Evolving Artist(ry): One Man, One Tool

by Fred Showker

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Fast and Powerful

When Porsche was launching its Panamera sedan, the company called on O’Riley to produce several eye-catching images for its debut. The artist needed to summon his creativity and imagination for the important project, rather than spending time wrestling with, and potentially having his workflow bogged down by, extremely large data sets; and so, he turned to LightWave 3D to handle the auto maker’s original CAD (computer-aided design) files.

Porsche Panamera sedan

O’Riley recalls

quoting The deadline didn’t allow for creating a new, clean mesh, so I had to pare down the CAD data as much as possible quickly and render it directly, retouching any geometry issues in post ... LightWave’s ability to handle enormous data sets proved critical. The polygon count was enormous, yet LightWave rendered it with seeming ease.
      When deadlines can be measured in mere hours, speed and efficiency are absolutely critical ... Here, again LightWave excels, with a powerful tool set and a refined user interface that allows me to focus all my efforts on the task at hand.
      I’ve worked with other modeling software and it seems that I have to go through more steps or add numerous third-party plug-ins to accomplish the same thing I can achieve in LightWave out of the box ... LightWave has always allowed me to create everything from photorealistic to stylized renders in one all-inclusive package. LightWave has what I need built-in and, with a few tools and good problem-solving, there’s nothing it can’t do. end quote

The artist also considers his 3D software package of choice to be "comparatively light" on system requirements. "I could run it at all on my early, modest computer systems, and now, it’s extremely fast on the latest hardware," O’Riley says. "That speed is essential for tight deadline work where clients can, and will, ask for major revisions at the last possible minute."

Mastering Modifications

Revisions are an essential part of virtually any artistic or production work flow, and especially important in O’Riley’s high-profile work. "The feature that singularly changed and improved my work flow the most has been VPR interactive previews," he says, crediting the Viewport Preview Renderer (VPR) introduced in LightWave version 10.

quoting The ability to see changes almost instantly allows me to refine surfacing, lighting, and other effects to a level that just wasn’t possible when the only preview was a full F9 render ... On tight deadline work, it can mean the difference between making hundreds of small tweaks as opposed to a few tens. The result is a much more refined image that needs little to no retouching in post. end quote

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