At a small museum in Northern England, a large project was being planned: an exhibition that would help visitors envision the occupation of the Roman Army and the construction of one of the world's most famous landmarks - Hadrian's Wall.
Press Release from Luxology
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. - May 9, 2011 - At a small museum in Northern England, a large project was being planned: an exhibition that would help visitors envision the occupation of the Roman Army and the construction of one of the world's most famous landmarks - Hadrian's Wall. Commissioned to create the massive and ambitious centerpiece for the exhibition, illustrator and 3D artist Barry Croucher turned to the improved render speeds and enhanced modeling and mapping (UV) tools in Luxology's 3D software, modo 501, to create the stunning final results: an enormous single banner image extending across an area of 30 square meters (more than 320 square feet).
The Vindolanda Trust's Roman Army Museum, located just outside Newcastle in Northumberland, England, lies adjacent to a Roman fort, which was one of many built to protect Hadrian's Wall. Hadrian's Wall was built by the Roman emperor Hadrian in A.D. 122 to mark the northern boundary of the Roman Empire. It originally formed an unbroken barrier from the East to the West coast - essentially separating England from Scotland - and was the most heavily fortified border in the Empire. A significant portion of the wall still exists and its remains are the most popular tourist attraction in Northern England.
The Vindolanda Trust had plans to open a new exhibition at the Museum, which is when Croucher was commissioned to create the centerpiece. Done entirely in modo, the centerpiece consists of a 12 meter by 2.5 meter banner depicting the Roman occupation of the area and the construction of the wall. The banner was designed to look similar to relief carvings on Trajan's Column in Rome. To achieve the effect of a three-dimensional relief carving, the entire scene was digitally displaced from a flat plane using modo, which resulted in the creation of approximately 95 million polygons, using eight gigabytes of random access memory (RAM) at image creation (rendering) time.
"I had never worked on anything bigger than artwork at magazine size but this banner required artwork that was 34,000 pixels by 7,000 pixels," said Croucher. "It was a very challenging project but the improved render engine in modo 501 is so fast and easy to use that it turned out to be no problem to complete a piece of this size."
Croucher produced the banner by creating 3D models detailed with extensive sculpting using modo 501's new Multi-resolution sculpting tools. He then baked displacement maps from the models and assembled the maps to form a composite displacement map in Photoshop. The final image was rendered in three pieces, which were then combined to create the final product.
"I don't think I could have accomplished this project without modo - at least not without investing in much more expensive software," said Croucher. "It really is a thrill to see my work in an exhibition of this size and it's all thanks to the much improved features in modo 501."
The banner, which is a permanent part of the museum, is currently on exhibit at the Roman Army Museum. Croucher was also commissioned to create an image of the god Jupiter in the same style to be printed on glass for the same exhibition. More information can be found at http://www.vindolanda.com/.
About modomodo is an innovative 3D modeling, painting and rendering software designed to accelerate the creation of world-class models, associated color and normal maps, and ultra high-quality renderings. modo's modern workflow and advanced toolset easily deliver enhanced productivity for 3D artists working in game development, design visualization, package design, film visual effects, video production and graphic arts. A favorite tool among many designers and artists, modo's innovative toolset offers one of the fastest paths to content creation on the PC and Mac. modo is available from www.luxology.com or through any of Luxology's authorized resellers around the world.
About LuxologyBased in Mountain View, Calif., Luxology® LLC is an independent technology company developing next-generation 3D content creation software that enhances productivity via artist-friendly tools powered by a modern underlying architecture called Nexus®. Founded in 2002 by Allen Hastings, Stuart Ferguson and Brad Peebler, Luxology is home to some of the top 3D engineering expertise in the industry. More information on the company, its licensable Nexus technology, its flagship product modo® and a gallery of artists' images from the active modo community is available online at www.luxology.com.