Adding Dust and Aging Effect with V-Ray

Today we have a new post, and the videos that will be part of the post will be a part of a new “category” of posts that i want to do. Namely i want to have videos that will be a sort of a quick tip type posts. The idea behind these kinds of posts will be to take a certain theme, or a question that i’ve been asked and dive straight to it without any additional explanation. The idea for this came from a few readers that asked for more direct approach to the issue which would result with shorter videos and more directed videos. Now i am well aware that these types of videos can’t be made for all the topics that i choose to cover, but for certain things it might actually work quite well.

For the very first crack at the quick tip video i chose to make a video and answer a simple question, How to add aging or fading effect to your V-Ray materials? This is a very basic thing that you might want to know as it’s always a plus knowing how to add some variance to your model, and in the approach that i will show you in the video you will see how you can get that result by using a procedural mask and VrayDirt material. So if you want to see how you can do this type of thing procedural opposed to unwrapping it and manually making a distressed texture then check out the video below.

The second video covers a topic that’s a bit similar to the first video, but instead of adding procedural damage or fading we will see how we can add some dust to our model. After that we will see how we can setup a second texture ID channel and use it to help us with giving the dust a more natural “disturbed” look. So again if this is something that you would like to know and you aren’t really sure how to go about doing it, then check out the second video.

Ok so if you’ve watched the videos and are still reading this then i would like to ask you guys to leave your comments either here, or on YouTube and tell me if you liked these shorter quick tip type tutorials. And for now that would be it, like always if you did enjoy them like and share them around and keep coming back for more.

Studio Lighting in 3ds Max and V-Ray

In today’s post we are going to deal with one of the fundamental things that anyone that wants to work with CG should know, and that is how to light up your models. Now i have to go and say it right from the start, lighting on it’s own is one colossal theme to tackle and if you really want to know how it works, then you will probably need to invest some time into some proper professional photography knowledge. So having clarified that i want to say that this post is going to be more about the technical part of Max and V-Ray and how to get the lights inside 3ds Max to behave like real life lights would do. So enough with the intro and lets jump down on explaining and watching the videos. Initially it was supposed to be one video, but instead of making it one long video i made it into two parts so it’s easier for you guys to follow it. (Yeah i know i’m good that way)

In the first video we will explain very briefly what a studio scene is, and then we will see a few examples. You will see me reference an image of a model lit up in different scenarios, and you can get the link to the reference image here. After the brief intro we will create a simple backdrop. Then we will go about creating light sources, control how the reflection is going to look like, how we can modify it so it ends up looking like a commercial body spray can, and we will even explain a bit about the three point lighting solution. At the end of the first video we will even explain a bit about the importance of the warm and cool lights. So if this sounds like something that you would like to see check out the video.

In the second video we will continue on the same scene as previously but that is where all similarities end. We will start by explaining what a reflector is and how and when would we use one in our scenes. After that we will explain what a diffuser is and how to construct one that we can use in 3ds Max, and right after that we will explain what a light box is and how to construct one as well. With the introduction of the diffuser and Lightbox we will end with with issues in the lighting of our scene that will derive from the GI pass so we will also go over how to deal with those issues and get them to provide us with a clean render. So all in all it should be an interesting video to watch, so if what you read up here sounds like something that might interest you go ahead and watch the second video.

And with this we are coming to an end of our post for today. It was fun making these videos, and depending on the feedback i get on this video i might make a few more about lighting as that is a theme that seems like an endless pit of information that always has something new to offer.

So like always subscribe, like and share and i’ll see you all in the next post.

Creating Custom Floor Textures in 3ds Max and Photoshop

Today’s post comes as a direct result to a request i got about making a real world scale floor texture. It sounds pretty straight forward when you say it like that, i mean you get the project with the texture for the floor but then comes the realization that the image that the client sent you is something more in tune to a thumbnail, then an actual size for a high quality texture. On top of that he or she might want to have a different color in the pattern of the texture. This is where things can get a bit complicated as you are basically left with a task in which you need to deliver an end result but you don’t have the resources delivered to you, but rather you have to make them yourselves. Once you get to this point in the project, you might start thinking that you are in trouble if you don’t know how to make those high quality textures. Well this is where today’s post comes into play and will explain exactly how to go about dealing with this issue, and hopefully resolve it. Now when i had the initial idea about this video in my head it was a fast 20 min video, but as soon i started recording i actually came to a bit of a revelation as the theme was a tad bit bigger then i initially thought, so in the end i decided to split this into three logical parts opposed to having one huge hour and a half video. Since we do have a bit to cover lets get started with it.

In the first part of the video we will setup the image that we will create (you can choose any design that you might need for this part) and then we will start with the outlining process of the whole thing. After that we will see how we can get the outlined object scaled so we have a realistic scale model, and in the end we will render out a template which we will be able to use in the process. So this is where you would be advised to go and see the video for yourself.

In the second part ( and i do know this is a bit of a longer video ) we take the template that we made in 3ds Max and we bring it into Photoshop. Now i did my best to keep the video as newbie friendly (n00b fR13ndly) so that everyone can follow along even if you are not too proficient with Photoshop. We will cover a bit of layering management, some masking as well as some hand on paining and effects adding. All in all this ended up being a long but in depth video which will leave us with a fully customizable template that we can later use for any type of floor. Also you will hear me mention a few times that you can use this exact process to get Marble and stone floors which is totally true and applicable. But enough with the explanation, go ahead and check out the video.

In the last video we take what we made in Photoshop and we dive back into 3ds Max and see how we can use all those textures. Now the emphasis in the third video is put on using Real World Scale and to explain to you how you can get your textures to use real world scale referencing rather then the default tiling option. So go ahead and check out the video for yourself.

And with this we are coming to an end of our post for today. We covered quite a bit of different things and even though i didn’t expect the videos to be that long in the end i kinda enjoyed making them and i really hope you guys will enjoy watching them and even learn a few new things from them.

So like always subscribe, like and share and i’ll see you all in the next post.

Creating and detailing a Beanbag chair in 3ds Max and ZBrush

So here we are in today’s post trying to build upon what i said in the previous Introduction to ZBrush post that you can use Zbrush in your Archviz scenes, and give your models a very high amount of details, and at the same time have total control over everything. Now, since i haven’t covered anything else then the bare, bare minimum of ZBrush, i didn’t want to go overboard and start showing new features and tools that will probably make anyone not experienced with ZBrush straight out quit. I tried and kept it to the basics and managed to get the result that you will see at the end of the video by only using the standard brush, and a single alpha map.

While you are still reading and hopefully i still have your attention, you might want to go ahead and download the free program for baking textures, which in my opinion is the best option that is out there that costs no cash to use.

xNormals download link Clicky clicky here!

Provided that you downloaded the program, lets jump on and actually explain what you can expect to see in the videos.

In the first video we go over and build the base of out bean bag chair in 3ds Max. For this we start off with a plane as our ground and a sphere for our Bag model. With a bit of clever modification of the sphere and the use of the Cloth modifier. I have actually covered a bit of the Cloth modifier in an older post called Modeling a Pillow in 3ds Max so if you want to learn more about it check it out as well. We will also explain how to UVW unwrap the model so that we can apply textures to it. So if this sounds like something that you would like to see, then go ahead and watch the first video.

In the second video we will start in ZBrush where i will show you how you can import a model that you can start working on right away. We will explain briefly how to control subdivision in ZBrush, and then we will jump straight to sculpting in the details. We will also explain how to use maps (Alphas) to add details to our mesh in a very short time. After all of this is done i will show you how to quickly bake the high poly details by using the xNormals free program (get it from the link above). After that i will also explain how to deal with the issues that can arise from the normal map displacement. Again if all of what you read here interest you, then go ahead and watch the second video.

I really hope that you guys enjoyed watching these two videos as i am slowly trying to show everyone that when you are going after that perfect scene, knowing more software can only make you a better artist and in turn make your work quality better. I will try my best to make more videos for Max as well as blends between using Max and ZBrush while still keeping it as simple as possible so that even a total beginner can understand them, and more importantly follow along with them.

So that would be it for today’s post, if you guys liked the videos then subscribe, like and share the videos so it can reach more people, and hopefully they can learn something from it as well.

As an added bonus here is the alpha map that i used in ZBrush.

Folds Alpha

So Cheers everyone and Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah.

VRay IES lights in 3ds Max

Time for another V-ray lighting video. The idea for this video came from a comment on YouTube asking for a tutorial that will explain how V-Ray IES lights work. This is really not a very complicated matter so it was a pretty straight forward task for me to record it, or so i thought until my first go at recording crashed near the end and i had to start from the beginning. But that aside i can safely say that i went over most of the important things that you need to have and know to be able to use VRay IES lights. I’ll try to keep the chatter to a minimum as what i want to leave here is the video and the links to the sites that i go over in the video.

So in the video we will first explain what IES lights are, and how do they look like in an exterior and interior scene. After that i’ll show you how you can get a visual rendition of the IES files without getting it into 3DS Max and on top of that i’ll even give you a few great sources for IES lights. So if you are here reading this, then i would guess that you are interested in this theme so i’ll leave you here with the video.

If you watched the video you probably saw me going to a few different sites, so for your easy access here are the sites with the respected links.

IES Viewer The first thing that you want to grab so you can follow along.
ERCO The site that has the detailed info as well as the IES files for lighting fixtures
Lithonia The other site that has the large collection of IES files that you can get for your project work

And that would be it for this post, so if you managed to learn something new and you liked the videos, then help spread the word and like and share the video on YouTube and Facebook.

Creating Complex Rugs in 3DS Max

After the last post that had some great feedback from you guys, as well as a few more questions that were about how to model some more complex design rugs i decided to make these two videos you are about to see here. In the simple rug creation post we went over how to make the most common types of rugs, and those techniques are valid and correct but when we get to a point where the rug has a more intricate design then those techniques can end up a bit short. In those cases we can probably use the two techniques you can see in this post. So enough about the introduction lets just right into the explanation and the videos.

In the first video we will go over how to create a rug that is not 100% covered in strands. You can see multiple designs like this one in many different scenes and if you would want to recreate one in 3D then you would have to have some sort of control over the design. Well V-Ray offers that control with the VRayFur option. When you first try it out you might think that it’s just a fancy substitute for the Hair and Fur modifier that we covered in the previous post, but in reality it’s actually quite a powerful tool to have in your arsenal as it offers quite a bit of control over your design. In the video below we will continue on the same scene that we had in the previous post and build on that. You will see how to use the VRayFur, how to control the distribution of the strands, how to control the bend of the strands and most importantly how to utilize maps to do all that. So if you want to know about that then check out the video.

In the second video we are going to take a look at how to create a complex rug that isn’t actually made from strands, but instead it’s made out of different types of geometry. For this we are going to take a swing with the amazing scattering plugin Forest Pack Pro. Now the thing with Forest Pack Pro is that it’s an amazing piece of work as it can be used to create amazing things, and with this post we will barely scratch the surface of it’s possibilities, but we will have a base on which we can continue in future videos. So check out this video that is basically covering the process of creating a rug made out of different geometry that is scattered on a base object.

So with these two ways of creating rugs you should be able to tackle the more complex designs without too much of a hassle. And that would be it for this post, so if you managed to learn something new and you liked the videos then help spread the word, and like the video on YouTube. I’m still waiting to see if we can get the videos to have a 10% like approval which would be Amazing. In any case i hope you enjoy the videos, and i’ll see you all in the next post.

P.S.

In case you want to follow along with the tutorial here are the two images that i used.

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

Creating Simple Rugs in 3ds Max

So as much as i want to try and tackle on some gaming posts here, or at least try and set up a base for some gaming posts in the future i keep reverting back to architecture related themes.

Today we are going to tackle on one of the more commonly seen elements in scenes, and that is the rugs element. Rugs tend to find their way into many different scenes ranging from kitchens, bathrooms, bedrooms, living rooms and pretty much any other room that you might have, so knowing how to make them is a big plus. In this post we will see how we can create two different kinds of rugs that are totally different from each other and we will see how to obtain those two distinct looks.

In the first video you will learn how to create a soft looking fuzzy rug. To get this look i will go over the V-ray displacement modifier and explain how you can control the parameters of the said modifier so you end up with a realistic looking rug, and in the end we will even cover how to get that extra bit of fuzzyness (if that is a word) to show up in our rug render. So if this is something that might interest you, then check out this video.

For the second type of a rug we are going to try and make a longer, hair like strands rug. In this case we will see that we can’t use the same displacement type as we saw in the first video, so we will use the Max native Hair And Fur modifier. We will cover the properties that this modifier has, as well as how to tweak and control all the aspects of it so we can end up with a result that will make our rug look exactly the way we want it to look. So if this is something that might interest you then check out this second video.

Ok so that should cover the basics of creating a simple rug in 3ds Max. Now this is usually where i ask you to like and share the post, but i have the feeling like it’s seen as a formality by most and i don’t blame you if you don’t do it but for these two videos i want to ask everyone that actually watched and liked the videos to hit that LIKE button on YouTube. I’m simply curious as how the likes work as some of the videos got 6000 views and less then 100 likes which in YouTube’s book means they aren’t that good. So let’s see if we can drive those likes up a bit.

So if you are still reading this, and maybe even watched the videos and liked them then i salute you and leave you with this here link to download rug textures.

Creating a realistic Swimming Pool in 3ds Max & V-Ray

When you get into working in the CG visualization field you are no doubt going to come to the point where you will have to deal with a scene where you have a swimming pool. Dealing with a scene like this can be a bit of a drag, especially if you have never worked on anything like that before. What i mean by this is the fact that water, even though it is quite a simple and we are accustomed to seeing it in our daily routine, it has a few properties that you need to understand if you want to replicate it in your scenes.

In the video below you will see me start from a very simple scene with nothing but the swimming pool to take our focus away. You will see the main attributes that water has when you are using it for your renders, then you will understand why the color of the pools is important, as well as learn how to make the tiled look that many swimming pools have. Then we are going to see how we can get our water to look wavy by using normal maps, bump maps and actual geometry. So if you would be interested in learning anything from what you just read here, then go ahead and check out the video.

If you are back reading this i hope you guys picked up some new tricks and tips, and more importantly it was fun watching it for you as much as it was fun making it for me.
If you liked what you saw here, then you can help spread the word by liking on YouTube and Facebook (This actually helps a lot and i would appreciate it), share and comment so it can reach more people, and hopefully help someone else the same way it helped you.

Modeling a Family Crest in 3ds Max

Another week another post. This week i initially had a different thing in mind to make a tutorial about, but i decided instead of making a simplified tutorial about carved models, i go ahead and actually take an existing model and try to get it made in 3D. So by following the videos you will hopefully learn how to do it yourself and pickup a few tricks along the way.

So the first thing that you want to do when you want to start modeling something like this is, either get some kick ass reference images from your client (if this is a paid project), or you can try and search for some artisan carpenters online for inspiration. In my case the inspiration for making this video came from one of the works that Patrick Damiaens posted on his Facebook page. I have had mr.Damiaens Facebook profile on follow for the better part of the last few years, and all i can say is that man’s work with wood carving is simply amazing. Another place that you can see more about him is on his website by clicking the link. So you can either feel free and look at his work, or you can even go ahead and look up some other artisan carpenters for your source of inspiration.

OK since we got the kudos to the artisans out of the way, back to our model at hand. When i started out i didn’t think it would take 5 part video to cover the creation of the crest, but once i started recording it kinda went down that road. I could have gone ahead and actually make this into 2-3 different posts, but since i know how much i hate waiting a week or maybe even two for a continuation of a video that i am watching i decided to make it all into one post. So lets get down to explaining more about the videos and what you will see in which part.

In the first video i went ahead and started with the modeling process of the shield of the crest, which is more or less the dominant element in the model. After modeling the shield i then proceed to model out the book model that we can see in the middle of the shield. So if you want to know how to do it, or even if you have an idea and want to know how i did it go ahead and watch the first video, and then come back for the rest.

In the second video i go over how to model the flower decoration on the left side, as well as modeling the right side decoration (The Fleur De Lis) which is a classic French decoration. So again if you want to know how i approached modeling this piece then watch the second part.

The third video is all about modeling the Wheat carving in the middle. Now like i said in the video, if i were doing this for a paying customer that required a level of detail that would make it picture perfect to the reference image i would probably go over and sculpt this in ZBrush, but if you aren’t limited by something like this then the approach i did can really work well. Oh and you will also see me show you a trick on how to cheat with getting a more volume to your model without having the geometry. In any case if this is what you want to see then give this video a chance.

The fourth video is all about modeling the scroll element of the model. In this video you will see my approach on modeling something like this which i might add is different from all the other people i’ve seen doing it. I use splines to define the shapes, a surface modifier to give me the working space and shell to define the thickness. In any case if you are interested in how to make something like this i would recommend you watch this part.

And last but not least in the fifth video we go over the fine tweaking of the elements where we make sure that everything that we made is working together, as well as using FFD modifiers to get some of the shapes that we need from the elements. Then after all that is done we go ahead and apply some UVW mapping and texture, light and render the entire scene. So if you want to see how that went then go ahead and watch this final video.

Ok so if you are still here reading this then it either means that everything that you saw before this wasn’t interesting for you to watch (which will make me sad) or it means that you watched it all and came back for more (which will make me happy) but i have to say That’s all Folks, at least for this model. In any case, kidding aside i really hope you guys liked what you saw here, and that you had fun watching these videos as much as i had when i was making them for you. In case you weren’t able to find the reference image i used for this piece from Patrick’s page i’m leaving his image here as well.

Carving

I hope you guys liked these videos and you managed to pick up something new, so if you liked what you saw, you can help spread the word by liking on YouTube (this helps alot) and Facebook(this as well), share and comment so it could reach more people and hopefully help someone else the same way it helped you out.

Interior Night lighting with V-Ray

Today we are going to take a look at how to light up a rather peculiar example of a moon lit night scene. Now this might sound like a silly thing to say as generally a night is defined by being dark, and usually when you hear someone say a CG rendering of a night scene the first thing that comes into mind is a well lit scene with lamps and lights. Well this is different in a way that we are trying to capture the ambient you would get if you were in a room without lights, and the only thing that is giving off some light is the moon light coming through the window.

In those rare cases where a scene like this might be asked of you to do, if you haven’t done it the first thing that you would try to do is use a HDRI image to get the lighting. That might work in some rare cases, but it will require you to have a perfect HDRI image with enough light information to radiate in the needed light, and at the same time exclude lights that you would generally get from buildings and cars. So if you have a HDRI like that then you can feel free and use it, but if you don’t then you might have to go and do a bit of improvisation.

In the video we will see how to start by matching the environmental light, but instead of using a flat color we will see how to use a gradient for the environment, and then we will see how we can control the amount of light coming into the scene with v-ray lights. After that we will proceed and add in the moon light and with that try and complete our scene. So in short that would be it, so go ahead and watch the video and see for yourself how it was done.

So i hope you liked this video and you managed to learn something new, and like always if you liked what you saw you can help spread the word by liking on YouTube and Facebook, share and comment so it could reach more people and hopefully help someone else the same way it helped you out.

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