Working for Six-Log was a great opportunity for me to delve a little deeper in Cinema4D. Six-Log wanted a video that described the company’s purpose and how their sterilization process works. This would involve showing their Pod sterilizing different environments.

Top: Pushing into the Pod nozzle. Bottom: At the molecular level hydrogen passes through the electrified arc.

I worked with Conscious Minds producer Blake Heal to brainstorm the story from beginning to end. We decided to take the viewer on a journey through the Six-Log logo into a sterile environment where each of the environments is described. Local story-board artist, Lauren Cray, sketched our ideas to be presented to Six-Log (thanks Lauren!).

After Six-Log approved our concept the first challenge was to figure out how to create all of the 3D elements required. I haven’t had much experience in 3D modeling, so I started with the simple shape of the Pod. The Pod can easily be broken down into the different primitives it is made of, but after trying to “glue” these shapes together, the seams looked really sloppy and I realized this wasn’t the best way to create this model.

I had to over again from scratch using the box modeling technique — taking a basic shape (a cube in this case) and pulling out and pushing in the polygons I needed. This helped keep the polygon count low which I quickly learned is one of the most important challenges of 3D modeling. After smoothing out the extruded polygons (using hypernurbs with custom settings for each edge — for those of you that know what I’m talking about) I finally had the model of the Pod I was satisfied with.

Every surface had to be identified and swapped out for a different material. Whew!

I realized the constraints of this project weren’t going to allow me to make an unique model for each of the environments, so I turned to Google Sketch-Up to see if I could assemble what I needed from some stock models. I was able to find more or less everything required, the challenge was in replacing all of the original textures with my own. I created a set of materials with ambient occlusion (a lighting technique that applies universal soft-shadows to surfaces) and began to swap these in for all of the old materials on the imported models. Some stock elements — such as the ambulance — had hundreds of layers to search through in order to find the right selection to swap out.

Airplane sequence, concept to final.

As the piece was finally coming together, Six-Log came up with some changes they believed would help communicate their message better. We worked together to figure out how to incorporate these into the final animation. In the end, the Six-Log team said they absolutely loved their finished video. I was fortunate to have a project that allowed me to stretch my skills and learn while still creating a piece that the client was happy with.