Beyond just characters, the very first ICCLs had backgrounds made of vectors as well.
Althought I later re-made all the first strips, you can still see strips in the archive made in
3 different 3D packages: 3D Studio R4 (until chapter VI), 3D Studio Max 2 (from VI to XXVI) and
Maya 8 (from XXVI on).
Background modeling takes from a day to weeks, depending on the complexity
of the model. Naturally I add more detail to the
ones I frequently use, such as Simon's and Deirdre's office.
For some panels, I have the exact layout in my head, for others I don't.
Hence I have to play around with the cameras until I get it right.
The script for this panel tells us we're in the the bar and the bartender
is talking to the other characters. So I'll point the camera in his general
direction. I think I'll have Simon and Deirdre sit there with their backs
towards the camera. So, the final rendered panel looks like this:
The picture above is at it's native size. The panels have a maximum
width of 630 as there's 5 px of black border in the final strip.
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