View Full Version : Master and Servant 3D Entry: Clifford Phillips

03 March 2005, 12:09 PM
Clifford Phillips has entered the Master and Servant 3D.

Challenge Page (

Latest Update: Final Image: close up (

I thought i would submit a close up of the man, as it is a bit hard ot se the detail in the low res post of the final image and this way you can get a better idea I think, or hope. Bit self indulgent but hope you see why.

03 March 2005, 12:30 PM
Further to Yesterdays post:
The other reason for picking a tube train is its similarity, in the crowding and shape, to ancient ships that were rowed by slaves for the wealthy.
So also as another explanation: I said we are all slaves to money and as we know the proverb Time=money, we are therefore all slaves to Money as well.

The view will be from the upper part of the train downwards, suggesting the viewer is the Master. As I said the colour sheme is probably going to be browns and grays, as I think these are reminisant of places we don't much like, and also reminds me of London (although it is apparently a lot cleaner now).

C and C's welcome (although I still havn't got a new sketch)

04 April 2005, 10:23 AM (

a second concept sketch

04 April 2005, 12:37 PM
nice concept dude... you should be a teacher or something !

04 April 2005, 12:41 PM
Interesting idea, though you may want to consider ways to further emphasize the relationship of the viewer as master or you might miss out on that aspect somewhat.

04 April 2005, 12:57 PM
Hey Clifford, you do realise that this has now become a Mester and Student Competition ?

Let the games begin

04 April 2005, 10:53 AM
yep, good point, Eddie but this is always an interesting relationship. Its amazing how much I learn from students!

To 'Cole': Yep I am aware that this may pose a problem, with the viewer being the 'master' but I am not totally sure if this is a problem (I like the idea of the duality of the way that image can be read). I have been working on ideas for how to make the different relationships a bit less subtle though, and if I get to it will try to work up a few more sketches. (thanks for posting by the way)

This weekend I started the modeling but think it will get binned! I also did some more sketches on the way I want the faces to look, but not happy yet.

04 April 2005, 12:59 PM
the cocept looks cool, and its a very interesting idea and take on the challenge. how many charcters are you planing on having int the scene?

04 April 2005, 09:43 AM
sam, the plan is to have as many as I can, but it will depend on how they fit in the view, as I don't wna them to obscure the camera angle and so on. At first they will be basic clones of each other in order to work on placement and so on, but then I hope to work them up more.
They will all be business people though, my main problem is that i wnat there faces to look really ward down and I am having trouble sorting out references for this at the moment.
I even deprived myslef of sleep in order to try to get that look, but guess I am too healthy!

Should post first 3d stuff within a few days.

04 April 2005, 09:40 AM (

I have been having trouble with the hand and the face. I want the face to look stern and gaunt to reflect the servitude. The hand of the master is supposed to look a little warn and perhaps old, yet virile.

The watch that will represent the master is missing as I havn't done it yet and you will see that only very basic materials have been used so far, although this image is not supposed to look real, but is suggestive of a scene on a tube train somewhere.

So the face is just one of the face for a passenger, yet to do a suit or any other people for the scene. I really would appreciate feedback on this lot.

04 April 2005, 11:39 PM
Wow Cliff, its really coming together, last time we talked you had barely started. Did you end up sticking with maya in the end? or are you back onto max? I think your realising your concept really well, the head does look stern and gaunt, just as you intended. Stick with it mate, dont give up, and get some sleep! see you tomorrow

04 April 2005, 09:32 AM
Fraid i went back to Max as I still prefer it for modelling, but then I did learn that first. I may well go over to maya for hair and final rendering but it will come down to time it the end.
Some compromises are already being made due to time limitations and so on, but hopefully they will not detract from the final image. Hope you enter the next challenge yourself.

I spoke with one of the 3rd year students here about the head and they thought I could push it a bit further which I tried but not sure if I like it. Also I plan to post up a sketch I did of the face's look I was going for, although the model is a bit better than the sketch (in my opinion).

I got three hours sleep last night, so thanks for your good wishes!

04 April 2005, 11:20 AM
hey teach, my turn to comment on the it might be just the angle nut the fingers looks kindda strange, as at the moment they look alittle like stumps. (not sure if you have finihed modelling them yet).. PLus i think it would be a good idea to give him some knunkles.

The face is cool, but could do with alittle more detail on the nostrals. i cant remember how you model, but i find modelling so much easier when i have Nerbs Subdivision on (rather than mesh smooth)

I have nothing it crit on the train, as its looking cool (maybe just put my graffitti in their somewhere)...

Aprt from that, keep it up dude (im sure you will finish in time):thumbsup:

04 April 2005, 08:23 AM
Eddie, thanks for your comments. I forgot to mention the hand wasn't finished and yep those were stumps! 'Finished' it yesterday evening but not happy with it. I have also changed the view, as, when i put the hand/arm in the scene it looked a bit stupid and not what I had had in my mind.

Not sure about graphiti. The whole texture thing will probably be very painterly, as I plan to do them in Painter and then apply them (more like the mood board) and so it may be at odds to do painterly version of spray paint. However I will give it some thought when I come to do more texture work. Struggling to light the scen at the moment, so would be good to have soem advice?

Umn. i used to have problmes modelling hands and ears, but these are bit better now, but nostrals always look wrong to my eye. I have done a bit more work on this but not posted it yet. I was watching the Snooker last night and didn't realise how much my model looked like Peter Ebdon! well maybe not but he would have been good reference.

05 May 2005, 10:10 PM
Are you the teacher at Pompei Uni?

05 May 2005, 08:53 AM
Yes, I am a tutor at Portsmouth Uni, part time. Do you like what i am doing here? I am a bit rusty, as I spent most of last semester writing tutorials!

05 May 2005, 11:28 AM (

I have dumped all the lights which in theory were more acuate as I didn't like what happened to the reflections on the windows. So this is the start of the lighting. The new hand as it is more turned around to the viewer is a lot brighter and there are problems with the shadows in places but is much closer to the finsihed lighitn for the main part of the scene.

05 May 2005, 11:29 AM (

I have dumped all the lights which in theory were more acuate as I didn't like what happened to the reflections on the windows. So this is the start of the lighting. The new hand as it is more turned around to the viewer is a lot brighter and there are problems with the shadows in places but is much closer to the finsihed lighitn for the main part of the scene.

05 May 2005, 11:34 AM (

I didn't like the head so I have reworked it.

05 May 2005, 12:57 PM
really like the hand cliff, although i think you need some gi and soft lighting in the scene. i like the expression in the head but i think you need to work on the skin material and do a nice fancy render to really show it off.

its coming along nicely!

05 May 2005, 08:19 AM
Hiya Cliff.

Well, what can I say? It's great to see you doing some 3D again! I feel guilty now - it's been ages since I did anything. Times have been busy dontcha know!

I love the sad man - he really inspires sympathy I reckon. I saw an image in your entry thread in which the bags under his eyes were more puffy... dunno which is the more recent version... I like them both, but possibly the puffy one slightly better.

As for the scene... lookin phat! Perhaps you could have it going through a tunnel or travelling at night with a darker more moody and localised lighting setup to suit the guy's demeanor... but come to think of it, the effect of a harshly flourescent lit train on a man is likely to be pretty depressing - especially after a day at work and before dinner!!

The concept is ace - a typically Cliffordesque take on the brief I think!

Keep up the good work - you might inspire me to pick up tools for the next challenge at this rate!


05 May 2005, 02:36 PM
:rolleyes: oops...:rolleyes:

05 May 2005, 02:55 PM (

I used Corel painter to make the painted textures, but the work is not too easy to see as max seems to quash these.

05 May 2005, 03:01 PM (

ok this is the first attempt to put all the models and textures together. obviously the bloke has no legs at the moment and I hope to have another go at the nuckles on the 'master's' hand. Again the textures are painted throughout.

Lighting is much better than before as it is muck moodier and end of train is darker.

05 May 2005, 03:22 PM
looking much better now clifford, but might be cool if you added a specualr map on the face so that you can exentuate that gount look.. maybe just around the eyes.
keep it up only a few more days to go !:thumbsup:

05 May 2005, 03:53 PM
Thanks mate. Will try to look into this. Think maybe I did the texturing a bit early, but will see if I can still fine tune some of the modelling. At higher res you can see his eyes are a bit naff, so i will try to work on this tonight.

I want to try to retexture all the seats as well, cos they still have the texture that I bunged on at the begining. I have been asked by two students to reconcider the lighting and try out the radiosity again, but not sure I will get time.

05 May 2005, 04:11 PM
by the way sorry for the duplicate psot that appeared earlier. The upload took so long that i thought the browser had crashed, I then looked at it hadn't appeared so I submitted it again. The two then appeared. DOH!

Jim (mort) Thanks for the feedback. It was you nagging me a bit that got me going, so makes a change to turn the tables. I hadn't realised how usty I had become!

05 May 2005, 04:12 PM
well if its something you already know then go for it, but if its something you need to learn then its a case of having time to try it out

05 May 2005, 03:50 PM (

redid all the textures, lighting and most of the models have been looked at again. The servant now has all his clothes and body! Some issues with placement of objects have been addressed and texture on arm re addressed after this render was done.

05 May 2005, 03:55 PM
Hey Clifford, its looking good, my only crit would be that its alittle too dark, as you cant see the floor at up .

Keep it up....:thumbsup: ... only 2 days left

05 May 2005, 06:31 PM
It's come on a bit, hasn't it! Not long to go, now.

If you're wondering how to proceed I'd say that the composition could do with a little tweaking.

For example, the arm is too strongly lit so it's difficult to move your eyes away from it. It may also be that it's positioned too vertically, making it visually jarring. The watch is too detailed for something which isn't central to the message you're trying to put across.

Just something to think about. :)


05 May 2005, 07:03 AM
Cas. Good to here from you and thanks for posting.
However as I was pointed out ona much earlier post by 'cole' there was a risk that the image would not be about the interplay between master and servant if the master was not equally strong in the image as the servant. Here the master is represented by the watch, as the master is 'time'. Ordinarily the composition woul dhave meant that the lighting, texturing and modelling would have drawn the viewer into the scene and I would agree with your observation but I think it re-inforces the messeage. I want the audience to feel a bit uncomfortable with it, and I hope the 'servant' looks almost acusatory at the audience, which is my intention.

However haveing wirttne this, I am not that happy with the foreground light as it is a bit harsh and despite removing a slight bump on the right nuckle, still looks like a hill in the render. So about to have another look at the lighting. Also I want to look at the balance of the Saturation as the servants face is more washed out than I intended, and so i may work on this is post production.

A busy day ahead of me to get this finished and thanks for you input on this so far.

05 May 2005, 02:06 PM (

I have tried to take on what people have posted and alter the image a bit to find a half way between what i wanted and what was aksed for. I think this is a sublte blend, and also has the added advantage that some of the image textures are more visable now.
Is much closer to final submission, just wan tto try to get a bit of detail in reflection on left window before, but if anyone has anything to add, that they think needs adjusting please let me know ASAP!

05 May 2005, 02:08 PM
one thought. has anyone got an opinion on the glow that i used to have on the Flouresant lights. Should it be put back in or are you happy with the image without?

05 May 2005, 10:46 AM (

this is the image for the final submission which hopefully will register shortly!

Hope you like it, and thanks to all those who have given me advice and help. Especially Jackie, Eddie and Chris, ho know who they are!

05 May 2005, 02:21 PM (

I thought i would submit a close up of the man, as it is a bit hard ot se the detail in the low res post of the final image and this way you can get a better idea I think, or hope. Bit self indulgent but hope you see why.

05 May 2005, 04:22 PM
I decided that the challenge gave enough flexibility for me approach the project in a more traditional way than I have done for any CG work up to this point. I have always thought that there was an issue with treating the tool as the important part of the process of making the image, and too many other ‘artists’ posting work in the CG domain really have trouble evolving the aesthetic.

Here I considered the nature of being a Master and more important for me, a Servant (after all I have never really been in charge of anything in my life). It occurred to me that ‘servitude’ in its own right was very little removed from paid slavery: or more precisely the difference was that there was choice involved.

It seemed obvious therefore that most of us, to one extent or another are servants. We are in the ‘western’ world all in the same boat as it were, to have to pay our taxes, abide by laws and generally have very little to say in what we do. I for one don’t really have much choice in the career that I am following at the moment, as fate decided this for me.

So we are, on the whole, being controlled by others with perhaps the most obvious physical incarnation of this is money. Money plays a major part in this and it is true that most of us have to work to be able to eat, buy essentials and have things that we value in our lives. Also, the old adage (or equation) that time equals money can be reversed to be Money equals Time and this without exception rules all of our lives, in all parts of world, regardless of who we are. So from ancient epochs to now this is both constant and fleeting (to coin another phrase).

So it seemed fitting to me to try to include either explicit or implied elements of both time and money in my scene. It was clear to me that time could only be represented and it would probably be crass to make money explicit in the scene. Money was therefore the master and then I needed something or someone to represent the servant.

The Servant:
Perhaps it becomes more obvious now that the money aspect was going to be represented by a character and more expressly, I planned to make him a ‘city’ worker, and I thought for a while what environment these two could be placed.

The tube train idea came about when I was planning to go up to London to meet up with friends, although our scene is deliberately not set in any specific city, but designed to be anywhere, and no where (like time). I felt this was a perfect way to be able to have both in the scene and be subtle at the same time, It acts as a visual metaphor for both our daily routine and our journey through life. I also wanted to bring in other subtle undertones to the image where the unseen train driver could also be given the role of the master through implication.

Also the shape of the train is perhaps reminiscent of ‘slave boats’ being both cramped and generally a bit uncomfortable. All the passengers sit in close proximity and all they can look forward to is the end of the journey. I redesigned the hand holds three times primarily to try to enforce this if you chose to see it.

I had also thought about the treatment that I would use, and from the start decided that it should look quite traditional, and have tried to make reference to painted artwork, in both moods, colour palette and arrangement. Here the viewer is placed at the heart of what alludes to a tableau on modern life, and the pressures we are all facing. The viewer could also consider themselves the master in both placement and role. After all you are invited to read this image any way you want, but also it could your arm (if you were male) that is seen in the image.

The Master:
Time is represented in the main way that we all ‘see’ time passing, with a very prominent and semi traditional analogue watch, brightly lit and in front of everything else in the scene. This is placed upon a wrist, which in turn is posed to reflect the ‘black power’ clenched fist, which was used as silent symbolism for the right to freedom and self-expression. While this is the ‘masters’ wrist the watch therefore is actually a shackle that even this character cannot escape. This is perhaps a bit tentative but was the reason for the attempt to use symbolisms in the scene.

The Servant in turn is staring at the audience and/or the Master, I hope in a slightly accusatory way, perhaps you can read this just as a contemplative moment, after reading his newspaper, or perhaps thinking of time passed, of opportunities missed and so on. Other than this his face is mostly neutral, which was intended. His pose is a little stiff, which again I hope gives a feeling that the scene is quite comfortable; the audience is supposed to share this, and empathise with him, after all he also represents us.

The lighting is unnatural for a tube train, which are generally brightly lit and harsh, but this would have given the wrong feel to the scene. So three out of 6 of the fluorescent tubes are out (only one can be seen), sending much of the tubes interior into shadow. This could be that the train has just gone over points, and the electrical connection lost?

I wanted the audience to be able to see that the important thing here were the master and the servant representatives. The colour palette compliments this, which is rather warm, but also quite dark in is own right, and throws forward the two faces. It also references traditional colour palettes in art for this kind of metaphoric tableaux. Further to this I also ‘painted’ all the textures using Corel Painter and my Wacom tablet. This I think changes the feel of the entire scene even though most of the time it is hard to see the brush or palette knife marks.

The final element here is the posters. Both are supposed to enforce the ‘Time’ theme. The one on the left has both a visual and a literal message. The phrase ‘Time to change Geer?’ has obvious meaning I hope, but this is on a poster selling computers and is a reference to computers always getting faster and our need to have them, but somehow we never get much faster. The other poster is about both escapism and ‘progress’, here a new building but is it progress?

05 May 2005, 04:39 PM
By the way if you notice a mistake on his right arm I just fixed it on the final submission!

05 May 2005, 05:16 PM
it looks really ace cliff, the lighting and rendering have come on loads. i really like the skintones and the oveall mood of the piece. i think the lights could of done with some kind of soft glow to just give it a little something extra, but overall its very nice.

05 May 2005, 07:19 AM
i think the lights could of done with some kind of soft glow to just give it a little something extra, but overall its very nice.

Thanks Sam. Frstratingly, I did post a question here asking if the glow should be kept but didn't get any feedback in time, and I couldn't make up my mind. This has generally been the case which is why I have had to rely on my friends and colleagues for most of the input here.

Still, I have enjoyed the experience and glad that you like the image. Looking forward to the next challenge/competition now, and hope I can put more time into the next one, especially a the begining. I was annoyed that I didn't get time i my life to work up a final concpet sketch, and also to post all the image that I did but in a way that is what all this was about anyway!

05 May 2005, 07:57 AM
I have made more changes to the image since the Challenge finsihed, mostly in post production, but a few things fixed or altered in the max scene. If anyone want to see this I will try to get it posted up some place. I have put glow on the light which I think does improve it, so Sam you should be happy, hopefully.

Will print this version for the show anyway.

05 May 2005, 08:02 AM
Nice one Cliff...

Love the final render!!!

Lighting is nice, and the whole thing gets the mood across nicely.

I am buying the bits I need for my deceased computer tomorrow (pay day!), so I may have to join in the fun next time :thumbsup:

Good luck,


05 May 2005, 04:09 PM
Thanks Mort. Really appreciate comments even if hey are good ones!
As for computers, don't get me started:(

05 May 2005, 06:37 AM
hey clifford, for some reason your image in the final entries thread is the close up of the news paper guy... you might want to contact Milbus and get this fixed.

05 May 2005, 07:20 AM
hi eddie. What is milbus?... And how to I contact it/him/her?
The image that was uplaoded via Ftp was the whole image and not just the extract, although the last final image post was the close up cos that was the only way i new how to do that..

I have loads more images and stuff that i made for this challenge but didn't know how to make this available....

05 May 2005, 07:21 AM
go to the FAQ section and find a post by him, then right click on name and send a PM

06 June 2005, 08:58 AM
I have been thinking about making more images on this theme, Anyone go an idea... my plan is to use the same main character.. (do you think its worth doing?)

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