Scene Building, Animation Tests & Final Shots

Lighting Tests

To create this advertisement I had to emulate the lighting scenarios that other big brand phone companies use to show their phones which is usually either pure black or pure white backgrounds to prevent the background from being a distraction and to get an accurate simulation of the phones look and feel through to the viewer.

1Vray render – attempt of emulating studio lighting


VRay Render using subtle lighting and glass textures on phone screen.


VRay using HDRI map – consisted of too much grain and took substantially longer to render


Mental Ray Render with a HDRI Map


Mental Ray render – final outcome with studio lighting.

I went through several tests using multiple rendering solutions in 3DsMax, which consisted of Vray and Mental Ray, I used mental ray as a solution after these tests as it was the quickest and most effective at producing a solid colour without blotches or shadows.


Shot 1 – Test Render

Refer to the storyboard in reference of the shot numbers, these are subject to change in the final outcome of the editing as phone advertisements generally cut to the music and the organisation of the shots is likely to change.

Shot 1 Render Test 1

At this point I began adding more depth to the camera as it was blending into the material on the back of the phone, for this I used a free sourced camera lens texture and applied it onto the camera section I previously modelled and used the extrude tool in 3DsMax to add depth to the camera.




I also added arrows and textured buttons to the back of the phone on the volume and power button panel in the middle of the phone, I used the same approach with the camera here and used a free carbon fibre texture to create a textured look to the volume and power buttons.




Up Volume



Shot 1 – Final Render

Shot 1 Final Render

Shot 3 – Test Render

Shot 3 Render Test 1

Shot 3 – Scene Building


To create the darker scenes of the advertisement I disabled the global lighting in 3DsMax to enable a pure black background to allow for light to shine onto highlighted features of the phone.


I then used a spotlight to track along where the camera is moving to allow for a smooth pan of the phone.


Shot 3 – Final Render

Shot 3 Final Render

The outcome of this allowed for shots similar to the Google Pixel phone advertisement I previously researched which is the aesthetic I’m trying to emulate in some shots of this advertisement.

Shot 4 – Test Render

Shot 4 Test 1

Shot 4 – Final Render

Shot 4 Render 1

The same aesthetic style and 3DsMax treatment from shot 3 was applied to the bottom of the phone, highlighting the headphone jack and USB charging connector.

Shot 7 – Test Render

Shot 7 Test 1

Shot 7 – Scene Building


The same technique from shots 3 and 4 were used again to highlight the front side of the phone and create the similar Google Pixel aesthetic needed for the advertisement.

Shot 7 – Final Render

Shot 7 Final Render

Shot 10 – Scene Building


For this scene I needed to emulate the phone dropping into a liquid, for this I set up a UDeflector and disabled the bounce to allow for the simulation to occur and not create any bounce within it.

17I then picked the phone as an Object-Based Deflector so that it’s able to deflect any simulations made to the phone to allow for the phone to chop through the water and create an impact with the surface.


My choice of modifier for this simulation was flex as it didn’t need to be incredibly accurate due to the small duration of the clip in the final animation.




I then changed the vertex weight properties to allow for the surface to be completely equal and to ensure that the flex modifier emulates water in a more accurate way.


This is the outcome from the modifier, the ripples produced by the flex modifier worked for this shot.


I then added the water texture from the materials in 3DsMax to give it more of a reflection and water look.



I experimented with how the phone is shown in water and added sides with the same material to show the phone underwater.



This is the angle I chose after experimentation to show the phone hitting the surface of the water and floating around in the water with the ripples around it, the view showing under the surface didn’t fit in with the aesthetic I was going for in the advertisement.

Shot 10 – Final Render

Shot 10 Final Render

Shot 11 – Test Render (Water Resistant Guards)

This shots purpose is to show the viewer what enables the phone to be water resistant with the idea of pushing a slider and blocking the headphone jack and USB port to ensure that water is unable to get into the phone.

Shot 11 Test 1

This was an experimental render to see how the sliders might work and to see how I can show this to a viewer.

Shot 11 – Scene Building (Water Resistant Guards)


To make this mechanism I used the quick slice tool to extrude a portion of the phone to allow for a place for the slider to fit in.


I then put in a slider using a plane and used the same technique for the protection of both the headphone jack and USB port and applied a mesh material similar to that on the back of the phone volume rocker to add to its overall look. I keyframed the slider and protectors for the headphone and USB port to allow for them to move at the same time to give the impression that the slider is allowing for this action.

Shot 11 – Final Render (Water Resistant Guards)

Shot 11 Final Render

Rain Drops Shot – Scene Building


For the raindrops scene I needed to use Particle View to create water droplets running down the phone and raindrops that are still on the phone.


I disabled the speed, rotation and shape modifiers in this section as they weren’t needed at the time and I added the Position Object modifier to be able to tell the simulation where it needs to be placed which in this case was the phone.


I changed the display type to circles to allow for a more accurate image of a raindrop instead of just using ticks.


I then used the Speed By Surface parameter to allow for the particles to select a speed based on the surface of the object.


Gravity was added to the parameters to allow for the particles to be affected in a more accurate way.


I added wind for the same reason as gravity, allowing the simulation to be a more accurate representation of drops falling off of a phone screen.39

I added several parameters, one that allowed for the spawning of objects in the simulation and to affect when and at what rate they disappear from the screen and another parameter that purely focuses on the look of the rain drops.


This was the outcome of the overall look from the simulation I made using Particle Flow.


These are the parameters I used to create it in total, I added a material texture to the overall simulation to create the water look that needs to be present in the shot.





Rain Drops Shot – Full Frame – Render Tests

RainDrops Full Frame Test 1

This is a render test of the simulation that I created from this process.

RainDrops Full Frame Test 2

I experimented with the composition of the shot and how the camera was going to interact with the scene, after this shot I chose to stick with a still shot of the simulation to make the water droplets more significant than the camera, the camera seemed to interfere with what I wanted to show during this shot.

Rain Drops Shot – Full Frame – Final Render

RainDrops Full Frame Final Render

This is the final outcome of the process, some of the water droplets don’t completely sync up to where the phone actually is because of the angle of the phone but is a very small problem when it comes to the final animation and cutting footage together as this shot isn’t used for a very long time.

Rain Drops Shot – Close up – Final Render

RainDrops Close up Final Render

From the process above I created another shot of this from a close up angle to use as something to switch between in the final animation.

Levitating Water – Scene Building


This scenes purpose is based on the ideology of levitating water which I previously researched, the purpose of the animation is to show the water bouncing to and from the top of the scene and the bottom of the scene to create the illusion of levitating water, similar to that of the real effect of levitating water.


I used Spray to create an array of particles to fall from a certain point and used particle flow to tweak the settings of this simulation similar to how I created the rain look in the previous water simulation.


I created and placed a deflector at the base of the phone to allow for the particles to fall down from the beginning of the simulation and bounce back up to the source.


I then added a second deflector that would allow for the simulation to bounce off of the source and create a loop of particles bouncing from the top of the frame to the phone screen at the bottom of the frame endlessly.



I then added the same parameters from the rain drop scene to allow for rain drops to be placed on the phone screen at the same time to give the illusion that the water particles in the scene are affecting the phone screen.




I changed the birth parameters to allow for the emitting of the rain drops to come in based on when the levitating water intensifies, the simulation doesn’t start until 150 frames into the animation so the Emit Start is 150 and the Emit Stop is 500 at the end of the simulation creating the effect of the rain drops hitting the screen.



This was the final outcome from the process.

Levitating Water – Render Tests

Levitating Water render Test 1

I experimented with the lighting scenarios as I wanted the water to be as clear as possible during the simulation and tried using a complete black background similar to the light pan shots I produced earlier, this caused the problem of flickering which occurs due to the light hitting the particles at different times and creating more of a glitter effect than rain.

Levitating water render test 2

I switched back to a white background allowing for the rain to be more accurately shown through the render.

Levitating Water – Final Render

Levitating Water Final Render

This is the final outcome of the process.



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