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The mind of a child

Posted on 19 October, 2013

Watching my 5 year-old son play one day outside, brought to remembrance an image I had from my childhood. My mother told me of a neighbour’s boy they had seen one day acting out his fantasies of being Superman. It was the mid-1950s and probably Superman cartoons were all the rage on television.

I decided to try to capture that moment of a little boy with his mother’s kitchen towel around his neck and a borrowed kitchen chair. In the mind of a child he could fly! Of course the image is filled with symbolism of flight – the sheets blowing in the wind, the dandelion and the toy aeroplane.

Technical Aspects: The tricycle to the right was modelled in Rhino3D from my wife’s tricycle that she rode as a child in the 1950s. The tin toy aeroplane was based on a real collectors item from the 1950 that I saw in a toy museum recently. Even the chair is modelled on the chairs we had in out kitchen in the mid-1960s. Rhino3D 2.0 was used to model all items including the fence, washline, kitchen towel/cape and the sheets. XFrog 3.5 was used to model the dandelion, but the individual seeds were created with a combination of Rhino3D and Bryce primitives. The grass between the paving stones and the weeds against the fence were created with Bantam 3D’s Grass a marvellous little utility. The child was created in Poser 4 with DAZ3D’s Millenium Preschool Boy and Clothing Pack. His hair is a heavily modified Wedge Cut hair from DAZ3D.

All objects were exported into Bryce 5 and a combination of scanned textures and procedural materials used on various items. Apart from the sun, a single radial light was placed as a filler behind the child and a second spotlight used to highlight the child’s face. Bryce 5’s Depth of Field feature was used to add depth to the image before bringing it into Corel PhotoPaint 10. a slight Gaussian Blur and Desaturation was used to create the look of a 1950s photograph and a vignette effect used finally. No other post-production work was done.