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Temporal retrospection
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Temporal retrospection

Michele Frattini
by MicheleFrattini on 26 May 2023 for Rookie Awards 2023

A shot representing the famous Tiger II tank and my personal showreel video that includes some of my previous artworks.

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In situation of total madness, man is capable of creating frightening machines.

I wanted to recreate this scenario representing one of the most incredible tank ever made in the past. 

The Tiger II, also known as the King Tiger or Tiger II Ausf. B, was a formidable armored vehicle utilized by German forces during World War II. It was renowned for its exceptional armor protection, with heavily fortified frontal and turret plates that proved difficult to penetrate. Weighting approximately 70 tons, this tank had immense size and power.
Equipped with an 8.8 cm KwK 43 L/71 gun as its primary armament, the Tiger II had the capability to engage targets from significant distances. It also featured secondary armaments such as machine guns to engage infantry and lighter vehicles.

My main goal was to accurately model and texture the Tiger II close to the original version, then place it in an ambush war scenario, aiming to make the shot as realistic and creative as possible.

Below you will find some in-production studies.

I started modeling using the Tiger II reference from a blueprint and I ended up with this version full Uv packed and ready to be rendered in OpenSubdiv.

During this process, my aim was to fulfil as close as possible the design of the original model, trying not to overlook any elements.

Here some modeling references that I took

During the shading process I choose the Ambush-pattern Dunkelbraun; 

This camouflage was designed and utilized by the German military during the war and used almost nowdays. 

The pattern features a combination of dark brown, black, and olive green colors arranged in irregular shapes and blotches. The intention behind this design is to provide effective concealment in various environments, such as forests and wooded areas.

For this shader I took a lot of inspiration from how tank diorama models are painted; I started by hand-drawing a 3-color pattern and defining the various materials. 

Then, I opted for a worn and dusty look, aiming to highlight the paint wear and dirt on different mechanical parts. 

I put a lot of effort into working on the diffuse and roughness maps to achieve the desired effect.

I decided to use the MG-42 on my vehicle to make it even more formidable, even though historically the 1934 version was mounted.

The MG-42 is an iconic and revolutionary weapon, known for its exceptional performance within its category. Firing 7.62x57mm ammunition at a rate of 1500 rounds per minute, it completely revolutionized the concept of a heavy machine gun. With a range of up to 2000 meters, it was effectively utilized as a mortar, delivering suppressive bursts of fire towards enemy troops.

To recreate the forest scene, I firstly positioned the camera as if it were a soldier taking the picture. Then I set up a temporary key light and I began placing the vegetation previously created. 

Usually, at this point, I continue to experiment with different elements such as lighting, fog, and the plants placement in the scene until I achieve a result that satisfies me.

Here you can see the various renders and post-production experiments I conducted to determine the right direction and mood to follow.

In these final versions, I chose to make the fog minimally visible, simulating a kind of early morning dawn effect.

                                                                                 Final shot

In my opinion each project offers the opportunity to grow as a person, allowing me to face challenges and surpass my previous limits. The satisfaction of seeing an idea come to life and being able to communicate stories through pixels is an unparalled experience, and this is what always takes me to improve.

                                Here my showreel with various projects that I've done:


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