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© Ines Dga
© Ines Dga

Coldplay and Corona Renderer: Student competition winner interviewed

Ines Dga’s atmospheric Corona Renderer for 3ds Max piece attracted thousands of likes on social media—and won the public vote in our student rendering challenge. 

Coldplay superfan Ines Dga’s “Head Full of Dreams” attracted almost 3,000 votes in our Illumination student rendering contest. The piece, which depicts Coldplay singer Chris Martin’s piano, accurately captures the intoxicating atmosphere a live performance, with clever lighting directing the viewer and making them feel as if they’re on stage.

We caught up with Ines to talk about how Corona Renderer for 3ds Max’s LightMix helped her create this evocative and soulful piece.

"Illumination"—Public Winner

© Ines Dga

Ines’ judicious use of light combined with clever composition has created an eye-catching and poignant render. We can’t wait to see more from this talented artist.”

Lon Grohs, Head of Creative, Chaos

About Ines Dga

Ines is a 3D artist, interior designer, PhD student in design theories at the Institut Supérieur des Beaux-Arts de Sousse and a make-up artist.

As a child, Ines was attracted to all types of graphics and visual arts and began her career path at the university of fine arts. While studying interior design, she discovered the 3D world through SketchUp and then 3ds Max, and went on to improve her skills and learn more about quality rendering at the Illuminance 3D school.

Why did you decide to enter the challenge?  

When I saw the Illumination challenge and the main task, which was about experimenting with lighting, I thought, “why not participate with my project ‘Head Full of Dreams?’” It has been already liked, shared and featured on the official Corona Renderer pages. It also won the editor’s choice on Evermotion.

The project was created a few months before the challenge was announced, but my work clearly represented the theme and I was excited and curious to share my project in such an important international contest. It was the first time I wanted to take a step out of my comfort zone and get my work seen and evaluated by professional judges. 

© Ines Dga

You won the public’s vote on our Facebook page with nearly 3,000 likes/reactions and ranked second in the jury vote. What do you think was the biggest win for you? 

First, I want to thank all those who were there for me with support and admiration for my work with encouraging comments, texts and calls.

However, I think my biggest win was that my project “A Head Full of Dreams” was selected among the twelve talented finalists from around the world. This allowed me to take a step towards the international level. It was a pleasure to discover lovely people who respect art and support one another.

What was your entry, "A Head Full of Dreams," inspired by? 

I try to work with realistic references so my entry was made to express my huge love for the band Coldplay and their magical performances.

One day, I was listening to their song “In My Place” and I was thinking that I never had the chance to take part in any performance; I felt like I wanted to be there but it seemed even harder now with everything happening around the world, such as the pandemic and quarantines.

Music is my source of inspiration, another way to express myself, my emotions, it helps me look at the world from a different perspective. When it comes to styles, I want to try my hand at absolutely everything! I love projects that bring me more opportunities for experimentation and more space for creativity.

© Ines Dga

Our jury admired your storytelling skills. Could you share a bit about the story you wanted to tell for our readers? 

Last year was a very hard one, I was almost depressed, lost and desperate; I chose the 3D world to run away from all of this. When I was creating my most recent personal 3D projects, including “A Head Full of Dreams,” I tried to express different feelings. 

The biggest challenge in the whole process was to maintain patience and perseverance. I created this project full of love and passion far from my anxiety and depression—a virtual colourful world full of dreams. The project is dedicated to all Coldplay fans so they can feel the excitement and passion of an amazing concert.

Like I said, I wanted to share my love as a huge fan of them. At the same time, I wanted to give those who are passing through a bad moment a chance to live a very colorful dream and be there virtually for those, like me, who have never been there before.

How did you create the piano? Did you use any reference images from Coldplay’s ‘A Head Full of Dreams Tour’?  

Usually, I start my process with extensive research. I like to get my mind completely wrapped around one project and make it grow, let my imagination run wild and immerse myself in worlds of fantasy, myths and science fiction. I have also always been attracted to history and archaeology. 

At the beginning, there was only the piano, which is the most important instrument in Coldplay tours. I knew I wanted to do something unusual from the start. I went through concerts, tours and instruments, watching videos and searching for every detail. In the end, I landed on the unique colorful aesthetic of Coldplay concerts and the piano was the key to the main idea.

I used Corona Renderer’s LightMix to achieve a nice realistic result."

Ines Dga, Student Rendering Competition Winner

With this year’s theme, we’re giving special attention to lighting. Could you tell us about lighting this piece? 

I wanted to merge the light and the darkness, the fresh colors and the black instruments, the dreamy foggy mood and the clear parts, so I tried to find a stylized composition of light and mix all this together.

It definitely was not an easy task. I used Corona Renderer’s LightMix to achieve a nice realistic result.

Working on this project, what did you find was most challenging? 

The whole project was one big challenge, from designing the space itself to providing a realistic lighting look.

Actually, getting the light mix right was my main difficulty. The dreamy foggy mood and the nice color combination were not easy. Moreover, in addition to lighting, it was necessary to observe the composition and location of each object in real life. I spent a lot of my spare time working on this project, looking for photos, watching various concerts of the band and listening to their music.

In the process, my teacher, Amir Cherni, supported me a lot. I was able to overcome many problems thanks to his help!

© Ines Dga

Were there any Corona features that you found handy to achieve the look and feel you were going for?

This work was done with 3ds Max and Corona Renderer, which I’m particularly fond of. In this project, Corona’s Light Mix helped me achieve the final result. I experimented with it for the first time and I like it.

When did you start using Corona Renderer and how did it help you advance your visualizations? 

I started using Corona two years ago. It’s my favorite discipline and I like everything about it: the simplicity, the final realistic result. However, I like to use V-Ray too in more cinematic and advanced projects because it allows me to develop more of my own style without limitations.

What are you dreaming of in 2021?

My main new year’s resolution is to work more on my personal projects, maybe getting out of my comfort zone even more and making more art for the world. Maybe I’ll even gain another award!

I also want to believe in myself more, not to be afraid of discovering and experimenting with new things, never be disappointed and accept my failures.

I want to encourage all artists out there to take a chance and enter contests such as this one. While the rewards in terms of exposure and promotion are certainly worth it.

You can join me on ArtStation, Behance and Instagram. I’ll be mostly posting updates, stay tuned for future work.

I would like to thank the Chaos team for giving me such an opportunity to express myself. Thank you for reading this little interview, I hope you learned something from it. May you all have colorful lives—and a head full of dreams! 

Want to be in the spotlight next year? Enjoy a 45-day trial of Corona Renderer and discover how it can transform your projects.

© Škoda Design

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