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The 3D Thread


suzakuseven
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two recent pieces of work work. as normal, done at the usual speed - less than three work days/24 hours - including fixing any problems with the model and materials (which there normally are exporting directly from ArchiCAD). both rendered as day pictures to preserve any tonal changes and to save time - we use Maxwell Render and as useful as it is what with IES lights and environmental control, you can easily waste a day fucking about with Multilight. then the renders take twice as long to reach any worthwhile stage, with light travelling through and reflecting off glass being the biggest time killer. so. much. noise.

whenever the need for night/evening pictures arises i tell the architects not to fanny about with lighting or the time-of-day (to smooth things out the architects export directly to a Maxwell Scene file). i have a smoke and mirrors routine where i change the ground rotation/time of day so the sun is pointing directly at the model which makes all the shadows drop off the back and never appear in front. then, i Photoshop the absolute fuck out of it. that's where all the lighting effects come from. in the second image everything you see from the ground up has been added in Photoshop - i didn't have time to add models of the lamps, bollards, cars, bins, bus shelter, signage, interiors, and trees (never use modelled trees, awful things).

and as usual there are lots of mistakes, joins, patches, fudges, WTF's and silliness including a posters for The Rocketeer, Escape From New York, and Dawn Of The Dead in the second image.

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So is Blender the easiest program to use for noone with any prior experience?

If you have no 3D experience at all, then no, not really. But there are lots of tutorials for Blender available and you will encounter similar hurdles with other large 3D apps. If you do have 3D experience, Blender does have some odd quirks. But they are quickly learned.

Google's Sketch-up is reportedly easy for beginners to start with.

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Google's Sketch-up is reportedly easy for beginners to start with.

I use and teach SketchUp and when you get to grips with the whole tool set and start using ruby scripts etc. it really does become a very quick and powerful tool. I export my models and render them in another app.

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So would it better to learn a 'major' 3D app since instead as I always wanted to learn.

Cinema4D is quite easy to learn and if you get it with either Advanced Render or V-Ray you will become unstoppable. i love the way Cinema feels and handles geometry - the grouping system it uses for boolean, nurb and other operations is so elegant and easy to control.

i started my serious 3D career with formZ so anything else seems like child's play.

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I haven't used z-brush, from the tutorials and videos i have seen it is more of a digital modelling tool rather than a start-from-scratch 3D application. I'm sure it has primitives and all that jazz, but the main use seems to be for creating more natural shapes.

If you want to learn the basics such as using primitives, lighting, perspective, textures/materials, and handling a 3D camera then SketchUp is a good and free method to learn the ropes. Afterwards you can upgrade to a more commercial and heavier package.

Then the fun begins.

*screen fades to black. cue dramatic music*

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  • 2 weeks later...

Alright you talented bunch of bastards. I'm looking for an awesome 3D guy or two for a project. There is very little money but it will be a cool showreel piece and should get some good exposure. We're being ridiculously ambitious but hopefully it'll pay off.

I hate asking people to do shit for no money so apologies for that but I'm pretty certain there will be more work ahead if this goes well.

The idea is to create some weird stuff a bit like in this video

I'm probably going to be doing the compositing but it's been years since I did any 3D so I feel my skills are no where near up to scratch these days.

It will be working for a company called Dusthouse that I've done a lot of work with. Have a look at their site here

www.dusthouse.org

or look at their reel that I cut for them here

Would probably need people for end of Jan and Feb.

Anyway I would't normally come on and ask for people to do work for little or no money but I do think this could be an awesome project and would rather help out one of you guys get a leg up than some random I find on Shooting People.

PM me if you are interested.

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  • 1 month later...
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Say what you will about the film, the CG in Transformers Dark of the Moon is staggering. Mr.Bay has posted the 10 minute bake off reel that nominated films for Best Visual FX submit to the Oscars. A lack of any breakdowns (which are always fun to watch) but truly staggering shots.

I'd rather watch a 30 minute documentary of the shots and breakdowns than the movie though.

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can i just say, for the record, that VRay and Cinema4D are the greatest things on the planet. i have been learning VRay for the past three weeks or so but haven't used it on any serious official capacity until this week when i had to render an atrium as part of an office interior. VRay lights and physical cameras are excellent - so much to play around with and tweak. and the results are incredible - sharp, free of noise, and above all fast. what would normally take five hours to grind out in Maxwell Render takes 40 minutes with VRay. and even then, after that five hours the Maxwell image would still be full of noise.

getting the correct light for both interior and exterior shots has taken the largest amount of time to understand, what with colour mapping and certain GI settings but for the first time in a long time i'm excited about the possibilities of renders again, rather than doing a lot of post work in Photoshop - most of which was wrestling with Maxwell's horrible results. my Photoshop work has already turned a corner so adding VRay to the mix has made me even happier.

now i have discovered the joys of 2-sided material. this took 90 seconds to render at 2000x1500 pixels. 90 seconds.

pJzrQ.jpg

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Nice one Bingowings.

You might be interested in this article then, if you haven't seen it already.

http://interstation3d.com/tutorials/vray_dmc_sampler/demistyfing_dmc.html

Chances are the next project I work on will be V-ray so I'm looking forward to it. I'm currently using Arnold which is fairly immense but V-Ray is supposedly easier to make things look nice, quicker.

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thanks for that - seems a lot to take in, but i will plough my way through it. i'm only now starting to get into the finer points of GI/sampling due to some problems thrown up by the office interior.

the thing i found with VRay is that in the beginning it takes a lot of trial and error to get anywhere near the result you want - it took me two weeks of experimenting to finally get close to a decent universal sunlight rig. that was me coming to VRay almost as a complete beginner and inbetween actual work work. it's still not 100%, but it is a good base to continue from.

despite the grind, it is a very enjoyable and rewarding program to use. i'm always learning new things and ways of making our workflow easier, and as i mentioned the speed is phenomenal.

special shout outs to VRay materials - they have like 15 separate layers to muck around with. 5 specular, a couple of diffuse and the usual reflection, luminosity etc. even with this amount of complexity it makes things a lot simpler in the long run.

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What kind of setup is your sunlight rig? Are you using an image based lights or HDR environment light (Not sure of the vernacular for that in v-ray)? I'd imagine a decent HDR should give you all you need for a sunny day rig with G.I especially if you have an environment light shader that gives you specularity.

I think I'm going to get hold of v-ray and take a look at home.

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to keep things as simple and as neutral as possible i am only using a VRay target light and a VRay camera - between those two i can control pretty much everything. the light stays static and i move the target to alter the direction of the shadows and time of day. and that's it - all i'm looking for at the moment is something that gives a bright, neutral light with hard shadows. i much prefer to have a blank render then add visual effects afterwards.

i really don't like using HDR lighting unless absolutely necessary - because i work with architectural visuals, if we were going to use HDR i or someone else would need to go out on site to take pictures of the surrounding buildings/area and winter in Sweden isn't the best time of the year if you want sunshine. also, i don't like the overly clinical and exact finish HDR lighting gives - i want our (as a company) pictures to be more expressive and looking less like they have been churned out from a bureau. and while HDR is fine for volume studies or detailing, it doesn't really fit in with the way we want to produce images. it may further down the line if we can find the right balance, but at the moment i don't feel it's worthwhile.

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  • 4 weeks later...

After a hiatus of doing 3D in about 5 years, I've download Blender 2.6. I learned my 3D using 3D Studio Max and got quite proficient in doing 3D models. But I'm struggling with the interface for Blender but I'm sure it'll come through time.

Now, here's my question. I know what I'm trying to do and have a tutorial video in the background but all I want cut a triangle in half from the top point vertice to cutting the bottom edge in two, but the cut tool - Loop Cut and Slice - just seems to want to cut the squares surrounding this triangle. The video looks like to be using an earlier version of Blender and in that pressing the Keyboard shortcut 'K' displays all the cutting tools which includes the Knife (exact) option. So, where the hell is this in 2.6?

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Doesn't help you too much exactly, but the next version of Blender (2.63) finally integrates 'Bmesh'. Which is a big rewrite of the internal modelling stuff with far more flexibility when manipulating mesh topology. You can download builds from graphicall.org

Using a bmesh build I would select the bottom edge of the triangle, hit 'CTRL-E' to bring up the edge menu->Subdivide. Then select the two verts and hit J to 'Join' creating a new edge. Some of that might work in the current version.

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Thanks.

There's ways around without using a Knife tool, it's just convenient to have it. Since that post and me just messing around by modelling, I just had to think that wee bit ahead of myself with a knife tool not an option. I mean, i have no problem just deleting vertices and edges and extruding to create new ones. It's just that sometimes you realise "Actually, I could just split this polygon..."

I admit, I'm still in my early stages - a few hours - of trying Blender and I did what I used to do in Max which was create my 3D model with a lower poly count then apply a mesh-smooth to get my final model. I tried what I think was a similar function in Blender and I wasn't terribly impressed with the results. Even creating a standard cube, I couldn't find properties to control how many polygons the cube (or other basic meshes, like a grid) has.

Yeah, I know I'm probably coming down hard on Blender probably due to not fully reading the manual and experience with other high-end 3D packages, but it is a fantastic tool for free.

I'm currently downloading the trial version of Cinema4D to give that a go.

Edit: Cinema 4D downloaded and installed. In less than 10 minutes I had achieved a simple model that I was unable to complete in Blender in a couple of hours. That's not to say that Blender isn't a bad product. Like I say, it's free, but it just goes to show that the 'big' products, although expensive, can be easier than the free ones. And Cinema 4D is just soooo easy to use!!

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