So in modeling terms the painting perhaps is a joke. It’s just a simple plane with a alpha map attach to it. But I made a lot of paintings before i choose the final one. I used different cloth animations, rips, cuts, you name it. I tried everything out, but it was just getting away the attention from the scene, and even worse, it was not showing the actual content of the painting. The painting itself is in this way the important piece. The Harbor that you see on the painting is in this story, the actual home of Lucas. They live just a few miles away from the harbor and they were there almost every day. Lucas was so longing to get home so fast to be in that harbor. There were many of his father’s ships docked in this harbor. There were so many histories in here, and that’s why I wanted to keep the essence of the painting up and just leave it like it. Sometimes less is more if it’s needed in the storyline.
The Wooden Supports
I have heard on forums that people were saying. The walls are too thin; the door is ripped out somebody's living room. I had written an article about how all most everything came from real ship reference. The door in this story is just plain fun. I got this reference from a ship that was totally made out of metal, but the captain’s hut had this wooden door. That is the door I used for the scene.
The wooden supports on the ceiling and above the painting of the cabinet came from a living room, but that is just an artistic vision. If i had my own ship, i would do with it whatever I wanted to do with it, and in theory everything is possible on a ship. If you see footage from the titanic without seeing the movie, you would not now that all this materials could be on a ship. Anything is possible when it comes to making stuff that is different from the usual.
In my original idea was a character that was somehow shocked by what was happening in the scene. But not that he is running away or perhaps screaming. He is in that point of time where the awareness of a man is coming up. Something unusual is happening and you have about 2, 3 seconds that nothing is happening, the first reaction is somewhat a slow reaction, it’s more of a reflex. I positioned Lucas at that stage of time.
There were people that found the stance of Lucas weird, even when it was right. But I tried it out for myself; I own the coat Lucas is wearing. I put on the “Lucas “costume and performed the act as it was happening to me. I took several photographs from this action and tried to keep that essence. I felt that it was supposed to be like this.
People are 90 % of the time focused on the “ human “ form, and often think it’s the most important in a whole picture. If you have a movie scene that is without a character, you are watching everything in the scene, the whole environment looking for something that grabs you attention. When you have the same shot with a character and he is very present, you miss out 70% of the environment, being too focused on the character. Great illusionists use this behavior in their favor to perform moves no one thought to be possible.
Lucas had to be a guy that is more an object of the scene than a human overtaking the scenery. The title of this image is also called, the chamber of oceans. Therefore it’s about the chamber and not about Lucas being in the chamber.
I had never really modeled a human character before. I tried out some head modeling, but that was it. I found it too hard to recreate a real human being. We are too familiar with the forms of humans. I am also not the best drawer or anatomy or human faces. I wanted this to work, so i let my wife shoot about 100 photographs of me, I bought a small mirror to put in front of me while modeling and started doing the job. Zbrush also got its part in this process; it’s a small one, but a good one. I also used zbrush to fix the seams for the texture of Lucas.
What about the bandage Lucas has over his eyes in a lot of work in progress shots. Well, in the original story Lucas lost his sight, and needed to wear bandage for safety, I actually made some real bandage and made some stains with dirt and, used jelly to make some blood stains on it and used this as a reference. Nobody liked the whole idea around the bandage, so somewhere in the project i just stopped to further work this out. I never made the eyes of Lucas, because this was not necessary for the shot.
It took me a long time to finish Lucas. Personally I'm thinking it was worth it. In the sunflower fountain I had a small easter egg. The dvd collection on the shelf, which contained a lot of my inspiration sources for being creative. The chamber of oceans also has an easter egg. The Easter egg of the chamber of oceans is the sign on the back of Lucas. This is the same emblem of the jacket of Ryo Hazuki from one of the most expensive games of all times.
Shenmue - Shenmue is still an inspiration to me and I think to a lot of people. It’s about a young chinese guy who lost his father but wants revenge. In this world he is seeking for the murderer of his father and he can do all most everything. Knock on every door in the village, talk to everybody. This game lost a lot of money because Sega had troubles with the marketing of the dreamcast, so this is why Shenmue didn't get the attention that it deserved. I think that Yu Suzuki is one of the greatest game designers of all time and saga is one of my favorite game makers (currently publisher). This is why I wanted to put in that emblem.