View Full Version : My latest Art Project

11-23-2007, 09:23 PM
Just wanted to share an early early render of my latest art project WIP. Its going to be one of those combination sundial compass things and I have spent most of the day doing the dial art and making the metal material...I'm not 100% done with the metal material, and of course I still have to actually model the device itself...but I figured I'd show it off...

Also, this sparks a new little change I'm doing...since there is no WIP forum anymore, I figured I'd make this General/Misc mapping a catch all for map related artwork as well. This isn't a map, but its map related. AND I plan on rendering out a version of the dial to be used as a map object.

11-23-2007, 10:38 PM
Wow--that's amazing! I'm amazed! Robbie, you are amazing! I wish I could do that sort of amazing work!!!!!

11-23-2007, 10:45 PM
Wow - that looks like a photo! :!: Very nice!

11-23-2007, 10:56 PM
Dang! You guys are too kind ;) Thank you!!!

Here's an update...I've built a housing and a glass bezel...there's also the knobs used to fine tune the leveling of the compass. I haven't added the sundial and the latitude adjustment guide, but you can see how this is going to come together now at least.

I changed the environment map to something a little brighter, but its unfortunately also a sky, so the environment map doesn't match the lighting...I'll fix that.

11-23-2007, 11:00 PM
Very cool - way to take it up a notch in the photorealism department! :)

11-23-2007, 11:10 PM

Here's my inspiration by the way.


I might just order me one.

11-24-2007, 12:11 AM
Only $82 bucks? Dang that seems cheap.

Nice work. 3DS Max? What renderer are you using.

11-24-2007, 12:20 AM
Yup...3d Studio Max 2008...Mental Ray is my renderer...and I'm using the Architectural & Design Materials.

Here's an update for tonight...I'm goin to bed...will probably model the sundial and the latitude adjustment indicator tomorrow and MAYBE get the etching for the sundial parts done...then I gotta add screws.

Render time 4:36 minutes...its gonna go up a lot though once I increase the samples and add Global Illumination, caustics, and final gather.

11-24-2007, 01:29 AM
I lied...I did a little more modelling before bed...NOW I'm going to bed for real.

Tomorrow I'll do the etchings and finish up the actual scene.

11-24-2007, 04:58 AM
Really beautiful! I wish I could make 3d models like that!


11-24-2007, 01:40 PM
Are you using a displace for your compass face? What's your mesh density?

wish I could make 3d models like that!You can, if you invest a jaquillion hours learning Max.

11-24-2007, 02:18 PM
Nope, just a carefully crafted bump map...I used a combination of diffuse color and bump map with motion blurred noise in various different directions to create the metal material...I can share the material with you if you'd like it?

In the meantime, this morning I did the sundial face etching and applied it. Now I need to do the etching for the latitude adjustment guide and add the compass needle stopper, and the hinge for the sundial face...the screws, and some other minor details...Of course I've dedicated this to the Cartographers' Guild ;)

11-24-2007, 02:56 PM
forgot to mention my mesh density...its not very high at all...I'm relying on some of the new mental ray shader effects to do most of the work...for example, I have absolutely no modelled in chamfered edges...all my edge chamfering is done with the rounded edges mr_A&D shader effect. It even has a blend with other materials option, so I can create a clean merge between two pieces of geometry just by overlapping them...which you can see where the compass housing merges into the compass base, and also where the little cylinders that hold the gnomon in place merge with the sundial face.

Here's a screenshot of my workspace and a high resolution render of the current model. As you can tell, its not really that dense except for the number of segments on all the circular pieces...none of the chamfering is modelled which really makes things easier to work with.

Also from this high res, the bump map on the glass is a bit too intense...gonna have to reconsider it.

11-24-2007, 04:13 PM
absolutely no modelled in chamfered edgesI noticed those. They're a great touch! I almost asked how you had modelled them.
my mesh density...its not very high at all...Doesn't need to be, the way you're doing it. Dense meshes are a soak of resources. I don't have a nice enough compy to do anything with them.
chamfering is done with the rounded edges mr_A&D shader effect. It even has a blend with other materials option, so I can create a clean merge between two piecesThat sure is handy! Obviously there's quite a bit I need to explore in the new Max.

11-24-2007, 04:18 PM
This is amazing to me. I can't believe I know somebody who actually does this high quality of work. Just incredible!

11-24-2007, 04:45 PM
this high quality of workThe work is excellent, and kudos to the worker. But some credit has to go to the software, too. Here's a piece I did in Max several years back ... http://lattice.mysteryandmagic.com/discus/messages/151/12280.jpg ... you can really get some wonderful results if you have the right tools, and know how to use them! Sounds like Arcana is really mastering Max. I struggle. I've stuggled since, I think, v3. It's the only piece of software that has ever intimidated me with its power. It makes Photoshop look like Wordpad.

[edit] I should admit up front, I stole the naked-girl mesh from Poser. I'm nowhere close to a good enough mesh modeller to create such a thing!

11-24-2007, 04:50 PM
But to get something close to back on topic ...

I ask about mesh density because, of course, many of us play with 3D terrain renders, height maps, etc. Max does those with displace modifers, and to get decent results you need really high mesh densities. (That puts Max at a disadvantage to proggies like, e.g., Bryce, which seems to handle them much more easily.) The same modifier applies to doing an engraved brass compass face. I just never had any success with high-density meshes, probably because of lack of processor power.

I guess I am wondering if the mental ray techniques used on this piece would be applicable to terrain maps?

11-24-2007, 04:56 PM
You might not know this, toff, but Arcana does 3d modelling for a living...so he's very good at it :)

11-24-2007, 05:06 PM
.so he's very good at it No argument from me. Cheers!

(Shh, I'm pickinig his brains.)

11-24-2007, 07:07 PM
The transition from Max 8 to Max 9 focused primarily on Mental Ray and Performance issues...Max 2008 has focused even more on Performance and made the interface a little more functional (read: more to learn)...I've been workign with max since v2.5 BUT have only done low-polygon modelling for games up until Max 8 when I started doing some hi poly stuff seriously.

Max 2008 handles higher density meshes MUCH better than its predecessors, so you should give it a try now if you have it.

As for displacement for heightmaps and terrain...there's three ways to do displacements...There's the displace modifier that displaces based on existing geometry, which means higher density meshes give better results...then there's Displace Approx...which approximates the details of the displacement map and subdivides the mesh accordingly, which requires far less mesh density, but increases your render times a LOT since it does all that math during render...and then there's the new mental ray displacement shader which is similar to displace approx, but its a shader effect instead of a math process...I imagine the mental ray displacement map is similar to normal mapping in modern games, which does a combination of displace approx and bump mapping...All I know is it works great and is surprisingly fast at render time, but you don't get to see the results till render.

Feel free to pick my brain anytime ;) I learned all I need to know from CGTalk...which is my inspiration for this site anyways...I've only been doing this professionally for the past year or so...but I've been a part of many mod teams and things for games, I did a lot of stuff for Neverwinter Nights, and I'm still an artist member of the DLA mod team and we're up to some great stuff nowadays...

11-24-2007, 08:38 PM
Ok, all the etching is done, most of the modelling is done...I'm going to open it up a little and then do a large render while I go out to dinner...then I'll probably spend tomorrow working on the scene and whatnot like lighting, environment, etc.

11-24-2007, 11:16 PM
My latitude etching didn't render with all the stuff in it for some reason so i fixed it but its not in this render...this render took 45 minutes, because its bigger and the samples are higher...and I'm done for the night. Tomorrow I'll be travelling to orlando for the week...so I'll be limited.

11-25-2007, 01:27 AM
Incredible as always Robbie!! That is a beautiful piece.

11-25-2007, 04:20 PM
Now all we need is a fabber so we can actually make one!

11-25-2007, 09:54 PM
did you see the link I posted on I think page one?

The Cartographist
11-26-2007, 05:04 PM
That is incredible.

But what I find more incredible is that you guys have this little community that can celebrate amazing work like that and still praise a novice for his hand-drawn map on graph paper.

This really is a special place, as I've learned since coming here. [Going on Day 2 as a member...]

Where has this place been all my life?

11-26-2007, 05:47 PM
It helps that online, no-one can see you going green with envy.

11-27-2007, 02:49 AM
Whats even more beautiful is that I've seen people come here and not be able to draw even an x-marks-the-spot map properly and several weeks later turn around and garner a lot of praise for a very nicely done map.

What saddens me though is that in my experimentign with 3d stuff...I keep creating map related art, but not actual maps...I may have to suck it up and make some more maps..I haven't been GMing lately, so I haven't been mapping.

11-27-2007, 09:07 AM
It helps that online, no-one can see you going green with envy.

Here you go...


-Rob A>

12-01-2007, 03:13 PM
I didn't get to work on this much this past week...was in Orlando for business...hence my lack of participation lately :(

This doesn't look too much different except for the fact that its using a different environment map...I'm using a bightened up version of grace cathedral for both global lighting and reflection mapping. I'm using global illumination from a skylight HDR and Final Gather for accuracy. Its a little darker than the Kansas City environment map, but brings out some of the details a little better at the cost of other details...

I also made a separate brass shader with a smaller rounded edges shader to account for the smaller details, such as the knurling on the knurled knobs, and the screws....