I’m with candles since a couple of years ago. They are simply fascinating.
A very dear friend of mine told me when he first saw my Advent scene that he found them quite erotic. Because of the shades, the light through the melted wax, the sweat of the heat and, of course, because of the organic shapes.
Shapes in candles are so unpredictable… You never know.
I remember myself modeling the Advent scene and thinking: -Well, Juan Antonio, maybe they are not enough accurate. Maybe they are too fanciful… Maybe people are going to reject them because they simply don’t accept their shape…
I didn’t knew a simply word about them ;)
Now I know they can adopt any shape they want. Because they are completely free. They are wax flesh and soul in just one being.
They can be so romantic, so spiritual, so homey. And so melancholic, too.
They can create a silent atmosphere around us. They can make the time go a bit slower. They can warm up the place. They invite us to meditate.
I do think we are losing our bound with the Sacred world by not using them anymore. I think we should go back to candles, even if it’s only eventually, from time to time.
A few days ago I was, actually, in Madrid, visiting with a couple of friends and my younger brother the Prado Museum. There is a stunning Georges de La Tour exhibition these days. He is, for me, the Master of masters when candles are concerned. A Kung Fu Master, no doubt.
I think if we (as 3D artists) are obssessed these days with lighting, shading and sub surface scattering stuff, we should pay more attention to his work.
So I’m going back to candles, to the primitive world, through my 3D work, as I find them so inspiring.
This is my first attempt to a freshly blew out candle, with some smoke still dancing and waving over it, gently.
You can click the image to see it with best resolution in my gallery.
Behind the scenes. The smoke settings
You can see here the mesh of the scene with a clay render. I've realized I prefer best clay renders to ambient occlusion ones. They are simply more beautiful. So you better get used to them, here ;)
It has been a total challenge, specially the waving smoke. You can see here my simple nodes settings for this shade.
I came through this after so many attempts with the smoke and fire system in Blender. They are good for big fires and clouds. For explosions. But it’s too difficult to get the tiny smoke of a candle. So I decided to model it by myself and try to play with volumetrics.
Using the Fresnel node to mix volume scatter with transparency allows me to control the sharpeness of the smoke line.