Should I stay or should I go?
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Should I stay or should I go?

I decided to pay a little tribute to the Byers brothers' bond, so here's my 3D model of the emblematic Panasonic boombox the family owns.

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Update - 30 Dec 2021


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Update - 30 Dec 2021

Lights, cameras... render!

After a lot of trial and error with different lights, HDRI's and some attempts at volumetric lighting I ended up with the next setup.

A total of eight area lights were used for both wide and close-up shots, then edited in Photoshop.


Update - 30 Dec 2021

A coat of paint

Since more time had passed in these alternate version of the events, I went into the texturing process knowing my Panasonic was going to look worse for wear. Almost every element was textured using Substance Painter except for the two different glass materials and the tuning info. The first ones were done directly in Maya, while I used Photoshop to recreate the latter.

Here's a side-by-side comparison.

Then it came the time to give it a try in the intended setup with additional lighting I'll break down in my next entry.


Update - 30 Dec 2021

Setting up the scene

So here's the part when I started taking some liberties. I knew right off the bat which elements from the original scene I wanted to keep - the gritty, newspaper covered hideout kind of feel.  However, I wondered what happened after. Did someone clean that basement up once the chaos was over? Were the cardboards and sheets taken down, the boombox ever retrieved? After all, the show seldom offers a moment of reprieve. So I made up this lost and found situation in my mind, that moment after the dust has settled down and someone steps a foot into the room again for the first time since that scene. 

After figuring out the blocking and adding a blanket to resemble the original shot I did some early lighting tests using basic materials.

From early on I knew I was sticking with the classic orange-teal look the show regularly uses. That helped me decide on the light combinations and colors aside from those set originally by the object.


Update - 30 Dec 2021

From the ground up

Here's the complete modeling proccess. There were some tricky parts that took some effort and several tries to get right.

Some detailed elements and wireframe shots:


Update - 29 Dec 2021

The subject


When I first learned about the contest I started pondering over what I could do having just picked up Maya and modeling overall a couple of months back. I wanted to find the right balance between what I knew I could pull off so I wouldn't end up completely stuck, and just enough things I'd never done before hoping this would help me navigate further through these tools.

At the time, it had been a while since I binged Stranger Things. Searching through ideas off the top of my head I stumbled upon this one scene from season 2 where Jonathan Byers's trying to reach out to Will and beyond the Mind flayer's control using music. The idea clicked, which led me to the next step.

References

That moment can be found almost at the end of S2E08 - The Mind Flayer.  I revisited the episode, trying to learn the specifics of the object and grasp the general feel of the scene. 

I also collected a good amount of pictures of the model - The Panasonic RX 5090 - in order to keep the the resemblance.


Update - 29 Dec 2021

Hi, everyone! This is my entry for the Netflix & Skill - Stranger Things contest. I'll do my best to sum up the proccess behind recreating one of the most iconic items from season 2 of the show - the Byers' Panasonic boombox.