Here is the final 3D world, finished and ready, so I rendered some shots with lighting. I spend ages on lighting, too much time really, and I know I could spend even more, adjusting it slightly and adding new lights and doing test renders to see how it looks. It’s a lot of fun but drains time like nothing else!
I am really happy with how the 3D world looks though. The buildings are exactly what i was going for and the world has really come together as this claustrophobic, never-ending skyscraper city. I think it looks like a sort of prison-city, and has this vibe of being slightly unnatural and worryingly uniform. I wanted this environment to be familiar but at the same time strange. To feel like a place that could exist in our world but never actually would.
It is made totally from unnatural materials. There is no wood, no trees or colourful flowers or colour really, not really any organic shapes or features anywhere. It is a cold, dark, eerie dystopian city. The buildings stand like people tightly packed together in a subway car, unable to stretch out or move because they are so close together. All looking in the same direction – unable or unwilling to do anything they aren’t allowed to.
I had the street lights on both sides of the street in my test world, but decided to change them to being all on one side of the street for the final version. I think they look more uniformed and rigid like this. Even having the street lights alternating from one side of the street to the other is too creative and free-spirited for this world!!
I used a lot of white light for the artificial light, the streetlights, etc, and also to illuminate the whole thing from above. I realised I wanted to have some sunlight coming in from a direction, like it was the sun in the sky. So the tops of the building will be lit with a yellowish light, while basically everything else is white light. In my test world almost all the lights were coloured and I like the way it looked, but tried this out and think it looks way better. It makes the sunlight stand out as different and really helps to separate the high up tops of the skyscrapers from the gloomier, less natural ground level. The ground floor is the colder, less natural world that the characters walk around in, while the sun beaming down, only really illuminating the tops of the buildings, where presumably the characters never go, and never really getting to experience real sunlight – not properly anyway. Perhaps some are lucky enough to get sunlight at street level sometimes, but mostly they are in darkness.
The main difference between this final model and the test model I did are these prison towers. They have red lights on the top and doors that allow access to the walls at the top. Giving the feeling that they are perhaps patrolled by guards, not that we see any in the film – but it hopefully should give that sort of oppressive feeling. I was going to go crazier and have red lights on poles sticking out at all crazy angles and make them look sharper, but i ended up sticking with this plainer looking version, as I think it fits in with this authoritarian ‘no fun allowed’ feeling. They serve a purpose and have a job, and they don’t need to be fancy or even purposefully imposing, they just need to fulfill their role and do their job. The only curious parts of the towers which make them stand out at all are these strange things with a glowing light on which sit close to the walls. Are they guns, ready to activate and shoot anyone who steps out of line? Are they something less sinister? We never find out, but they are the only thing on the towers which set them apart from any other ordinary tower structure. They are basically a feature which allowed me to add more red lights without going overboard, and in my head were either guns or detachable drones which could be sent out to do some nefarious task to control the population. If I had more time to develop something for my animation it would almost definitely be these towers, and other parts of this 3D worlds, I had SO much fun designing and modelling it. I’m still absolutely in love with this low-poly style! Not only does it look good, I think it was a good choice for this particular story, which is about a video game, and this style is reminiscent of early video game worlds. The styles throughout this animation will alter, with different scenes being 2D and some 3D for example, but there is always something which ties it together in some way. Whether that be the character, or the shape of the world, its objects, the colour… There is always going to be something which keeps the viewer in the world, but hopefully keeps them on their toes as well, and mixes things up as the story progresses!
I rendered a couple of shots without shaders to show how the model was looking in its more naked form – just the modelling itself. I actually really like the way it looks, and kind of want to find a way to fit this in to the animation somewhere – maybe in the ‘dream’ sequence when he is being brainwashed? As a backdrop to when he is falling maybe.. It just has this really cool quality to it that I think looks really cool. The lack of colour looks really powerful in my opinion, and makes the whole thing feel like a ghost of itself, a world that isn’t real. It’s like an architects model, the ones they make for showing to clients, they’re usually all white, from what i’ve seen anyway.
I’m still deciding on the title for this film. I wanted it to be in the ‘alien’ binary/morse code style language that I am using in the film. I’m thinking I want it to be a number. I want it to follow the same rules as the weird language I have created for this film. So it has to be 1’s and 0’s and symmetrical. I was thinking it could be:
Or something of that nature. With or without the commas. A large number would work because it could represent the large number of Pinkguys who are stuck in this violent oppressive system. But I think that really this takes away from the notion that there are an unknown amount – and there could be untold numbers of these poor guys. Really because its a game, and we’re not even sure by the end of the film what’s actually real, there could be infinite numbers of Pinkguys. It is also something that people wouldn’t be able to connect really, and really the title should say something about the film, more than simply a name for the thing. It should represent the film in some way and reflect its content in some way or another.
So i thought the number could be on the door of this room, or the front of his building. And it could be just a nice symmetrical number which represents where he lives. A large number would be good to show that there are a huge amount of Pinkguys who live before him, and because there are plenty more buildings with hundreds more rooms all around him, there are a mind-bogglingly large amount of these poor Pinkguys being used for these violent games. But what number would best represent that?
I was drawn to 101,101. Because it kind of looks like lol,lol. Which is like it’s laughing at something. Like the players laugh when they win and another Pinkguy is brutally killed, but just like real life gamers they don’t care because it’s just game they’re playing. It’s fun. The rules for the language would slightly change, and have a 1 or 0 in the middle, from which symmetrical 1’s and 0’s would sprout out on both sides. And it would serve the same exact purpose and work just the same as before – as a curious language that we the viewer do not understand, but can get get ideas about what is meant as we watch.
Then i thought maybe it could just be 101. Which looks like lol a bit. And also is like room 101, from George Orwells’ 1984, which was an inspiration to my film. Room 101 was the room the main character Winston was sent after being captured and where his will, his mind is finally broken by the thought police. It would be a kind of homage to 1984. Room 101 is a place where people are controlled, similar in a fashion to how the Pinkguys in my film are controlled. There are some thematic similarities which can be drawn that makes me think 101 could be a perfect title for my film.
Anyway that’s what i’m currently drawn to. I think that 101 is the perfect number if i am going to use a number. It’s not set in stone, and doesn’t need to be for ages, but there it is anyway.