ALIENWARE Challenge Entry: Jesse Barnes


Beware: Jesse Barnes has entered the ALIENWARE Challenge!

I am standing on some unknown alien setting. This location seems to be whispering to me, I have a feeling that something was created here; maybe even the land itself is alive. The location seems unpopulated, but not necessarily abandoned or neglected, nor rusting or decaying, but life forms are inexistent. The location where I stand seems to be moving and it is difficult to comprehend its function or intent. The surfaces and materials that surround me are nothing like I have ever seen before. The design and layout of the location defies logic or the laws of physics, though only slightly, it seems that reality here is somewhat obscure. I feel a sense of grandness and awe, my breath is coming in short tight gasps from witnessing this alien phenomenon as it starts to overwhelm you. I cry out, “I need a new workstation!!!”

I want to go ahead and take a minute and say congratulations to everyone on all of the excellent work. Its been great to see all of the projects solidify over the last few days, and I’m happy to have taken part. Its inspiring to see so many artists take such a passionate lunge at a topic as obscure as the one provided! I only hope that CGTalk keeps the pages all up long enough for us to go through them and continue to pick up new tips & tricks.


blocking out the composition. developing the form and flow of the landscape. also visualizing the light distribution from a 3/4 light.


adding definition to the areas defined in the previous image. refining the composition in context.


further addition of details. making texture pattern decisions. experimenting with textures and lighting.


visualizing the color scheme.


modelling the ‘chutes’ that make up the seawall.


in this step i have: attached the buttress elements into a single mesh; created an array of the object, placing them edge-to-edge; attached the objects within the array; and sent them down a spline matching the profile of the landmass with path deform. good tip: in max 5 you can convert the world-space path deform modified object into an editable mesh by using ‘collapse to’ instead of ‘collapse all’.


the process of modeling and texturing needed to occur simultaneously for this ‘pod’. it is made up of symmetrical elements, so, i textured each of the sub-element models, attached them into a single object, then repeated the process for each of the ‘pedals’, or, sides, of the pod. these objects had to be unified so that they could be deformed together with a ffd lattice to make each of the clones unique, and flush with the terrain.


definitely more time consuming than the other aspects of modeling in this project, was placing the objects into the scene and properly framing the shot. partially due to the clarity of the concept work done on the composition, but, mainly because of the hardware penalty 85 thousand faces has to offer.


this is the noise mixed with a space image that made up the environment map.


this is a material made completely out of noise that serves as the fleshy interior of the pods.


for this texture, i needed it to fade into the environment as it reached the horizon so that the detail would degrade some towards the horizon. falloff is always a good solution for this type of on-the-fly blending without having to edit your texture maps in a 2d editor.


this is another reason i built the pod in sub-elements and then attached them into one object; i didn’t have to build this material stack by hand!


another all-noise material. turbulent noise in the bump always works out just fine for liquid.


a bit of bump, a little specularity, alot of slimy organic goodness.


same as the last except for the map and tiling. the cropped small shot in each of these is the flat texture map.


same as the previous except for the map itself. this one was used as the ground texture. these are all ‘hand painted’ in photoshop. now thank max for the slimyness.


just white lights and white in the diffuse of every material. defining the primary lighting.


defining the secondary lighting (in the pods, the backlight, adjusting the colors.)


not bad. could be better, but not bad. i see slime, and it is goood.