Hi-Res Countdown

Recently, I gave my model of the Countdown clock a revisit to meddle with its animation. With that, I thought it rude not to give the whole set an overhaul.

It wasn’t really much in the way of reshaping or remodelling elements; the vast majority of it was achieved by modifying textures – some of which hung around for years, much longer than they should have – and lighting. I referred, quite slavishly, to screenshots from a recent episode to create a more authentic setup.

It does rather reinforce just how much a model (or set, for that matter) depends on lighting. The build is mostly the same, yet it’s night and day. I suppose braving the higher resolutions – and resigning myself to the longer render times – helps in the long run. Thank god for Muckluck and his Broken Sword playthroughs, is all I can say.

And here’s the impetus for the whole thing, a render of everyone’s favourite clock running:

Apparently, the new clock (in place since 2013) runs at 29.5 seconds, not 30, so I reworked it accordingly to see if it made a visible difference. I’ll let you decide…

If you were to take a look back at my first attempt from January last year, I hope you’d agree that there’s a significant improvement. I’m pleased with this particular upgrade. Onward, and upward.

Countdown, and indeed Channel 4 itself, will celebrate its fortieth birthday on 2nd November. Not long now – the countdown has started!

  1. This is fabulous, Jay. The new lighting tweaks and textures made a massive difference in this one, especially the clock lights, I’ve noticed they are brighter and have more of a shadow(?) in between each one, giving it that realistic look. The circle podium texture looks a lot slicker now. Very refreshing to see! Genuinely could go on and on about how good this is and all the details but I must let other people have a say too 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jacob said:

      Thanks very much, Brandin! Yes, I made the clock lights brighter based on a recent reference image. I had been meaning to update the centre circle for ages – the old texture is from 2011, before I even started working in 3D. It does look so much better now. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Brandin said:

    Hi, Jay. would I be able to have the texture used in the centre circle?


  3. Lenny said:

    Hi, fantastic work, congrats on making all these countdown sets!
    I’m putting together a video about countdown and the algorithms for solving the games, and these are the only “empty” images of the recent set I could find.
    Would it be ok for me to use these in my video please? (Of course with credits and a link to this post)


    • Jacob said:

      Thanks! Sure, feel free to use them. 🙂


      • Lenny said:

        Awesome, thank you so much!

        Liked by 1 person

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