Sergio Caires rendered "Rosa" (which is Portuguese for rose) in Lightwave 5.6. He produced the image "to do something different and more interesting, perhaps romantic (to impress girls, LOL). But most of all, I wanted this piece to have a look which traditional artists and ordinary people could appreciate as a work of art."
Sergio Caires lives in London, England, and works on personal projects at home. Sergio studied Art in college, but didn't initially pursue art professionally because he didn't see enough career opportunities for artists. He went back to college for a computing course, and "half way through the course, discovered that Art and computers could be used together." Sergio then started teaching himself 3D graphics, initially using a copy of Impulse's Imagine 3.0, which he got for free on a disk with a magazine. (Editor's note: Some years earlier, Amiga versions of the same Imagine software were used to produce some of Jeremy Birn's earliest 3D animations, such as Pipe Dreams.)
Sergio is now seeking employment. He says he wants "to work in film special effects, because I think it's more challenging due to the total photorealism required. The thought of seeing my work on the big screen sends endorphins rushing through my body." You can see more of Sergio's personal work at www.lightsource-3d.com/gallery, or contact him via e-mail at email@example.com.
Sergio started with his Encyclopedia Britannica for visual reference of the butterfly, but built the rose from memory "just to test myself," and made sketches to test the composition. Sergio tries to "provide a balanced composition, in which the viewer's eye flows around the image in a controlled yet comfortable manner."
All the models in the scene, except for the vase and the background, were created using MetaNURBS. The rose started as a simple flat box, which was then subdivided once and converted into MetaNURBS, then shaped point by point into a petal, and replicated several times. Segio had to make sure the petals didn't intersect, and that no two petals were the same. After the duplication, the result was subdivided once again for the final level of detail. The process of shaping all the petals point by point took 2 days of work.
The scene was rendered using 3 area lights, which Sergio used to create a softer and more realistic image. The background was rendered seperately at a much lower resolution, blurred in Photoshop, and then composited into the rendered image. Sergio textured the butterfly wings with the same original photograph which he had also used as a modeling reference. The rose doesn't use any texture maps.
Rendering the final 2.5K resolution image, with a maximum antialiasing setting, was time consuming, and even the test renders were "a pain" due to the area lights used to light the scene. The image below shows the scene as it looks in Lightwave 3D.