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  1. Jussaguy

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    ***Final Edit - For those that want to just learn how to extract a model from a vector, you can really stop at 13. Its pretty non-sensical after that. Apologies. Just a mess.

    **I was going to put this in the 3D printer thread but when I realized that the posts would hijack the thread and a lot of people wont want to read through all of it, I decided it would be a bad idea to put it in there. If there is someone here that wants it, or maybe a future person just googling how to do it, this is a way. I went a little far with it and it's extremely lengthy in my descriptions from just the first post. I am going to put it all up tonight as it's done but I am going to do it post by post. This is the paste of the reply in that thread. DONT READ IF YOU DONT CARE PLEASE!!!! It also should be noted that why I am showing you a method to create a nifty 3D logo out of a 2D one using a vector image, you can do the same thing in PhotoShop instead of Adobe Illistrator (AI) which reads the paths inehernenly but to do it in PS, you need a very large image, trace the paths or wand them and then "export paths to .ai" which will make more sense at the end of this. Good start huh? lol

    Ok. I decided that I am going to post this a little at a time. I was ready for 3D printing (or at least the process of exporting it for 3D printing within the first 10 minutes) but I decided to give you guys a little tutorial on how to use extrude nurbs with splines in Cinema 4D to create cool looking logos. For example, if someone from Phantom Pilots were to give me there vector logo, I could make them a 3D chrome, awesome looking 3D NFL like logo. If one of you guys want to give it to me, I would be happy to do it for free since you guys have been so nice to me. :)

    Seriously, if you want a 3D version of your logo, send it over to me (the .ai version).

    ****DISCLAIMER DISCLAIMER DISCLAIMER ---- I said earlier that I would show you guys how to make a vector image into a 3D object and that's what I am doing. I came back to make this discaimer because I am doing this out of the kindness of my heart. People would pay me good money to teach them how to do some of the minor things were going to do here but in the world of 3D, it's not editing. Editing compared to 3D is like learning your ABCs vs advanced trigonometry. This quasi-tutorial (it would be an actual tutorial if it was video and a lot easier to explain, and I might make one for you guys if anyone is interested, but while this is very simple to me and in reality it is once everything on the screen isn't foriegn to you but this is not editing. This is serious work and there is geometry, measuring, etc. The 3D printers are not going to be phased by it but people that are for sure going to tell me it's long winded and this that and the other and TLDR, etc, cool, just stop here. If you don't have an interest in learning just the VERY BASIC art of creating a 3D piece of work than just stop reading from here. If you are interested, I urge you to keep trying to follow along and not be concerned with how difficult if this is your first go at 3D as this is as simple as it gets but can be a little daunting if you have never really done anything in a 3D app. If you have, this is going to be so rediculously simple that you are going to wonder why I am saying so much but I am and have been an instructor at two universities and while I hate teaching via text, I have a purpose for everything I am saying whether it's obvious now or not. IF PEOPLE DON'T WANT WHAT I AM TELLING YOU NOW BECAUSE IT IS NOT CONCISE AND IS IN FACT FULL OF WORDS THEN PLEASE JUST MOVE ON. YOU DON'T HAVE TO DO THIS. THERE WILL BE NO TEST. STILL SOMEONE WILL FRIGGEN COMPLAIN FOR SURE. There is so much negativity on this forum that it's a shame that I have to be nervous to post a free good tutorial on how to do something that could help the people that have 3D printers which is my purpose and what I said I would do. I am, as evidenced by this paragraph, long winded, sometimes repetitive and so forth, but I am not going to spend hours and hours re-writing and fixing spelling and grammatical errors unless someone wants to pay me. In the meantime, I am happy to, and even enjoy imparting some of the knowledge I posses. If this catches any single person's interest and they want to go further, I am happy to. AutoCAD (thats the simplest part because it's just basically modeling with no lighting or texturing) but I have worked on many major films where I have put 3D models of mocap ninjas, the dog in The Fog, I did a ton of rotoscoping on Titanic, so we can go as far as you guys want or we can just stay at CAD. The project that I am now going to show you screen captures on will hopefully shed light on what is happening as it really is simple but if you don't know what you're looking at, I suppose it can be scary. I have lost my ability to see what is obvious or not simply by the amount of years I've been doing it.

    So, we were discussing 3D printing and I offered to help anyone create a 3D model if they had a idea but don't have the knowledge or the sculpting capabilities to create it. There is more to it than just modeling in 3D printing as even in the 3D (CAD) portion of the project, you need to be aware of not actual dimensions but ratios as most of the programs that you will export to for final processing to make a 3D printable file, will look at ratios, or at least somehow be able to convert for example, if I'm calling my model 6 feet by 2 feet, with the press of a key I can make it 6 centimeter by 2 centimeters. Now keep in mind that once we get out of the 3D world of Cinema 4d, Maya, 3DS Max or whatever program we are using to create the model that is where my knowledge goes away and I am just working on general theory. Hence the reason I am willing to create 3D models which I normally charge quite a bit for, for free. I would love to collaborate to learn the whole process of 3D printing so someone who has a pretty good 3D printer, please, use me.

    Take my skill set as a modeler and lets see an item through to completion. I will suggest lets keep it simple first. How about something for the community. I mean there is nothing I would like more than to make a key chain for @Phantom fool because he is just the kindest person and unprovoked labeling of me as "full of crap" should be rewarded and it is my desire to make him a 3D printed logo with his name (with the fool extra large) that he could use as a key chain so that when he is driving down the road he is so impressed by it, he just keeps taking a look and admiring the beauty of his 3D printed free item as the cars just go by and he closes his eyes and thinks of all his pals over here at Phantom Pilots.

    Back on track.

    This is how you take a boring 2d image and make it 3D first for AutoCAD (3D printing purposes) and then I touch on some minor texturing and some lighting and some other interesting things. If we want to print something that has moving parts (say a fishing reel to attach to the Phantom), I can rig which there aren't a lot of people that can rig and if they can, they usually aren't great at it. I know this because I am always looking for riggers to help me work on projects (okay, get it out of your system but that's what they are called). In 3D, in a real professional environment such as a major film like Toy Story there is not a guy on a computer animating it. There are riggers, rotoscopers, blockers, lighting people, basically everything that you would have on a real set (actually WAY more, next time you watch an animated film like by Pixar watch the number of people that scroll across the screen as "animators" or "dust busters" or "rotoscopers". It's mind boggling and it's a great gig because it pays well even when getting started, is recession proof and is a service and as most people know, entertainment services are the only job that will never go away but is always changing so if you are a young kid who happened to stumble onto this, don't listen to the doubters that don't think that being a filmmaker is some pie in the sky job. It's not. It's a well paying job and if you learn to be a generalist where you know a lot of things you can get rich doing what you love and not worry that your job will be shipped away (well some jobs have been but not generalists anyhow). Even the cameras are made to mimic real cameras in a virtual world. You choose what type of lens you want, focal distances to create depth of field, and then there are things like lighting. Do you want the light to just light the object, do you want what is called "volumetric lighting" which is a visible kind of light. The best way I can think to describe volumetric would be like if you had a spot light and you shot a bunch of fog at it.

    Ok, don't want to overload you with information, after all we really for the purposes of printing need the most basic part of this but I kept going because I am the kind of guy that likes to learn and I also like to teach. Always have so I am going to give you guys a very good little tutorial on how to make 3D objects from vector images. This is a huge skill set to acquire if you want to be a good 3D printer. Yes you can scan things but you can't scan something that doesn't exist so if you want to create something from scratch and make something innovative and never made before then you are going to need to learn how to take a spline (a spline is the word in 3d programs that are basically like a line on a piece of paper but in the 3D world a spline can become a few things). It can be a path that an object is made to follow, it can be extruded, like we are doing here, and several other things. A spline in the 3D world is like learning how to draw your first line across the page in a 2D sketch.

    I had only planned on a VERY SIMPLE tutorial on how to extrude a vector image into 3D and that is covered almost right away but I go further with it as evidenced by this huge post but it is what it is. I am ultra tired as I was up late last night and had about 2 hours of sleep and hit a wall about on sentence 2 of this post. I am actually going to take this post and create a new thread because there will be several posts following it right now and I don't want to completely hijack this thread. If only one person is interested in this, I will be totally happy. I have no delusions that there are even a couple of people on this forum that want to learn about advanced 3D modeling that this is not even the driveway to. This is like looking at the house way down the street and thinking about walking to it.

    Without further adieu, here is the object we are going to make into a 3D object and put it in a 3D virtual world of our creation.

    FOR THE 3D PRINTERS that I am making this tutorial for, the creation of the untextured version is all we need, Once we get into lighting and texturing, we are beyond the scope of 3D printing unless doing it to show a prospective investor or something like that. OKAY, I apologize to all, this post has gotten way too long but I am too tired to clean it up but I will tomorrow. For now, I just want to get it all out. This is long winded, even for me. All the information is correct though so if you want to learn, think of it as a book.

    Following this post will be another one with some images and explanations. Here is the original image. The next post will be several minutes after this one. I've created the objects and finished everything already, but I still have to write the explanations. Ugh, this sounded like a much quicker idea when I said I would do it. :)

    Ok, here is the image:

    [​IMG]

    Now, let's make this sucker 3D!
     
    #1 Jussaguy, May 12, 2016
    Last edited: May 12, 2016
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  2. Jussaguy

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    First thing you need to do is get the logo. A great place to find corporate logos is a website called www.brandsoftheworld.com ... This is important because I can't tell you how many times I've been doing a job for a major corporation and the creative team for even the major agency covering something like Coca-Cola looks at me like I'm crazy when I say "I need the vector image of your logo". You usually need to end up with the actual creatives before you get it so if you can get it first by going to this EXTREMELY useful site, the better off you are.

    I can almost guaratee if I was doing a job for DJI who by the way have a perfect logo, easy and simple to replicate, it would take me days without this site to get the blue DJI logo that I would need to create a 3D animation of say the logo spinning into a football stadium and exploding in mid air or something. Let us not forget that 3D is not usually just an image but rather an animation. That is why it takes so long to render. I have done renders that take multiple days per second to render. At 24fps if it takes 53 minutes to render one frame which is completely feesable, you're looking at a long render. That is why we have "render farms". At studios that do a lot of hardcore 3D, we will operate multiple computers each with their own set of frames to render to speed up the process. The first Toy Story famously took several years to render and while that is not the norm, with increased compute speeds, we don't get a ton faster, we just get more complicated and more photo-real. Has anyone seen the new Jungle Book. Technincally that film is not considered animated because they used mo-cap (motion capture to catch the moveents and make them look real). Character rigging and animation is the hardest thing in all of film making to do. Bar none. We are only a couple steps away from ending up with our 3D model for purposes of printing. Sorry for convaluting it with a lesson on how to use 3D in films but there are some burgeoning young filmmakers among us I would think?

    So let's go to Brands Of The World and get it ourselves.

    [​IMG]
     
    #2 Jussaguy, May 12, 2016
    Last edited: May 12, 2016
  3. dirkclod

    dirkclod Moderator
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    You want to stay on track then remarks like this
    Should stay out of your thread .
     
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  4. Jussaguy

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    So the first thing we are going to do after downloading the vector image is to open Adobe Illustrator (which can read the paths) a vector image is a mathematic equation that is infinite. We can make it as big or small as we want and it wont get distorted AT ALL because it is just a bunch of paths filled in with colors and therefore it's not rasterized and is forever changeable until we rasterize it. Those paths are exacty what we want to bring in to C4D so that we can extrude them and make them 3D. Pretty simple right? Once you peel away the layers, the process is straight forward and not difficult, it's just bloated software with TONS of functionality that can scare the strongest of heart.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. HueJorgan

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    Wow you sure do like typing
     
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  6. Jussaguy

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    No, he felt the unprovoked need to call me "full of crap" and so I am retorting. It is my prerogative to do so, especially since I said nothing to him to provoke it. Now, please, if you want to revisit this, do it in the other thread.

    And actually, I would have removed that but I forgot I wrote it and I was just copy and pasting from the other thread.
     
  7. HueJorgan

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    I also work with vector files everyday a boy you make it sound complicated, granted you are correct but please less waffle and self gratification would be nice, no one likes a clever clogs my gran used to say
     
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  8. Jussaguy

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    Now to export the paths from AI to C4D, you must not for some reason go to "export" but go to "save as" and this is VERY IMPORTANT, no matter what version of any of the 3D programs you might be using, if you don't save it as a Adobe Illustrator 8 file, C4D will not know what it is and will bring it in as a jpeg and not with the paths. This step drives people nuts because of the going to "save as" instead of export and that you need to save it as a many year old version.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Jussaguy

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    When I am done with this, will a moderator @LuvMyTJ please erase the comments between this tutorial. I should have known better but I took a little time to do this and it's a useful tutorial for some. It's cool that you guys are typing comments. Its a forum but I am trying to help some people and my long windedness is making it hard enough. ;)
     
  10. Jussaguy

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    Whenever you are working on a project, be it editing, 3D, After Effects, Nuke, Flame, whatever there are always three folders that should create your workflow and keep things organized because once those sub folders of textures and stuff like that come flying in, it becomes quite difficult to follow along. Create your main folder. I called mine "DJI_3D_Logo" and inside that folder and every folder that I do projects with I have one folder for Assets (and inside that folder I have things like "footage", "audio", and whatever else is contextual to that project. Next folder is "Projects" and in that folder I have whatever editor I'm using so "Avid" or "Premiere" and also all the other projects like "C4D", "After Effects" and within those folders are "auto-save", "Textures", etc. and finally renders which contain "Preview Renders", "Temporary Renders", "Preview Renders" for ones the client hasn't approved yet. Let me be very clear here on renders though. NEVER RENDER to the same drive that the project is on. I like to keep all my project folders together so I have a render farm that I send all my renders to but then I copy that final render to my render folder. If you render to the same drive as you are creating from, the slow down is massive even if you are using USB-C or Thunderbolt 2 as it will bottleneck right away because you are not giving your traffic two lanes.

    So now I have opened Maxon Cinema 4D and you can go to either "merge" or "open", since the canvas is blank, it doesnt make a difference but if you did everything right by using save as and saving it as an AI Version 8 you will open the AI file of you choice (our DJI file) and the paths (or splines will show up).

    [​IMG]

    Here is what it will look like after you click on your file. As you can see it asks you what "scale" you want to use. It defaults to centimeters but remember it's not real, it's just scale so a centimeter is a foot or a mile, it doesn't matter as long as you keep the same scale throughout but for purposes of 3D printing, so that you don't need to convert it in the 3D printing software (and remember that is outside of my strong knowledge base) you won't have to convert it. If we are making a DJI keychain and we want it 3 inches, let's use inches as the scale. Here I use centimeters.

    [​IMG]

    After you hit "ok" from this screen, assuming you did everything right before it, this is what it will look like:

    [​IMG]

    Ok, now we are getting somewhere. Obviously we don't have a 3D object yet but we are pretty close. If you look on the right upper menu, you will see a closed grouped null that has all of the paths that Illistrator brought over. There are like 14 of them or something like that. Each open and closed line is a complete path. On the next image, the grouped paths are expanded. Think of it as nothing more than a folder holding all of your paths.

    It is important to note, and I should have done it earlier that exporting these paths was really easy because none of them touch each other. When you have logos that have paths that cross, you must separate them in AI before sending to C4D and then you will literally reassemble it by moving it around in C4D.
     
  11. Jussaguy

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    This is taking MUCH longer than I anticipated. I am going to start rifling through this and if anyone has any questions or cares about this at all, just let me know and I will expound upon whatever it is. In the meantime, I'm just getting hassled and frankly, I thought I was just doing a nice thing for a couple people but some people just like being rude. Not sure why. It's a great way to die early.

    Ok, now each path is its own entity, selectable, movable and most importantly, extrudible.

    [​IMG]

    Let's expand the null with all of our un-named paths.

    As you can see there are 15 paths sent over from AI.

    [​IMG]


    It brings in the paths exactly to scale from how they were in the original file but you can, if you so desired, move the paths, make them bigger or smaller or do anything you want with them. You must have at this point a general, very general understanding of how to move around the virtual world where our paths reside. The shortcuts to move, rotate scale, and orient the path, object or whatever from its axis are in the QWERT. To move the virtual camera around the world, you hold down alt and press the left mouse button and use the scroller to go in and out. It becomes second nature but you should practice it because its far from second nature at first.

    Here is what a path that is ready to move looks like.

    [​IMG]

    Please notice that I moved the orientation of the camera all over the place. That's the beauty of 3D vs 2D is that we are not bound to any shackles. We now have a world that we can move anywhere in. We are in a virtual 3d world. To wit, you can see that we can move the "I" which is selected 3 ways which is what the third dimension is. In 2D we can go up on the X axis and left and right on the Y axis but the indtrodcution of the third axis the Z axis allows us to move how we would in the real world, up, down, left ,right, wherever. Put the arrow and pull the blue arrow and you are moving back and forth in the Z space and the same with X and Y. There is nowhere in the virtual world we can't go but again, this is a logo and we want it to remain right next to it's brother J.
     
  12. Jussaguy

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    Now we want to make it 3D instead of a spline and in order to do that, we can use A LOT of methods but what we are going to use for the purposes of this tutorials is the extrube nurbs. Nurb stands for Non-Uniform Rational B-Spline (to this day I don't know what that means) but I do know what an extrude nurb will do and that is create an extrusion on the nurb that its dropped on.

    There are always a couple places to find the same thing but here is where you will find your nurbs and in particular, your extrude nurb.
    [​IMG]

    When you select it, something that says Extrude Nurb shoes up on the left project menu.

    [​IMG]


    Since there are 15 paths, I usually just take this opportunity to copy the extrude nurb 14 more times and drop each path on them. I usually clean it up a little more as well. For this project, I kept the DJI part grouped, the wrap around part separate and the Phantom part separate. Then you grab a path and you drop it on the nurb and blamo,

    [​IMG]
    As you can see, path 1 happened to be the I and now its extruded by default 20cm (remember we chose cm as our scale)...by selecting the extrude nurb button above the path in the menu will open a sub menu below on the bottom left of the screen where you can change the thickness if you like but it looks pretty perfect at 20. This is an untextured 3D object now and you can see where we are going as far as making the whole logo a 3D PRINTABLE object.

    Here is a look at the submenu below where you can change the extrude level.

    [​IMG]
    Where is says "movement" if you change the Z axis of 20cm you can go forward or backward in size of the extrusion to perfectly flat to longer in one direction or the other. Leave it at 20 and don't mess with X and Y unless you want to distort it. You don't.
     
  13. Jussaguy

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    Well now we know how to bring in the paths. We have a general understanding of how to move around our virtual world and we can extrude splines into 3D objects. Let's drop an extude on the rest of the paths.

    [​IMG]

    Now we have our little 2D logo in 3D glory. It's still a sloppy mess in the project window but for all intense and purposes, this is a ready to set to print object. What I would imagine needs to be done from here is a grouping of all the nurbs and put into one null object. Again, I don't know what happens in the 3D printing part but this is a perfect 3D version of the logo although boring and untextured and unlit but that's what you want for a 3D print. You could for example, take all or either of these and make them keychains, adhesive decals, large blocks of logo and the coloring would be done with fillament or something. That is where my knowledge of the printing part ends but since we are in it, let's spruce up this image just a little. There is no floor, sky, or lighting going on here. The second you were to add a light, the infinite light that is the default will turn off and you can begin the lighting process which is the same as lighting any other photograph. Three point lighting, back lights, volumetric vs. non etc.

    Now we need to start cleaning up the mess on the right. As you can see, the circle from the A is it's own path. Let's name everything.

    [​IMG]

    Here is a tucked away nice and clean version of the project.

    [​IMG]
     
  14. Jussaguy

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    Now, with no lighting, texture or rendering let;s do a sample render by pressing command/apple or windows key and R.

    This will start to give you a better idea of what your 3D print would look like. Of course this is if you used colorless boring fillament or whatever is used.

    [​IMG]

    As you can see, we own this world and we can move the camera anywhere we want we can make multiple cameras and switch to them, we can do anything! WE ARE GODS! ;)

    [​IMG]

    Let's give it back its color. There are a lot of presets and Danel is one of my favorite. I like to tweak the setting but Danel material is like a glossy chrome and if you go to the "diffuse" menu of the material window and choose color, you can change it to whatever you want. You can even use the color picker to choose the exact same color which is important because logos are registered trademarks with the color needing to be exact.

    DJI Blue baby. Of course the lighting which is just infininte right now will affect the color.

    [​IMG]

    Drop the color on the path.

    [​IMG]

    Sample render to see the Danel blue on the D (Ha, the D...its late and this is taking way too much of my time).

    [​IMG]
     
  15. Jussaguy

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    We don't need to drop them on one path at a time because we have them grouped. If you drop the Blue Danel material we made on the DJI group null, it will add it to all the paths.

    [​IMG]

    Let's create the red for the "Phantom" the exact same way as the blue.

    [​IMG]

    Do you see our two materials on the bottom left of the screen? You can change how the mateirials are listed On a complicated project, the materials can get pretty hairy but we don;t nee to get into that now. The only reason I am showing you guys how to texture a little and do some test renders is because while printing, it will give you a better idea of what the final project will look like.

    Here is the whole logo, with materials but it's still very bland with no lighting or anything else.

    [​IMG]

    Still our world, side view: Look over your item before you print it.

    [​IMG]
     
  16. Jussaguy

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    Remember you still have access to the extrude functionality so if you want to stretch something or whatever you want, tthe world is yours
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  17. Jussaguy

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    Let's add a floor. This is where you find it. It's infinite when rendered. Floors can be textured like everything else, and you can make dirt, grass, whatever.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Sample render:


    [​IMG]

    There is still an infinite light so the floor is very dark and the light is boring and flat.

    We can also add cameras and when you are looking at a camera through a camera, it looks like this.

    [​IMG]

    I also added a couple lights. Those little star looking things are the lights. I just added a couple of omni lights here to show that even with little effort, once you start adding lights, you start to get more depth from your textures and models.

    I haven't turned on shadows which you do in the light setting on the bottom right when you select a light. When you select a light, under "visible" you can choose "none", "soft" or "hard, ray traced (like sun shadows)" from the omni lights. Some of the other lights have more options such as volumetric but you can see depth is creeping in.

    [​IMG]

    Notice that now that there are lights, you can see shadows on the models and textures. Depending on how "dialed up" your render settings are you get nice reflections off of the models themselves.

    Do you see on the omni light menu, the "shadow" setting is currently set to "none", hence no shadows are being cast from any of the lights. You can have 10 lights and only one casting a shadow or all 10. For the record, there is no limit you as to how many light you can have. We won't get into this but then there are incandescent and tungsten lighting and it can get really complicated. All of a sudden, are you guys starting to see why generalists are sought after now? Editing is a piece of piss compared to a good modeler, lighter, rigger. What we have gone over so far is almost nothing BUT I think anyone with interest has enough to start tinkering around with making some of their own more advanced models.
     
  18. Jussaguy

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    With just the switch of a button the left light is now set to cast a soft shadow off of materials and the depth and we are not anywhere near photo-real but we are a far cry from where we were not that long ago.

    [​IMG]
    Shadows, more than anything add depth, so does "global illumination" which is set in the Settings menu "Ctrl-B"

    A look at the above mentioned settings menu. It's less bloated than it used to be because effects that you are not using in the settings menu now dont appear until you add them. For all burgeoning 3D artists, the render setting are quite possibly the most important part of 3D ralism. Knowing what caustics, global illumination, dithering, formats, geometry vs depth, 2x2 vs 8x8 are all things that are too deep to cover here but that are absolutey neccesary to both make it look real and get the most effective render times.. You don't not want to have what you need and you don't want to have what you don't need. Man, I'm tired. Why am I doing this again? I think nobody will look at it and I thought it would take me an hour tops and Ive been posting all friggen night. The actual model and capturing took about 25 mins. UGH...Render Settings,...LEARN IT

    [​IMG]

    Here, just for the heck of it, I added a sky with the sky creator which sounds like a toy but its actually a very complicated tool where you can choose time of day, atmospheric effects, place in the world, and you can even set it to real time weather data, It's pretty cool. It's a hard shadow now because it's a bright sun instead of a soft light

    [​IMG]
     
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  19. Jussaguy

    Joined:
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    Tired as hell and just played with a little lighting. Looks like crap but there ya go. I could and should have made this a 1 page little how to on the making the model part since this was just for 3D printing but I haven't played around in C4D in quite a while so I got messy,

    Anyway, I hope at least one person gets something out of this because this might have been the biggest waste of time of my life. Going to sleep!

    Nighty.

    [​IMG]
     
  20. With The Birds

    Joined:
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    I could have whittled this out of a billet of 316 stainless steel with a blunt pen knife in the time it took to read this- thank you for posting though. Very informative.
     
    Jussaguy likes this.