Presented by Daz 3D
Connect with three of the NFTs’ creators, Ty Duperron, Mark Vaughan, and Joshua Faustino as they explore their creative processes behind one of the year’s most ambitious NFT collections.
Batman may be vengeance to the people of Gotham, but for us fans he’s so much more. Batman has remained one of the most iconic comic book characters in the world since his first debut over 80 years ago. He’s dark, yet thought-provoking, as he walks the line of ethics and anger, prowling Gotham’s streets cloaked in shadow.
Across that 83-year legacy, Batman’s appearance has changed a lot. From the blue and gray spandex-like suit with the infamous black bat logo and those unforgettable purple gloves, to today’s brooding hulk of bullet-proof armor and high-tech cowls, the evolution of Batman through the influence of countless artists is spectacular to witness.
With so many years in production and so many iconic iterations of the character, creators of the new Bat Cowl Collection, an epic-scale NFT offering of 200,000 unique 3D Bat Cowls, faced a difficult, albeit exciting challenge: finding out how to stay true to such a long history of Batman, while offering unique and fun variations that still feel like they belong to Batman.
The making of an icon
This epic collection has been a massive collaboration between Warner Brothers, DC, Palm NFT Studio, and Daz 3D. It’s not everyday that you show up to work and get to work with a character as iconic as Batman, though it’s something of a norm for the team at Daz 3D. We wanted to take a behind-the-scenes-look at this iconic project and chat with Mark Vaughan, Project Lead, and Joshua Faustino, Lead Artist from Daz 3Dk for the bat cowls.
As Lead Artist, part of Josh’s role was modeling the cowls themselves. “Each component of the cowl is a unique hard surface model that brings to life the classic designs from Batman,” he said. “Our goal was to make sure all meshes were clean with sharp edges and bevelling to give weight to its shapes.”
TY Duperron, COO at Daz 3D said, “This design choice lends itself well to a generative NFT collection. It created natural breakpoints in the design for the materials to nest, which was the crux of our generative strategy.”
3D modeling can be a time-consuming process. Josh said it was important to make sure that “all the components of the meshes fit together modularly so that the cowl can work with any jaw.” He also believes the cowls’ modular design is one of the coolest things about the entire project. Each 3D cowl is designed and created with the intention of being wearable in the metaverse, and this modularity allows for numerous unique combinations.
The Bat Cowl Collection includes 192 unique materials based on a carefully designed color palette. The team created a master shader powerful enough to handle the high level of customization a collection of this size requires. Once designed, the cowls were built, lit, and rendered in real time using Unreal Engine 4.
What it’s like to work on batman
“It was amazing,” Mark said. “Being a lifelong fan of Batman made it very exciting. I’m happy that a project like this came along and I got to be a part of it.” When we asked Mark about his experience working with Palm, Warner Brothers, and DC, he was all praises for the other teams, “who were fantastic to work with.” He also added with visible excitement the pleasure it was to meet Comic Book Legend Jim Lee at NFT LA.
Jim Lee is one of the biggest names in comics and media, has worked with Marvel and DC, and is currently the Chief Creative Officer for DC Comics. Lee is the artist behind numerous successful titles, particularly “Batman: Hush”. When the work on the Bat Cowls was completed, in the end it was Jim Lee who made the final approvals.
“Working on Batman is as cool of a project as you can get to be a part of,” Josh added. “My favorite part of working was getting to solve the puzzle of how all the cowl pieces and ideas fit together.”
Looking back at 80 years of Batman
The Bat Cowl Collection is groundbreaking by any comic book character’s standards given its epic scale. From concept to execution, the collection was created by professionals who are also passionate fans who love Batman and are thrilled to contribute to such an iconic project.
That’s why we had to wrap up our interview with one bonus question for Mark and Josh: From all the movies, cartoons, comics, and games, which depiction of Batman is your favorite?
For Mark, it’s no question. He said, “The two movies that will always stand out for me are Batman Returns and The Dark Knight. As a big fan of Tim Burton and Christopher Nolan, these films will always be special to me. They’re timeless classics.”
What about Josh? For him, his favorite Batman and overall Gotham-experience was playing Arkham Asylum on PC. “Hands down, my favorite PC game of all time,” he said without skipping a beat.
One epic drop
With over 2 billion possible variations, a two-year roadmap, and the weight of the massive DC brand backing it all up, the Bat Cowl Collection is one of the most epic NFT projects of 2022.
Batman was groundbreaking when he first debuted on the comic book scene in 1939. For the first time in history, fans can connect with the Batman universe like never before. When the bat signal hits the sky on April 26, will you be ready to heed the call to claim your very own Bat Cowl?
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