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Making of 537 Bulans Project, Isolation Grief Misery

Hello, My name is Phil, I am from Switzerland, and this is my submission for the 537 Bulan Project competition. A Wau (-Bulan), is a kite especially popular in Malaysia. 537 represents the souls lost in the MH370 and MH17 incidents. The criteria for submissions was to render an image, where such a Wau Bulan holds a prominent position in the image.

Software used: Cinema4D, VRayForC4D, Photoshop


My idea was to create a stifling scene, and place a single person in it flying their kite as a symbol of hope. I had images of a fogy city atmosphere in my mind:

The idea was to portray a feeling of isolation, in the midst of a bustling city. But there would be hope in all of it too. The person flying the kite, trying to escape the smog and fly towards the open skies:

Inspired by another picture, I tried to amplify the feeling on isolation for the viewer of the the image, by putting him in a rather gloomy room, watching the scene from behind grimy windows:

Modeling + Scene setup

Modeling was fairly easy. I started with recreating the room and windows, adding the outside scene, roughly according to the above picture, and a couple of details like the neon sign of the hotel-ish complex in front:

To complete my scene (yellow) I added some library objects (blue), and a couple buildings from the sketchup warehouse (green)

Materials are also rather straight forward. Most are simple textures. The only materials that took some time adjusting is the glass for the window with layers for the mosquito screen and grime on the window, and the other foreground objects like the frames and railing of the balcony outside the window.

Here are the settings and result of the window and frame material:

And the same for the metalwork outside the window:

Lightning + Camera
Light in the scene comes from a VRay Physical Sun and Sky:

I used a VRay physical cam with the following settings:

The rendering settings are as follows:

Final Images


I hope you enjoyed this short making of. Many thanks to the organizers of the competition and to my friend Michel who helped me to write this article. And thanks to my lovely wife, which with endless passion answered all my questions and helped sorting my indecisions. ;)

Saludos, Phil
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