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3D modelling/rendering advice?

User is offline   MusicallyInspired 

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#1

I've been working on this in Blender to recreate the Space Quest II title screen in up to 4k. I've got everything more or less the way I want it (that ship is as good as it's going to get detail-wise from me) but the logo itself looks far too plain shading-wise. I'm not sure what to do about it, though. Any modellers or renderers out there who can give me any advice? I'm thinking some light sheens/glows/halos or something or other. It just doesn't look that great right now anyway.

Attached Image: example_sq2(Ship-EngineTrails-Streaks).jpg

Original:
Attached Image: sq2_orig_title.jpg

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User is offline   Hendricks266 

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  #2

Have you added any diffuse texture to the text? For shading, hmm... maybe set the source at an oblique angle?

The edges of the next might look a little more pleasing to the eye with a fine subsurface modifier to give the edge some curve.
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User is online   Mark. 

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#3

How far do you want to stray from original? If this is just for fun and not a new project there are plenty of small things to try.

BTW, what you've done so far looks great.

This post has been edited by Mark.: 23 February 2018 - 04:19 PM

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User is offline   MusicallyInspired 

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#4

Thanks for the kind words. It's just for a desktop wallpaper. I want to stay true to the original, but give it that "next-gen" polish. Someone recommended I make the surface reflective too but I don't know about that, whether it would be too distracting or not...

To clarify, I like where the light sources are. I'm just not sure the texture of the logo is right....it just looks like a floating mesh with smooth shading. There's no texture, I just set the materials of the front faces, tops, and sides to be a separate colour each (to match the original logo). All sides are using the standard Blender "Diffuse BDFS" surface type. It's just lacking a degree of polish that makes it look unfinished. I'm not sure what kind of surface material it SHOULD be though...metallic seems wrong, glossy seems too much....I don't know. I'm not seeing it in my brain all I can derive is that it looks unfinished.

Someone just recommended me elsewhere to do one of those angled shine/reflection streaks the whole height....I don't know though. It doesn't feel like it should be shiny, but it's boring otherwise...maybe I'm overthinking it?

Hendricks, what do you mean specifically by adding curve to the text?

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This post has been edited by MusicallyInspired: 23 February 2018 - 04:30 PM

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User is offline   Hendricks266 

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  #5

The front face meeting the sides makes a perfectly sharp right angle.


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User is offline   conoklast 

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#6

I think you'll find that most pros will always post-process their 3d renders in photoshop/gimp etc. That's all I'd do; just start refining the lighting, adding minor details, add backlight etc as desired in a 2d program.
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User is offline   MusicallyInspired 

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#7

I did do a bit of post processing in Photoshop. A bit of pixel correction and refining the engine trails from the ship. The line streaks behind the logo was all in Photoshop too. I think the changes I'm looking for would be required to be done at render level, though. My PS skills are not that great.

Ah, I understand. Thank you, Hendricks. The mesh right not actually has far too many edges and vertices to bevel properly (as a holdover from converting a curve into a mesh). I should simplify it actually. It'll take a while but might as well do it right the first time.

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This post has been edited by MusicallyInspired: 23 February 2018 - 07:35 PM

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User is online   Mark. 

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#8

With each letter you could try selecting the front face, extrude it out slightly, then scale the new face down. Thats another way to get a bevel. I'm not sure if it will be an even bevel because of the face shape. But its easy enough to try.
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User is offline   MusicallyInspired 

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#9

Blender has a built-in bevel feature which does that automatically and sizes appropriately. I'll use that. Trying to get rid of the excess faces on the sides, though. There's a freaking ton of them.

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User is online   Mark. 

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#10

OK. I thought you tried the regular bevel feature and it didn't look right. Thats why I mentioned the alternative way to try.
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User is offline   MusicallyInspired 

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#11

Oh I see. Yeah it was because there were far too many vertices and faces and it deformed all wrong. Just gotta simplify it.

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User is offline   Tea Monster 

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#12

I'd suggest a light from above or to the side. Look up tuts on 3-point lighting, or use a studio HDRI to give it some depth lighting-wise.



You can also add a very subtle voronoi or sand texture to the front faces to give it that authentic '90's CGI' look :D

Blender can import SVG graphics and extrude them into 3D objects. I don't know if that is what you did or not. You could trace the shape of the logo in inkscape/Illustrator and then import to Blender and extrude. Blender has automatic settings to control extrusion and bevel settings for imported SVG graphics. Blender should make it smooth by default - you shouldn't need the subsurf modifier. This is just an SVG logo I pulled off the web after a quick googly.

Posted Image
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User is offline   MusicallyInspired 

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#13

Thanks for the advice on 3-point lighting. I did use a darker blue light behind the logo and a slightly yellowish-white strong light source for the front, but not a third light. That's definitely something interesting to look into.

I did use an SVG actually. What I did was create the text in Photoshop, convert the mask into a vector, throw that into Illustrator, save it as an SVG, and import and extrude in Blender. The reason I couldn't just use Illustrator with the font itself is because the font doesn't look exactly like what I'm going for. I had to make extensive edits to some of the rounded edges of the letters (to make them come to a point instead), remove the hole in the "A", and also to fix the "Q" which looked nothing like it does in the Space Quest logo. Also, the free version of the Space Quest font isn't bold enough so I had to throw a text outline effect in Photoshop before fixing up the aforementioned problems (the version of which I'd need is like $100, the whole pack is like $300 or something). It was quite a process.

Thanks so much for the advice, TM!

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This post has been edited by MusicallyInspired: 25 February 2018 - 07:30 PM

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User is offline   Daedolon 

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#14

Using this method helps with light. All of his videos are super helpful, really.



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User is offline   Tea Monster 

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#15

View PostMusicallyInspired, on 25 February 2018 - 07:29 PM, said:

Thanks for the advice on 3-point lighting. I did use a darker blue light behind the logo and a slightly yellowish-white strong light source for the front, but not a third light. That's definitely something interesting to look into.


I used Cycles for my lighting and it doesn't support the regular lights like the old Blender Internal does. I used light emitting planes and I wound up putting a few point lights along the top to give the light gradient across the front. I don't think you will be able to get natural lighting to replicate the effect of the original - setting up lights that don't have issues with self-shadowing among the letters will be a nightmare. You will probably have to do what you have already done and apply textures to get the sharp divides of dark and light blues where they fall on the model and compliment it with some 'real' light to add a bit of flair - basically just as you have done it there, but with a bit more light gradient across the front to give it some shape. JMHO.

View PostMusicallyInspired, on 25 February 2018 - 07:29 PM, said:

I did use an SVG actually. What I did was create the text in Photoshop, convert the mask into a vector, throw that into Illustrator, save it as an SVG, and import and extrude in Blender. The reason I couldn't just use Illustrator with the font itself is because the font doesn't look exactly like what I'm going for. I had to make extensive edits to some of the rounded edges of the letters (to make them come to a point instead), remove the hole in the "A", and also to fix the "Q" which looked nothing like it does in the Space Quest logo. Also, the free version of the Space Quest font isn't bold enough so I had to throw a text outline effect in Photoshop before fixing up the aforementioned problems (the version of which I'd need is like $100, the whole pack is like $300 or something). It was quite a process.


That is exactly what I would do, and have done with other logos.

Don't underestimate what you can do in postpro with Photoshop, especially if you isolate different sections. Remember that Blender itself has a very powerful compositor that can add a ton of effects and colour balancing after the fact.

View PostMusicallyInspired, on 25 February 2018 - 07:29 PM, said:

Thanks so much for the advice, TM!


Any time!
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User is offline   MusicallyInspired 

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#16

View PostTea Monster, on 26 February 2018 - 05:06 AM, said:

I used Cycles for my lighting and it doesn't support the regular lights like the old Blender Internal does. I used light emitting planes and I wound up putting a few point lights along the top to give the light gradient across the front. I don't think you will be able to get natural lighting to replicate the effect of the original - setting up lights that don't have issues with self-shadowing among the letters will be a nightmare. You will probably have to do what you have already done and apply textures to get the sharp divides of dark and light blues where they fall on the model and compliment it with some 'real' light to add a bit of flair - basically just as you have done it there, but with a bit more light gradient across the front to give it some shape. JMHO.


I'm using Cycles as well and a light plane for the front but a Hermi light for the back. Just enough to get the blue to show up a tad brighter on the sides. If I wanted to go full authentic I'd make the logo faces emit light instead of being diffuse, but then it looks too plain with just being a solid colour. I attempted to do some compositing with glow on emitting materials for the logo but it would always be too much and make it so you simply couldn't make out the text at all. Maybe I should play around further with that though. But I really wanted a nice 3D effect to contrast the flat original and for that I need shading, so....there's also the option of eliminating shadows being rendered from certain lights, but I don't mind the shadows.

I'll keep experimenting with different lights and such like you mentioned.

Quote

That is exactly what I would do, and have done with other logos.

Don't underestimate what you can do in postpro with Photoshop, especially if you isolate different sections. Remember that Blender itself has a very powerful compositor that can add a ton of effects and colour balancing after the fact.


Mmm. I've been using the node system and following some YT tutorials for some interesting effects. I guess I just need to experiment more. I'm getting the hang of the workflow and layering process. I used the compositor for the engine trails, for instance. Though, I couldn't get them to fade out so I did that in Photoshop instead.

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This post has been edited by MusicallyInspired: 26 February 2018 - 08:12 AM

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