Tuesday, August 26, 2014

watch model

first stage front-back
Beginning modeling of a watch. Stauer "Noire" model. I enjoy the design and hope to capture the details as accurately as possible.

This is a practice in high polygon hard surfaces, using quads, avoiding triangles during the process. This will be textured and rendered. I plan to adapt a low poly version to be available for realtime graphics display.

In the first session, the main case body was blocked out in medium detail and contains a subdivision surface modifier. Material zones are assigned for chrome and brushed areas.

subdivision view
In the fine details of the back plate some triangles are hiding around, as long as they contribute to a clean surface, i'm not too concerned. This area received very heavy edge duplication to help smooth the bevels. It seems to give a clean result; nice highlights on the bevels with no real distortion. These areas will never really be seen, it is just for study.
surface result
Alternative: creased edges

matcap rendering with crown and pins completed
square holes become round
strap and latch
Modeling the band was done in mirror and went quickly. The tiny holes were fairly tedious but came out smooth. A useful tool for sniffing out any hiding n-gons, has been MeshLint. Also helps in finding other wonky geometry. simple and effective. At this stage some tweaks before texturing.

A few UV paintings to represent the band and face.
textures - bump map - strap color

The band was produced mostly by bump mapping. Images painted with Gimp 2.8
consisting of stitches and a paint crackle overlay.
bump map applied to material
Thinking about how to make the intricate engraving for the watch face. Blender mesh designs to be converted into vector SVG and imported to Inkscape. This script was discovered on a post at blender artists, and worked very well.
face engraving test patterns
engraving pattern in blender
A radiating mesh with a few subdivision, twisted proportionally from center. The vector image was imported nicely in Inkscape. More editing in Gimp, for duplicating and eroding the layers, a kind of expanding depth was able to build up. finishing details in vector: concentric circles around edges, sub-dials with crosshatching, date window, and small raised area for label.

face engraving pattern for bump map

bump map test application

full face bumpmap

face texture detailed in Inkscape
Next is rigging the band so it can be curved around and posed.
rigged bands using empties+IK+hooks

Adjusting materials, camera, and test rendering.
nodes - dial face bump map
nodes - environment applied

mask application - chrome/brushed
nodes - anisotropic/chrome mask

textures work in progress

rendering scene - work in progress

rendering - all detailed

A few spots need to be perfected. probably add the numbering to the bump-map for a bit of embossing. band uv and texture adjustment. indicator spots on hands. probably incorporate in cool "noire" context; currently a lame concrete bitmap substitutes while details are tweaked. not to forget to adapt a low-poly version.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Blender - Cycles rendering textures with alpha mask

The problem was to get Cycles to render a texture with its alpha as transparent.
Acting within the "compositing" nodes and checking "use nodes" on. Output to Viewer Node.
Some difficulty in activating the viewer node is fixed by clicking material /compositing buttons repeatedly. This refreshes and shows the output through the node network.

In compositing, simply load the "image texture" which contains the alpha, as a node.
Connect its alpha output to the factor of a "converter/Color Ramp". This goes out to a Viewer node. Now the output can be saved within the image viewer as an Alpha Mask!

Finally, back in material nodes, both Image Textures can be loaded. Forked from their UV node to Image Vector, the "Alpha Mask" color goes into the Factor of a Mix Shader.
A Transparent Shader connects into the Top Mix Shader input.
The Image Texture color, maps through an Emission Shader, to the Bottom Mix Shader input.
Finally the Mix is output to Material Surface.

Of course the Emission shader could be substituted for diffuse or whatever surface quality is needed.

Easier as a diagram.
Step 1: Compositing View

Step 2: Material View

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Alien model.

setting up blender
learning the interface
the alien creature built in polygon mesh. skinning, surface painting. it will be posable.
shows only surface depth
initial depth-map sketches
based on the alien3, with a canine form and piercing tail. freestyle design elements. there may be some cleanup and modifications to the mesh. hands modeled after skeletal cat claws.
pursuit of high polygon sculpt is highly processor intensive. instead it has surface sculpting by bump map. it will receive diffuse color, reflectivity.

in honor of Giger alien design

no texture, teeth detail

Practice of Art

To be placed here, the process images.
updates will follow.
various stages of arrangement