From Sketch to 3D

3D, Just Learning, Molecular

Earlier in the semester I introduced my final project for Computer Visualization (Origination). I decided to create an environment to display the bacteria Giardia Intestinalis. This is a pretty intense little critter. I learned about this guy while taking Medical Microbiology at Towson University. It is amazing how many microscopic creatures surround us constantly!

After I came up with my idea, I needed to roughly figure out what I wanted my scene to look like. I created the following sketch as a general composition and color scheme. I didn’t want to make the sketch too detailed, as I was sure bits of the image would changed as I started modeling and texturing in 3DS max.

Once I had the sketch I proceeded to create the scene. One of the goals of this assignment was to demonstrate an understanding of render passes. Render passes, generated in a 3d modeling program when you render your scene, allow output of different channels. This allows for post-processing, or editing, in Photoshop. One of the benefits of this technique is ease of post render modifications (i.e. – its a big time saver). My gallery provides most of the passes I rendered out such as alpha, lighting, specular, ambient, diffuse and zdepth .

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Then after hours of modeling, texturing, lighting, rendering AND Photoshop editing I was able to create this master piece:

As a tip to compositing newbies, don’t hesitate to generate a channel using matte. I didn’t do this when I rendered my ‘main Giardia’ render pass, so the environment in this render pass had all parts rendered, including parts unseen in the beauty pass. I was able to paint this out in the alpha channels, but had the shape been more complex I would have re-rendered with a matte layer.  Another tip, try placing your zDepth as an alpha channel in Photoshop. Then blur the image using lens blur filter ( once in the filter options, you have to select the channel from a drop down menu). This magical trick keeps from having to use depth of field in the camera settings and saves time rendering.  I also really liked working with the lighting channel. I can’t really explain how, but it does nice things.

As always there are edits I would like to make, but like any good artwork I learned a lot during this process. The overall color scheme changed however I am okay with that. The image needed to look darker and feel more unpleasant. In this sense the lighting worked out, and overall I think it came out better then I originally sketched. I hope you enjoy!


I made some minor modifications

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