Hand holding magazine with bitcoin monster cover on the front of the magazine
Hand holding magazine with bitcoin monster cover on the front of the magazine
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Bitcoin Monster Development Arc

This case study is based around a project done for my 3D modeling class.

Background

The goal of this project was to conceptualize a magazine cover that will work in tandem with a 3d render. This was supposed to be based off of a real article, ideally utilizing a publisher that produces physical print as this would be completed as a physical magazine cover.

Conceptualization

The article I chose to run with was one that was published through The Verge. If you aren’t aware, the verge DOESN’T produce any physical print.  This is the initial article that inspired the design as well as direction of the magazine cover.  After some brainstorming and sketching, the idea I went forward with was essentially a “power-hungry bitcoin monster”. The idea initially began as a GPU monster, however I felt it would fit much more if Bitcoin was the monster itself. The monster would be made out of a stack of skewed and displaced Bitcoin’s. The scene would have the monster on a dinner table, appearing to eat a computers power supply on a nice little plate. This scene would than be coated in a clay semi-subtle clay texture. This was a design I personally thought would appear really well and add a sense of playfulness to a scene that might otherwise appear much more aggressive.

Creation

Now, due to The Verge not having a physical magazine,  I would need to design not only the render, but the cover itself. For me, this wasn’t much of an issue, as they provide a styleguide that was a good basis for how the cover was to be designed. After a few iterations, as well as some tinkering, I had come to a fairly solid cover design. This would most likely not have gone as fluid without the styleguide being available, as it saved plenty of time in areas that I could have spent hours on. Next, was the render. I wanted this to appear playful as well as a bit mean as It is supposed to be a monster. I achieved this look through giving the monster a bit of an aggressive look. I balanced the aggression with the use of a playful and subtle clay texture. The overall modeling process incorporated a lot of splines that were created in illustrator. This was mainly the case with the power supply as it appeared to be the smartest way I could do it. Looking back at it, I could’ve done this cleaner as the geometry was pretty insane on parts of the power supply, but overall the process worked really well. The only problems were with the incredibly complex areas with 500 holes poking through the surface.

Compilation

After finalizing the render I only had one thing left to do, bring it all together. The hardest part about this was adjusting the type, as the model only allowed a small portion of vertical space where text wouldn’t be intrusive to the render. After a few hours of tinkering with different type treatements, fonts, and layouts, I came to a point where I was very happy. A big problem I was having was with the font I had chosen to use, Helfita Sans Serif. This way I was orienting my type made it really difficult to evenly space, as I was increasing the fonts size for certain characters in the hierarchy. After a bit of elbow grease, I had gotten the type treatment I was looking for. A bit of a final touch was part of the monster protruding into the foreground atop some of the lettering. This also took some tweaking of the types positioning, as I didn’t want to totally diminish the phrases readability. In the end, it came out very tastefully and I’m incredibly pleased with it.

Final Product

Once it all came together, it truly looked really astonishing. The render and cover I felt had a pretty good chemistry, and the type in my eyes really sealed the deal. The overall process took around 7 weeks, as it was done in stages within my 3D modeling class. This was overall an incredibly enjoyable and fun process. For an intro to 3D modeling, I learned a ton throughout this project. This taste of 3D modeling had sparked a very strong interest in it, as beforehand I was thoroughly intimidated by the software and some of its complexities. That quickly changed throughout this course and now I can’t wait to further my knowledge.