Tag: Modo

Final VFX Model

Portfolio Updated : Black Mirror Season 4 USS Callister

Black Mirror Season 4

Episode 1 : USS Callister

I was asked to model three assets for this episode of Black mirror. This consisted of:

The abandoned shuttle

Jet feeder tunnel

Base geometry of the USS Callister (to be detailed by other artists… and very well I might add!)

Abandoned Shuttle

For the abandoned shuttle model, I was provided with a fairly decent art department model for reference (on the left). While it lacked much detail it did layout the form and proportions pretty nicely.

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USS Callister

Next up was the base geometry for the USS Callister. Again I had a base reference model, and this was used as a start point to refine and layout the main shape and features. Aside from engines and the main bridge window, there was no detailing required for this one as it was to be detailed by other modellers. I do wish I could have done this one fully too

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Jet Feeder

This was a pretty quick one due to the obviously repetitive nature of the components. I was provided with a scan of the onset tunnel, which this had to match without being insanely detailed. Unlike the other two assets I had to UV this one.

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You can see some additional renders in the portfolio section HERE

Blade Runner 2049

We’ve updated the work portfolio to include the work for Blade Runner 2049 in 2016 while working at Propshop.

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[image_frame style=”shadow” align=”center” height=”200″ width=”600″]http://www.scorpiocgi.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/render06a.jpg[/image_frame]
[image_frame style=”shadow” align=”center” height=”200″ width=”600″]http://www.scorpiocgi.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/render09a.jpg[/image_frame]

See the full entry HERE

Watch Project

[fancy_header2 variation=”orange”]UTC Aviator GMT [/fancy_header2]

[fancy_header3 variation=”orange”]Introduction[/fancy_header3]

Over a year ago now I started out with the idea of designing a watch. On the face of it the basic premise is easy enough, but the further you go along, the more you realise how many factors you have to account for, not least the specifics of which movement will be used. Quartz or mechanical, Chinese, Japanese, or Swiss.

What became apparent pretty quickly was how insanely expensive it is to make a watch. The costs are either astronomical for mass production, or insanely high for low quantity production. The latter does have the benefit of needing less capital from the outset at least.


[fancy_header3 variation=”orange”]The Design[/fancy_header3]

I knew roughly what I wanted when I did the initial design concept. This rough drawing features the design cues that will remain throughout the development process.

As I worked on the design, I gradually came to realise an easy pitfall of digital design, in as much as when working on virtual components, it’s easy to loose focus on scale. The side retainers which hold the strap bars in place are impossibly small. Ultimately this will lead to the design changing from the sleek slimline design to a much more rugged and masculine item.


[fancy_header3 variation=”orange”]Evolution[/fancy_header3]

This was the first shaded render, and really did hit home the scale issue. As the design evolved, the main case shape would prevail, and the strap bars too, but everything else would have to change to be viable for manufacture. It’s fair to say that when I drew up my initial design, I was overly confident that I had cracked it on the first try. Oh dear!


The first and biggest change was the strap bar retainers. To be machinable they needed to be much much bigger, and the also had to be secured with top and bottom fasteners, not screwed in from the side as I had originally envisaged.


[fancy_header3 variation=”orange”]The “Final” Design[/fancy_header3]

After a great deal of tweaking, adjusting, and noodling, this is the design as it stands, and in all likelihood it is not going to change much more. As can be seen, the design now features a prominent crown guard, along with totally redesigned hands, replacing the IWC type hands. The cheesehead screws have given way to slightly more pleasing Torx fasteners.

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I will soon detail more the construction of the watch, in respect of the movement which will be used, and the manufacture costs for a limited run product.

A year on with Modo Pt1

Way back in the 1990’s I first started my first forays in to the world of 3D. It all started with Pov-Ray and then Impulse Imagine on the Commodore Amiga. As time went on along came Lightwave 5.5

I stuck with Lightwave all the way through to Lightwave 2015, but increasingly I was becoming more and more aware of the lack of development on the modelling side. While Layout had progressed, Modeller was left behind.

So the choice was made, next up would be Modo. I jumped in on v8. During the modelling phase of the Aston Martin DB5 at Propshop, the perfect opportunity was there to start the transition. Though the modelling had begun in Lightwave, about a quarter of the way in I started to attack it with Modo, and pretty quickly the workflow benefits became apparent.

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My primary realm is modelling, and right from the get go, Modo felt to me like the place where Lightwave’s Modeller should have been. The action centres and working planes alone made modelling a much more streamlines affair. Sure Lightwave has incorporated these ideas, but they feel very much like bolt on after thoughts, not an idea that was at the very core of the program.

One especially useful ability is to render in the perspective viewport  while modelling and texturing, it’s a small thing in the grand scheme, but it soon becomes apparent just how often you end up using it.

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A central part of Modo that many users don’t seem to like is the Shader Tree. This is a system of applying shaders and textures in a very simple and logical top down hierarchy. There are a couple of very major reasons why this is amazingly powerful.

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As this shows, the shader tree allows whole blocks of surfaces to be defined. These can be turned on and off allowing entire models to have multiple texture and shader setups in one scene.

I’ll have more soon……

Aston Martin DB5

Not too long ago a 1:3 scale replica DB5 was sold at auction by Christies for £55,000 to raise money for the NSPCC and to celebrate 50 years of James Bond.

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This replica was created at Propshop UK by scanning a real DB5, a process carried out on Propshop’s site at Pinewood Studios. Once scanned, the data was processed and cleaned up, which then leaves you with a very dense but accurate representation of the DB5 exterior. Although accurate, the scan data is not precise enough and clean enough to form the basis of the 3D printing process. Instead it acts as a template for a good and clean model to be produced. Below are examples of the model during the building process.

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This 3D model goes on to become the basis of the 3D printing, and save for tweaks to parts and components, is where my direct involvement winds down.

There are still many components that are required to be machined and manufactured, and these parts are created in CAD rather than 3D software. Beyond the digital work, there is a LOT of physical model making and finishing required. Most of the interior elements are physically modelled in the workshop, and although I had modelled the entire dashboard the results are more effective for the workshop crew to make and finish them. The major printed components are also work intensive, with epoxying, sanding, finishing, and spraying. All chrome elements for the gold car were sent away to be gold plated once they had been sanded and finished.

With the one of a kind gold car completed, work is continuing on the run of silver cars. You can check it out HERE.

The renders below show the car as it will look in silver.

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