The story began one month ago. Dave, project supervisor, called me in the morning, asking if I was interested in doing a Spider-Man 3 package. There were 4 parts to choose from, namely Spider-Man, Spidey's women, Venom and villains. The first three were taken. Err...
The initial idea was to have the 4-in-1 poster in a horizontal format. Spider-Man would be right smack in the middle. Somehow later in the week, it changed to vertical format. No one knew why. On retrospect, maybe it did made more sense to have it vertically. I already had some sketches drawn in the horizontal format.
Spider-Man in the middle was a bit tricky. We had cut him properly so that you'll know that it's still Spidey. Yet, we had to scale him to a better proportion so that he doesn't take up so much space as to divert the attention away from the mini posters.
All the stuff on my page were modeled in 3D using Maya, except Harry's (aka Goblin) face. Harry's face had to be super-imposed onto a body I had to model last minute. Last minute because the movie stills given to us had some resolution and noise issues. The particular still's resolution wasn't high enough and since they are screen stills, they have a tad of film grain. When you apply the motion blur on the model to make it seem like he's flying, it doesn't look too bad.
So where do we get our reference to do our artwork?
We were provided with some movie stills plus some Spidey poses. The rest of the 'guesswork' is based on freezing frames off the high-definition movie trailers easily available on apple.com and of course, the official Spider-Man 3 website. The chances of getting a closer glimpse at goblin's pumpkin bomb is much better from the trailers than from the movie stills. High-definition rocks. Makes me wonder if I should get Spider-Man 3 in Blu-ray when it comes out. I already have the first 2 sequels.
Sandman and goblin's weapons were rendered in Maya and touched up in Photoshop. There's bound to be inaccuracies to the weapons modeled. It's a compromise with the resources we had.
The cityscape background had the lowest resolution. That's because the new computers running on Windows would crash if we render anything above 120dpi. It's sad but at least most of the background is covered anyway. FYI, our paper requires at least 200dpi to print a clear non-pixelated image. Below are some test renders, with the reference photos at the top. If you have the poster, you'll notice that the final cityscape render didn't include the shadows. It was left out because the shadows would crash the computer.
The first week after the meeting was spent planning and changing the layout. Another tricky part of the project is to figure out what composition we had to use. The perspective had to be the same for all 4 spreads. The artwork must be presented on top of it so that it actually blends with the perspective and not look weird. That must be the hardest part in planning.
We then took 2 weeks to pull off the 4 spreads. We had to finish all at the same time so that we can composite everything together to form the big poster. The digital files are huge and Adobe Illustrator keeps crashing and running out of memory. 2gb of RAM is not enough when you're using Windows. I even dare to say that 4gb is not enough because the memory management in that OS just bad.
Working under tight schedule, it's glad to see everything proceed smoothly with the first part coming out on 28th April, Saturday.