Help: Trying to Match Studio Shot from 20 Years Ago (Material /Lighting)

Swizl

Well-known member
Hi Everyone,

My boss is revising a really old catalog that shows different types of dimensional letter options. He wants me to match a few real studio shots he did a long time ago.

For the floor material, he doesn't remember what the material that he used is called, but it's some type of wavy textured stuff that has a high amount of reflection.

Then there is some type of gel light that he used that shows in the corner. I've tried to mimic both of these, but I'm not having much luck getting it similar. I at first attempted to do it with a procedural texture. And then I tried using an actual texture as a bump map (cast plaque stipple texture). It doesn't 100% have to match, but it would be nice to get it close.

The letters for this current 3d shot I'm working on are laser cut acrylic.

Thanks for any help anyone has to offer.

Metal Cast.jpgMetal Fabricated.jpgMetal Precision Cut.jpg
 

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Hasdrubal

Active member
Easy, but time consuming (if you want to do it in Cheetah).

Get the light color from the pic, use it for the light, the floor is something like dark blue or slightly violet; anyway almost black. Find the right reflection and you're set. With blur it should work (in Modo you could use maybe some sss, but I actually don't think that's really necessary).

For the material, that's the part that takes time, at least in Cheetah. In Modo probably the concrete under enhanded textures, organic would fit. You have to find the right size, though. If you want to do it in Cheetah, then you have to find some similar bump effect (some blotches) for example from a pbr material or create it yourself (have at least a look at the material in Modo I'm talking about. That's somehow easy to recreate in Photoshop).

The rest is all finding the right angles for the light and probably some fine-tuning.
 

Swizl

Well-known member
Easy, but time consuming (if you want to do it in Cheetah).

Get the light color from the pic, use it for the light, the floor is something like dark blue or slightly violet; anyway almost black. Find the right reflection and you're set. With blur it should work (in Modo you could use maybe some sss, but I actually don't think that's really necessary).

For the material, that's the part that takes time, at least in Cheetah. In Modo probably the concrete under enhanded textures, organic would fit. You have to find the right size, though. If you want to do it in Cheetah, then you have to find some similar bump effect (some blotches) for example from a pbr material or create it yourself (have at least a look at the material in Modo I'm talking about. That's somehow easy to recreate in Photoshop).

The rest is all finding the right angles for the light and probably some fine-tuning.

I’ve gotten an ok facsimile of the scene, but it’s missing the subtlety of the original. I’m just not very good at materials. It’s a bit harder not being able to have an interactive view in C3d. I can’t seem to get the gel light right. It’s either too weak or blown out, flooding the scene with blue, I’m sure there is an adjustment somewhere that would make it more correct, I was just juggling about 12 different task the last few days. So as usual. Trying to find the best and quickest route to getting this render to my boss.

He changed his mind about how he wanted to do it though, so it was a lot easier to finish. The background is now just a fabric texture with the acrylic letter. I modeled it in C3d and rendered in Modo. The preset materials a IPR view make Modo really easy for final renders.

There was another one in this set, that was a channel letter on a brick wall. Also modeled in C3d and rendered in Modo. I’ll see about posting the renders later when I’m back on my computer.
 

Hasdrubal

Active member
I can’t seem to get the gel light right. It’s either too weak or blown out, flooding the scene with blue, I’m sure there is an adjustment somewhere that would make it more correct

Ok, it's not important anymore as you can do it a less stressful way instead (by the way, I didn't like the original pics very much. They look rather like not so good 3d. A bit boring).

But the answer to your question about the adjustment would be size, distance and intensity. Size maybe you know, distance is a bit more difficult, but more or less determines by the size of the light's reflection. The intensity is a series of rather small changes after a few bigger ones (first guess, then much more, than a lot less, till you find the area where you have to experiment.

I hope you had a bit more freedom now, so you actually could come up with something better and more visually interesting.
 

Swizl

Well-known member
Yeah, less stressful than trying to match something existing. I've run into that problem a few times when someone wants to recreate how something else already looks in real life.

The studio shots were done a long time ago, so of course they look dated now. Not much room for going wild and crazy for brochure product shots anyway. Especially when you have a few hundred to do.

These are two of the versions I came up with. One was for Exterior Channel Letters and the other was for the flat laser cut Acrylic. Size of these have been reduced so I can post them here.

Acrylic Letter v2 Blue.JPGAcrylic Letter v2 Green.JPGAcrylic Letter v3 Green.JPGChannel Ltr R v1.JPG
 

Hasdrubal

Active member
They look much better imho, nothing distracting, sometimes it's just "simple does the trick". And they look less 3d than the real photos.

With the last one the resolution of the wall should probably have been higher (that's a sure giveaway).
 

Swizl

Well-known member
They look much better imho, nothing distracting, sometimes it's just "simple does the trick". And they look less 3d than the real photos.

With the last one the resolution of the wall should probably have been higher (that's a sure giveaway).

The brick textures included in Modo are not very high resolution to begin with. I thought about doing some procedural bricks, but I didn’t have enough time to adjust them until they didn’t look fake. There’s some depth of field on the shots too. So that blurred it some.

These images will only be printed around 3” to 4” wide. So it probably won’t be very noticeable.
 

Hasdrubal

Active member
The brick textures included in Modo are not very high resolution to begin with.

Those I actually never used; they are older and today suited only for something rather in the background. The procedural textures on the other hand are quite good, at least when you do use them as a starting point and create your own textures (for which you wouldn't have time anyway for such a project).

But there are tons of really high resolution wall textures available in the net, free and for commercial use without any need to mention the creator or whatever. If you have the time: It would look soo much better with one of them (as usual, I'd look at texture heaven first).

The fabric texture I like very much by the way.
 

Swizl

Well-known member
Those I actually never used; they are older and today suited only for something rather in the background. The procedural textures on the other hand are quite good, at least when you do use them as a starting point and create your own textures (for which you wouldn't have time anyway for such a project).

But there are tons of really high resolution wall textures available in the net, free and for commercial use without any need to mention the creator or whatever. If you have the time: It would look soo much better with one of them (as usual, I'd look at texture heaven first).

The fabric texture I like very much by the way.

I was actually going to work on the bricks some more, but my boss was happy with the way they were in that render, so I stopped working on that. I will most likely go back and find some better textures when I have some down time. It’s a good thing to have in the library waiting to be used again.

I tried one of the procedural brick generators, but the pattern wasn’t very convincing. It was putting square bricks in a repeating pattern that had a very fake CGI look to it. I could have tried to adjust it or find a better procedural one to use.
 

Hasdrubal

Active member
Actually, good brick textures are easy to find.

I tried one of the procedural brick generators, but the pattern wasn’t very convincing. It was putting square bricks in a repeating pattern that had a very fake CGI look to it. I could have tried to adjust it or find a better procedural one to use.

For another project, when you have time to experiment:

We're partly in the wrong forum for that, as part of the answer is "texture offset" which is something that helps you to break up a boring and all to clean procedural texture and bring some irregularity into it. Youtube video by William Vaughan (William is someone I already know from my Lightwave days many years ago. His videos are an important feature of Modo :). In the video the effect is heavily exaggerated, of course, but with very small values you can create very subtle changes. And you can use Variation Texture (instead or combined), with which you could for example change between different bitmap textures for the single bricks ... And so on.

This layering is something I deeply missed in Cheetah (already knew it from Lightwave, but almost any other app has something similar). A lot of it you can recreate through the nodes, true, but it's a really simple way to create very complex materials with different aspects or parts (like paint flakes, rust etc.).

The other part is something that's available in every software and at least as important. I never used a procedural texture alone, always combined with other procedural textures and most of the time some bitmap. Actually, I often do it also otherwise around, bitmap textures combined with some procedural as soon as I see some kind of pattern. A good material takes me usually way more time than the modeling.
 

Swizl

Well-known member
Actually, good brick textures are easy to find.



For another project, when you have time to experiment:

We're partly in the wrong forum for that, as part of the answer is "texture offset" which is something that helps you to break up a boring and all to clean procedural texture and bring some irregularity into it. Youtube video by William Vaughan (William is someone I already know from my Lightwave days many years ago. His videos are an important feature of Modo :). In the video the effect is heavily exaggerated, of course, but with very small values you can create very subtle changes. And you can use Variation Texture (instead or combined), with which you could for example change between different bitmap textures for the single bricks ... And so on.

This layering is something I deeply missed in Cheetah (already knew it from Lightwave, but almost any other app has something similar). A lot of it you can recreate through the nodes, true, but it's a really simple way to create very complex materials with different aspects or parts (like paint flakes, rust etc.).

The other part is something that's available in every software and at least as important. I never used a procedural texture alone, always combined with other procedural textures and most of the time some bitmap. Actually, I often do it also otherwise around, bitmap textures combined with some procedural as soon as I see some kind of pattern. A good material takes me usually way more time than the modeling.

I have a few of William's books and have a watched a good number of his tutorial videos. I remember looking at the variations texture function in Modo. It works really well to make materials look less fake. Especially for things like wood plank floors. Agree that it would be a great feature to have in C3d. Will have to revisit that one at some point.
 

MonkeyT

Active member
I've been wanting an old, painted barn texture for a while - it's nowhere near fully cooked yet. I stumbled across a barn that caught my eye while hiking in Arkansas earlier this month. That's gonna be hell to model, but lots of stuff to challenge me.
2020-10-29 Painted Barnwood.jpg2020_barn.jpg
 

Hasdrubal

Active member
That's though to texture, especially as you don't want any repetitions ... So you'll need a lot of different materials.

Actually, I wouldn't use planks, but they have other textures too, that may help ... cc0textures and cgbookcase came to mind ... So I'd take some textures, would combine them with (changing color of course) and add some handpainted irregularities (if some procedural isn't enough, depending on the resolution).

Where I live, there are a lot of very old, still habited wooden houses (often with a fundament of stone, though), that are more or less unique to the region, very often farm houses but not exclusively so... Actually, when I look out of the windows I see some houses like this (most a few hundred years old, but some in another style more suited for a village); I found something on pinterest ... some examples

In the back of my head is the idea to recreate an old village like it was (I try to create things where it does make sense not just to use a camera).
 

MonkeyT

Active member
My goal is to create a procedural weathered-wood texture that can work from a distance of about five feet or more, given that it's not the subject of the render. I'm getting around the repetition issue by combining the State Node's position vector's XYZ values in a scrambled order and the Time vector as a salt value to build what amounts to a random seed for the Position input of each Texture Node. If you put two identical objects right next to each other, the pattern of their textures should literally have no visual correlation.

I spent about six weeks in Switzerland and absolutely loved that style of construction. I wish I had owned a better camera at the time - I like to photograph the different styles of joinery, latches and hinges I come across in old buildings.
 

Hasdrubal

Active member
Actually those houses exist only in a very small part of Switzerland; in other parts they have other styles, often stone, most of the time not that limited to a small region. Switzerland is a very small country, but it's really funny how much diversity we have in such a small space.

With Cheetah I couldn't create a halfway convincing procedural wood texture. That's why I would use bitmap in the mix; very few procedural textures in any app I saw up to now look very real to me most of the time (which sometimes is exactly what you need as for example wooden floors are often just laminate etc.).
 

MonkeyT

Active member
Actually those houses exist only in a very small part of Switzerland; in other parts they have other styles, often stone, most of the time not that limited to a small region. Switzerland is a very small country, but it's really funny how much diversity we have in such a small space.

Yep. I spent the fourth of July outside of Interlaken, which is where I saw the most similar construction to that. It snowed heavily on us that night, which broke my little Texan mind.
 

ZooHead

Well-known member
I spent a night high in the hills above Interlaken. It was a high pasture
used for grazing in the summer and we where there in winter.

We put chains on an old Lancia and drove it up the mountains.

Everything was buried in snow. Coal heat and up before dawn
just to hang a bucket on a little pipe sticking out of a post so
we would have water, and then back to bed until sunup. brrr
 

Hasdrubal

Active member
I spent a night high in the hills above Interlaken. It was a high pasture
used for grazing in the summer and we where there in winter.

We put chains on an old Lancia and drove it up the mountains.

Everything was buried in snow. Coal heat and up before dawn
just to hang a bucket on a little pipe sticking out of a post so
we would have water, and then back to bed until sunup. brrr

Meanwhile, me and the rest of Swiss people spent our night in our comfy beds in heated rooms, warm water coming from the tap, beginning the day with a hot shower (well, some experience with public transport says otherwise) and in general enjoying all the little advantages of modern civilization...

(those high pastures are not used in winter for a reason ;) (not that much anymore in the summer btw.). But it's a good business model to send up some tourists in winter). :p;)
 

ZooHead

Well-known member
It was a high school ski trip, the music teacher was Swiss and took students on a trip every year.
 
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