Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Ivy Vine Textures Rendered in 3D

Very Early Drafts Vine Model
So, since the departure of our main botanical teture merchant I have had to move out of my 2D comfort zone and poke my head into 3D space for the first time.

Like our ex merchant, I had been buying props made by 3D artists. But I reverse engineered them by opening up the texture maps in Photoshop and either editing or totally recreating them.

I still have several collections available to download after spending a small fortune on the resources but its kinda boring just rendering for the purpose of stock replacement.

Call me an egomaniac (And I’d agree) but I don’t feel much of my own artistic input when just doing that.

Sure, I can recognise them from other peoples versions of the same props because the texture maps applied are mine.
But still, the actual props are all the same, “Replica Renders” as I like to call them.

It’s akin to rendering some textures created with a Photoshop plug in. Easily recognised at a glance and I don’t like that.

You basically load the pre made prop, piss about with the light sets and if that’s all you're interested in you can (and people often do) literally export the scene as a PNG texture.

Although I am far from being a proficient 3D artist yet I am taking baby steps towards that end and here are my first renders of some vine plants that I rendered from scratch.

The mesh was rendered in a plant and tree 3D application and then loaded into Poser as an obj. file for me to apply the texture maps to from the material editor.

I “grew” and made the leafs for them. They are seamless but they aint perfect. Far from it.

I don’t feel they are photo realistic yet and I think thats down to the light sets I am limited to in Poser.

All I have are the default lights and they cater more to character posing,  creating harsh and dramatic lighting with dark shadows.

There are free light sets created by users of Daz and Poser but for some reason, probably because I am on a mac OS, the downloads don’t work for me which is so frustrating.

I wont be releasing these for sale yet as I do not feel they are as good as they can be.
But perhaps in a week or so, when I have really got my head around making the meshes and applying different leaf and stem texture maps to them,  I can finally release my very own, "one of a kind" plant textures.

Who knows? Perhaps also release the props and models too.

I have ALWAYS been the type to wants to skip the user manual and just get stuck in and learn by pushing buttons. I usually end up ahead of myself and frustrated but despite the obvious “amature” look of these first attempts I really felt like I was able to start making sense of how things worked in 3D space.

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