View Full Version : Secret Agent Entry: Ajit Menon

06 June 2009, 10:23 PM
Ajit Menon is entered in the "Secret Agent" update: View Challenge Page (

Latest Update: Final Image: Showdown in Shady Alley (

06 June 2009, 10:25 PM
I'm in though I need to think of a suitable idea...
cheers to all!

07 July 2009, 06:07 PM (

Finally I get a chance to work on the challenge.
Here is my idea: the agent is cornered; It's a dark night.... the car speeds directly at him but he watches calmly, automatic pistol in each hand. He braces to take out his opponent....

07 July 2009, 06:11 PM (

This is a photo comp I made in photoshop to indicate the mood I'm trying to create.
The final image will be in black-and-white. The story is set in the 1960s or so... the influence is definitely from the film noir films of that time (well actually 1950s). The agent wears a Humphrey Bogart-esque trench coat/ fedora hat. The car I've decided to use is a Mercedes 500K classic car. The city will be modelled on New York.

07 July 2009, 06:14 PM (

The Mercedes 500K is a classic car built in the 1930s. These pics are views of slightly different models.
I'll have to model them based off these ref images... or make my own blueprints of these if possible.

07 July 2009, 07:54 PM
Your idea is very interesting.
I like that point of view and angle.
Let's see that car modeled :thumbsup:

07 July 2009, 11:00 AM
nice car :)

07 July 2009, 01:18 PM
Its a very good idea man! Love it.

Are you planning to have a visible character in the drivers seat of the car? Is the car, or something visible in the car a storypoint?

looking forward to more!


07 July 2009, 08:52 PM (

Modelling WIP...
The car is roughly based on the 1930 Mercedes Benz Trossi 720 SSK roadster. I still need to add a lot more details but I may hold off for now and start on my character. It's so easy to get caught up and finesse small details which may not be seen in the final.

07 July 2009, 08:53 PM (

Here is a basic lighting test on my car. Again, lot more detail I should add and lots of tweaking... but I may hold off until I setup my main scene.
This car is so cool... almost feel it could have been the inspiration behind the Batmobile. Anyone wanting to read up more on this can see it here:

07 July 2009, 08:56 PM (

Ooops! Didn't notice I got heavy-handed with some silly noise I added in photoshop.
Here's a better pic.

07 July 2009, 09:00 PM
heya all
Grooshka: here's my partial WIP of the car. I changed the model from the Mercedes 500K to the SSK Roadster.. so much cooler a car!

aghill : Thanks! I will def have some character in the car, and maybe even mod the car with some guns (perhaps?). A lot of things are open for now.

One thing I will do for the final is to emphasize the car speeding toward our secret agent. Maybe I'll add rain or some splashing puddles to indicate movement. The agent's pose will also indicate how he's reacting to the car that's trying to run him over.. hope I can successfully convey a decent pose/ idea...

07 July 2009, 09:42 PM
Pretty cool looking car!
sleek side view is looking good. Nice job with the modeling.
I can almost imagine bullet holes on the windshield. I feel like the tires could use displacement?
Also what are you planning on doing for the ground?
cheers and keep up the good work!

07 July 2009, 06:32 PM
Nice job with the car model.
It's a good idea to keep your models rather simple, leave them aside waiting for final composition, then return and refine these parts which are needed.
Looking forward to see the car in final light condition.

07 July 2009, 06:57 PM
hey grooshka
yeah .. u're right! My final will probably be with the car driving straight at us... so I'll probably need to only focus on front details.
I'm in the process of modelling my character now. Will post some updates soon... but as of now, I'm getting caught up with some work stuff. Hope to post more soon.

07 July 2009, 11:24 PM (

Here is a composition/ pose test. I'm still trying to find something that works.
I like his hand outstretched as in the frame, but am not too sure yet if he's just holding a gun or does something a bit more fancy....
Looking forward to some comments!

07 July 2009, 11:25 PM (

Or possibly flipped?

07 July 2009, 10:46 PM (

Here is a new "tall" composition...
I've also worked on sculpting the jacket and pants.
It will be a night-scene, possibly with rain falling heavily... the car's light will shine brightly ahead, racing toward our agent...

07 July 2009, 12:43 PM (

Here's an initial lighting study.

07 July 2009, 12:44 PM (

Here's an initial lighting study with some texture. Comments would be appreciated,

07 July 2009, 02:52 AM (

Here's a lighting WIP. I think I will add rain and effects as I move on with this.

I was initially thinking of doing a Black-and-White comp. SO here is the color and b/w version.

Comments would be GREATLY appreciated.

07 July 2009, 11:16 AM

There's no doubt color compo is the best one. Your scene looks fantastic! Lighting is very moody and adds very much to the image. I also admire your work with buildings on the sides - they are looking very very good and in place.
Camera POV is a good dramatic one.
It's a pity your car model can be seen from the front only, but I understand concept for the image.

As for my comments:
- you could make the car more visible by adding a glow behind it,
- adding some motion blur to the whole image (especially on corners) could give dramatic cought-in-the-time this very moment you try to depict.

Your piece turns to be a great one :thumbsup:
Looking for updates with final compo (effects like rain mostly anticipated :) )
Keep it up Ajit!

07 July 2009, 09:15 PM
i like the foto compositing you did in the very beginning.
the lighting here is great,the wide format it look better i guest,because you can show more the environment,the last render you did is not more then the the car and the agent.
the model you did is great, work more with composition.dont forget to add more smoke to your scene,good luck.

07 July 2009, 10:18 PM

Looking great so far. In terms of lighting is concerned, I like adding an overall blue ambient to most of my night shots that I light (not using global ambient). I also agree with Irawan with regards to the composition. Anyway, keep it up!!

07 July 2009, 11:36 PM (

Here are 2 horizontally composed renders... I am thinking something halfway between the 2 angles might be nice... I'd love to know what you guys think.

I didn't composite glow/ volumetrics into these tests. But I can see that the ground needs more detail... I hjad initially compressed my street to back-alley size; but for a wider comp, I think I need to give the road more width and add back the kerb.

I still need to add the gun into the agent's hand.. and this wider comp may give me the ability to add some secondary characters.. maybe a sniper on the roof or so... it might help emphasize the feeling that he's cornered...

07 July 2009, 11:38 PM
a is abolutely better!

07 July 2009, 12:00 AM
Hey Irawan and Grooschka
Thanks for the comments!
Yeah the lower angle is way more dramatic! So far, I've only been approaching detail that can be seen... the character himself is so simple.
hmmm ...need to do a lot more detailing now; and also refine the textures on the agent!

thanks again! it helps to get some feedback!

07 July 2009, 06:43 PM
Hey man !

Agree with Irawan ! the first one is definitely better . More dramatic , better contrast . Altough you should try to add another ambiant light the first half of the building since there isn't any other light source in the street except I guess the moonlight , It would give some contrast on the building colors. my 2 cents

Looking forward for your progress !

cheers ,


07 July 2009, 01:27 PM
Hi Ajit, :)

Very nice progress so far! Keep it up! :thumbsup: Yeah, A definitely looks better! Will be waiting for more updates!

07 July 2009, 02:32 PM
Hey Kaustav and Stephane
Thanks for the comments... Yeah, I'm definitely leaning toward A too... I may dutch the camera a bit to exaggerate the effect further.
It's detailing time now.. subtle render/ texture adjustments... and I still need to model the gun in his hand, as well as start adding in rain/ depth fog/ depth smoke... phew!

Work's keeping me busy too.. oh well! Let's hope I can finish it as I'd want to...

07 July 2009, 06:10 PM
Hey Kaustav and Stephane
Thanks for the comments... Yeah, I'm definitely leaning toward A too... I may dutch the camera a bit to exaggerate the effect further.
It's detailing time now.. subtle render/ texture adjustments... and I still need to model the gun in his hand, as well as start adding in rain/ depth fog/ depth smoke... phew!

Work's keeping me busy too.. oh well! Let's hope I can finish it as I'd want to...

Cool! Will look forward to those updates! Btw, how about the idea of adding few dried leaves blowing in the wind?

07 July 2009, 06:38 PM
hey man,

your 3d wip is really looking fine! the only crit would be contrast, i mean right now the composition is hard to read, im sure youŽll fix that. Bring more that contrast of the inicial sketches.

looking forward

07 July 2009, 01:32 PM (

Here's a quick gun modelling WIP... U probabbly won't get to see to much of it in the final but it was fun to model nonetheless...

08 August 2009, 12:14 PM (

Here is a final week WIP... there are lots of glitches in the render but I think this will be the final look of the piece. I need to add more water splashing off the ground and car, and off the body of the spy etc! Hope u like it! Would love to hear comments!

08 August 2009, 05:38 PM
Whoooa! This is crazy! I love how it turns out!
You managed to capture this 'no way out' feel. I'm really scared.
I see you did blurred corners of the image... what if you could use radial blur towards the center instead of gaussian (it looks like gauss). You're about to catch this very vanishing moment!

08 August 2009, 07:56 PM
Heya Grooshka
thanks for the comments.. yeah I still need to refine a lot of tiny details! Phew! Almost at the finish line!

08 August 2009, 08:48 PM
You've captured a very nice mood. I have some technical crits, tho:
- the hero's right hand does not read clearly - i had to consult the wireframe to se what's going on there. This is probably due to the extreme perspective.
- the coat is grainy, and because of that, doesn't look wet. Maybe something like wet leather would work better?
-the water splash under the cars front right wheel (or the left one from viewers perspective) makes it look like the car levitates above the ground. You could make the water splash to the left and to the right of the wheel, and not so much to the front.
- there's a brightly outlined balcony support to the right of the character, which is very distracting, and confusing
- I'd add some subtle fog/smoke/steam behind the character, so you can see him as a darker silhouette against slightly brighter background - subtlety is the key here, as even very minute changes of brightness will have big impact.

08 August 2009, 08:59 PM
Hey Andrzej
Thanks for some excellent critique... some of what you mentioned are things I planned to address but it's great that you got so detailed in the critique...
Subtlety is definitely key here like u said...
Thanks so much!

08 August 2009, 08:13 AM
crazy rendering skills mate!

good luck to you :)

08 August 2009, 10:39 AM

Only now understood you going for a black & white image, is that right!?
Really great compositing and effects, good luck for the final touch ups.

08 August 2009, 02:51 AM (

Just a still showing modelling.
I kept this scene as simple as I could possibly. I built just one building block and duplicated and inverted the position as instances in the scene.
The character too is simple... I didn't bother modifying areas you don't see.. hence the front of the coat is not detailed and the character has no.. umm.. body... lol.
The pants were modified from the legs and so on... I used the pre-built rig in XSI for this... I didn't really want to show his face since it's a pre-made model; ergo my decision to show only his back.
The folds in the jacket were done in zbrush.

08 August 2009, 02:52 AM (

Here's a pre-final still... I'm almost done. I just need to fix some teeny issues and then I'll be done... phew!
It was fun but a lot of work too!

08 August 2009, 03:02 AM
Refined water splashes off the car tires, as well as from the body of the car and Secret Agent! I think I am going to tilt the car a teeny bit toward the spy... it seems a little off right now.
Re-renders again tonight... the beauty takes about 7 hrs to render... but the rest of the passes are pretty quick!
So here's hitting the finish line!

08 August 2009, 05:37 PM
very atmospheric, 10 stars from me:)

08 August 2009, 07:33 PM
Superb feeling of texture, atmosphere and action, Ajit. veri nicely handled indeed. Nice one.

08 August 2009, 07:43 PM
Thanks Nick and Anton.
It's been fun working on this piece... the first CG Challenge I am going to complete; so it's a good feeling. And it's also fun sharing and critiquing other people's work!

08 August 2009, 07:48 PM
(grammatical correction) and it also has been fun sharing views and critiquing other people's work...

08 August 2009, 10:52 AM (

Software: After Effects,Photoshop,XSI,ZBrush

It was a dark night. The getaway would be quick... the papers were in my coat! It was all too easy!
Then the lights blared and I felt that familiar sinking feeling. But I wouldn't let them take me!
And as the tires screeched and hurtled toward me, I braced... and made my stand!

08 August 2009, 11:00 AM
Here's a version with higher resolution.

08 August 2009, 05:15 PM
I like this job. Interesting angle and point of view.
Good luck!

08 August 2009, 05:18 PM
Hey ,

Really cool image , the pov and the composition are splendid. Great work on the postFX !

Best of luck and congratulations !

cheers ,


08 August 2009, 05:49 PM
You made it! Congrats man! That's a job well done!

I like mood of this scene and all the details. The grain also adds much to the image.

08 August 2009, 08:38 PM
this is good work but the photo is kind of dark, enhance it a little bit and give it some color. You basically want to stay away from the color black and white. Plus, you did everytthing in 3d so why don't you show your work instead of darkening it in.

08 August 2009, 03:45 AM
Thanks to all of you for your critique and comments! It's been fun working on this piece; more than I expected!

Thanks Artur and Stephane... it's been great to get all of your critiques!
Cheers and here's to the next challenge!

08 August 2009, 02:48 PM
hi ajit,
This entry is really awesome!
Superb work!
I can't say more
Just amazing!

08 August 2009, 06:25 AM
Killer Work......2 Of Luck.............

08 August 2009, 04:34 PM
Hey Pankaj and Anurag
Thanks for the kind comments. It was fun to work on but I can already see a lot of things that could have been improved... haha. But what's done is done.
Thanks again!

09 September 2009, 12:48 PM
Just so I don't forget, textures were from

09 September 2009, 05:45 AM
the splash shows that there is lots of water on ground but the bullets r not at all in the water...which is kinda odd....not trying to be a critic....just it is looking odd.....anyway when is the results of luck

10 October 2009, 05:38 PM
great idea and angle . really nice entry , the only thing that disturbs me is the high amount of grain

CGTalk Moderation
10 October 2009, 05:38 PM
This thread has been automatically closed as it remained inactive for 12 months. If you wish to continue the discussion, please create a new thread in the appropriate forum.