Making of Elcanoby Dario Lanza Web: www.dariolanza.com
In this making of I will try to describe the steps of the creation of the Elcano illustration, because it represents an interesting example of 2D and 3D techniques combination. It was a job for El Mundo Magazine. They needed to illustrate an historic event happened on the Juan Sebastian Elcano sailing ship in the 60s.
Some decades later, the ship was remodeled and reconstructed, changing its shape significantly. That's why a current photograph couldn't represent the look of the ship in that decade. And this was the reason for thinking about making it in 3D, trying to represent it as near as the original look as it could be possible.
My intention when I started working on it was to achieve the freshness and brightness of the opensea, almost letting us to “hear the waves”.
The main problem was the short graphic documentation, just a handful of current and past photographs, but unfortunatly no blueprints of the ship were avaiable, or were confidential.
Nevertheless, the site of the Spanish Navy offered some useful information, like an sketch of the ship showing the distribution and the name of every sail, making me easier the organization tasks.
I used Lightwave for modeling and rendering, and Photoshop for textures preparation and render postproduction.
For the hull, I used a Patches approach, also called Spline Modeling, drawing the main outlines, and generating the surfaces from them.
The Lightwave Subpatch mode allows me to create smooth surfaces with very few polygons, what a great advantage in this kind of models. This image shows how some parts must be subdivide to let them being drilled by Booleans.
After the construction of the rest of the elements and small details of the deck, the hull was finished.
Masts, Sails and Loads of Ropes
Another big problem was the sails. At a first glance, I thought about using cloth dynamics for simulating the deformation of the sails blown up by the wind, but finally I decided – and I still think I was right – to model each and every sail just like I wanted them to be, allowing me to reach
the desired results with less effort and time.
For each sail, I subdivided a polygon and worked it in Subpatch mode, looking for the desired shape.