Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Student Showcase - Mike Swan's graduation year project

Bucks student Mike Swan has just completed an ambitious project for his final year - the modelling, texturing and lighting of an Aston Martin sports car. We asked him a few questions about his project and how he put it all together.

Bucks: You have just completed a modelling project as part of your final year assessed work. Tell us about how the project came about.

Mike: I knew I wanted to do something big. It needed to be the flagship final piece of my time I've spent at University. I already had other projects completed throughout the year that covered Architectural Visualisation work, so I wanted to focus on a Product Visualisation piece. What better product than a car?

Bucks: What were the biggest challenges you faced in getting it right?

The whole project was intensely challenging. I viewed a friends DB9 and took near 150 photos of it; without doing this the project would have of been impossible to complete as the point of it was to make it recreate it exactly in 3D. The biggest challenge would probably be keeping everything perfect, because it had to be. Anyone could look at the photos and compare them to the renders, so it had to be same.

Bucks: What sort of work are you hoping to do in the industry?

Mike: I thoroughly enjoy creating both Architectural and Product visualisations.

Bucks: What advice would you give to anyone starting at Bucks, so that they can make the very best use of their time on the course?

Mike: My top tips would be these:
  • Learn in your spare time
  • Constantly play around with your software.
  • Learn to manage and balance your projects, time keeping is important.
  • Problem solving. The chances are that someone has had the same problem before - look online!
  • If you can't fix it yourself, ask your lecturers, they are there to help.
Bucks: What software did you use to create the Aston? 

Mike: I used Autodesk 3DS MAX for the modelling, lighting, texture creating and rendering. Then I used Adobe Photoshop for the post production work such as colour correction, compiling the various different passes etc.

(Editor's Note: You can see more of Mike Swan's work at his website here.)

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