate the rest – the design would have been so much better.