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suzakuseven

The 3D Thread

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Yeah will most likely be a test to put a photorealistic household object into a bit of DSLR footage. Wanna create a full linear colour space workflow through shooting the footage, doing the textures, look dev, lighting/rendering and finally the compositing.

Might do something a little bit more ambitious once it's clear we can shoot decent HDRs and so forth. I'd actually really like to do something with Houdini instead of Maya as that's probably the best 3d package I've used in terms of being a self contained pipeline.

At the moment i'm all about getting as far away from photorealism as possible - for my type of work it's too time consuming and a bland dead-end. The last round of pictures I did were nuts, colour all over the shop. And today I did this sky as part of another set of images. Bananas, as the children say nowadays.

b3Tq0.jpg

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Don't get me wrong. It's a purely technical exercise and that's all I think photorealism is good for. I work in visual effects and it's very rare to have a client that is interested in a technically photoreal result. I just wanna setup that workflow from photography to final comp by myself and Vray is by it's nature, designed to work in a physically correct manner.

I feel like once you've got that working or at least understand how Vray does that, you can then do more interesting and expressive work.

That sky looks lush.

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Aah, I get you. There are quite a few options in VRay which allow you to twist things quite considerably with very little effort - things like Colour Mapping make a very noticeable change to the render, the Burn setting is great for making things look hella bleached out and super-bright (Reinhard for exterior and Linear or Exponential for interior shots). A couple of passes with normal Burn and increased Burn gives me a vast tonal range, I pick and choose which parts of the images I want to use and mask out there rest - it's like having instant sunlight.

And I haven't even began to piss around with the VRay Camera options, y'know, there's stuff like Fisheye, Pinhole, and Box effects.

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Four months on and these are the kinds of images I do now. VRay and Cinema are absolute beasts - it's now second nature to set up a sunlight rig and prepare the model. The ArchiCAD 'ac4d' export plugin we use means that we can have a model finalised, rendered, and ready for Photoshop heavy lifting in a couple of hours. Such a change from the fucking junk we were using before. And the quick render times means I can add or fix parts of the model then render them out to patch into the existing image. Linear Workflow rules everything around me.

http://www.kistainside.se/ (The three exterior and night views were done by me with the other images produced by the office praktikants. Not entirely happy with the final results because the model looks so flat but that was the look they were after.)

And this, for a proposed devleopment outside of Stockholm. An architect built everything in SketchUp and exported a 3ds. Same quality of geometry as the ac4d file but it royally fucks with the materials and layers. The outer skin of the silver building was made by me - first I wanted to be smart and use a displacement map but it made the reflective material turn to shit so I then decided to quickly make a shape in Illustrator and extrude it. As you can see, the results are super-sharp and exactly how it is meant to look. It also had the benefit of cutting the render time in half! I would show you the other view, which is a doozy, but it gives too much away regarding the location. If the colours look too washed out or flat it is because of the colour calibration in your browser - the original is banging as fuck.

vgtcl.jpg

Following on from this, here is the second image which I guess I can show because, well, we've printed it and have it sitting in our large conference room so any fucker can look at it. Background looks like shit because it's a screencap from Google Earth with generic white volumes, so all the focus is on the new development. Odd 3-point perspective, but it works given the scale of the thing.

haZz1.jpg

And this is another, for a competition which we entered a while back, which we didn't win. Cunting judges. One of the toughest models to make because I had to model a beach - a fucking beach - it's kind of successful. My favourite part are the parasols with the Paul Smith design.

fx07B.jpg

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Thought you guys might enjoy some rllmuk 3D action in the form of Jedward's video for their new single Luminous.

Rocky planet surface rendered in 3dsmax, the rest is all 3D comps in After effects.

I put up a short VFX breakdown for two of my shots as well.

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Thought I'd resurrect this thread as no one has mentioned the tragic death of XSI at the hands of Autodesk. There was something of the inevitable about this given they already owned Maya and 3DS but just killing what is the most powerful general 3D software package seems crazy. Why they were allowed to buy out the three main 3D packages in the first place is another question. As a user of Autodesk software I'm concerned about how poorly they seem to be doing - their 2D effects software has been something of clusterfuck over the last five or so years too. Interesting that Houdini seems to be gaining much more traction in Soho - I've spent the last six months working at a studio that's Houdini only and very impressive it is too - Mantra is a lovely renderer, on about a par with Arnold I'd say.

Anyway RIP Softimage XSI. A good missive here from Alastair Hearsum, head of 3D at Glassworks.

http://forums.autodesk.com/t5/Softimage-General/Open-letter-to-Autodesk/td-p/4874950

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So, this may be a stupid question, I've no idea, but how do you guys get into this stuff as amateurs?

Like, how do you afford the software? I know there are trials but they all seem feature-locked and on 30-day limits afaics.

I've done a fair bit in sketchup, but it seems better suited to its architectural roots than, say, organic stuff, and tbh I'm running up against limitations in how it works and how it renders. It's definitely limited in its applications.

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I guess it's a combination of people who have access to the software through work, piracy, trial and student licenses.

If you have a student email address you can get pretty much every piece of software made by Autodesk for free, from engineering or architectural design cad like inventor or revit through to animation and rendering like 3ds max.

http://www.autodesk.com/education/student-software

Edit. Forgot to mention free software such as blender, which is very powerful. Not the easiest to use but capable of amazing results.

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The fundamentals of computer graphics are the same in all capable 3D software. Blender is a good place to start, it has a control settings option which makes it similar to Maya. Once you know one piece of software fairly well it is quite easy to move to another. You will look for familiar techniques and settings and find they are simply named differently or operating under a slightly different structure. There are moves in the Blender community to do another big UI and concepts overhaul so it should improve even more on that front over the next year.

I have used Maya and Max for 13 years at uni and various studios but now I do all my freelance games and rendering work in Blender. One constant in CG is that you are always learning new techniques and software.

There are also cheaper applications which specialise in one area of CG. https://www.nevercenter.com/silo/ Silo for modelling and also Modo. Both of these are on Steam. For zBrush like organic modelling there is also http://pixologic.com/sculptris/ for free.

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Fantastic!

I never actually realised that a) I could get free stuff as a student (should have done that last year when I had the chance), b) blender was free, c) never even heard of sculptris. So I'll definitely be trying them out if the specs allow.

Agreed though, I expect it's mostly like with paint programs where they all fundamentally work the same as PS, but with the odd UI quirk. Brilliant.

edit:

I havent tried it myself yet (I have a couple of designs I wanna flesh out first before I forget them), but I'm looking at some blender tutorials and it doesnt seem that complex. Easier than sketchup in some ways given the usefulness of the tools. Unbelievable for free software.

How long has it taken you guys to learn?

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