The idea of making this picture comes from an old admiration of the first stereo hifi household who since childhood have always fascinated me aesthetically, but also surprised at how much power could be resulted from these "monsters" metal of high fidelity. equipment once objects of pride, those who today are now considered almost antique pieces or more elegantly "vintage" memory of a time that is gone now.
The feeling that I wanted to give with this picture was like an old, dated, but still strong, and that despite his age is still alive and full of vigor. I passed the purchase of some valves at a electronics fair, I did not know there was a market for "collectors" who love to share many of these valves as were the figurines. admired not only for their curious shape, but also by the beauty resulted also by their constructional complexity.
From there I modeled one by one the vaccum tubes that I bought, also taking a cue from the various photos of models that could be found on the net, trying to choose the most representative ones, the ones that struck aesthetically better off trying to avoid more "simple-minded" and uninteresting.
I used 3DS MAX software, software that i used for several years in my work, and i choose VRAY like rendering engine, as it gets appreciated for its flexibility and power. AFTER EFFECT to the correct color, and finally PHOTOSHOP for the correction of equipment up and the addition of the last elements
Once I have base molded valves 6 different mixing the different internal and external components to create ever-changing mix and avoiding as much as possible to not make out too repetitive. I also simulated wear valves bringing various gradients on the glass to simulate stains due to heat caused by the frequent use.
just made this are passed to the creation of a core composed initially of a sphere and from there I started to prepare the composition. First placing the valves on the surface, arranging the pivot of rotation to the center of the sphere so as to facilitate their position on the surface thereof. Trying visually composing the most visually appropriate, although I still have an idea of what I wanted I am moved to create a schema without entrusting much too hard to experimentation with various poses. Once you have placed all the valves, the scene slowly began to grow heavy and slow from the performance point of view of the viewport, forcing me to divide the scene into different layers that I switched off and lit on the basis of need, I also set a display type "bounding box "to the internal components of the valve as it is very complex.
the composition of the scene I are dedicated to the realization of the core, trying to close in a rather chaotic all the spaces which were between the valves, so as to create a vortical complexity, all to suggest the presence of a complex apparatus though of old technology, because I have consciously limited to use relatively old elements even used today. (RCA, JACK cables, capacitors, electrolytic and ceramic).
Once the modeling I had to find a look, a personality color. With this in mind I decided to make this "heart" being overworked and overloaded, because this choice would lead me to create valves glowing warm colors and cold colors from electric shock, a variety of colors that would no doubt have given "life" both visually but also dynamically.
I chose to use V-Ray for the materials, lights and rendering. I feel very comfortable using it as I find it's very flexible and powerful. First, to assign materials and textures, I unwrapped all the pieces and painted them to create a black and white mask that could simulate the wear of the materials
Lightning strikes were created using simple spline basis with a modifier to simulate the random noise and a Vray Light Material material for "turn them on" and make them better participate in the reflection of materials. For the smoke i have used 2 plane mapped with smoke texture on alpha channel, then bended and fitted between the valves, i have choose that way for make it visible also in reflection.
The render was then splitted into various passes like BEAUTY - ID - DIRT - AO and saved in the OpenEXR adopting linear workflow.
The first precomp was done in After Effects as I find it very convenient to adopt the plugin "MAGIC BULLET 2 colorist to do color correct.. After that the image has been completed in PHOTOSHOP for the correction of equipment to the pixel of the image, cleaning small errors, insertions hand of strokes of light and the addition of the lightning with its glow.