Computer Generated 3D Renderings -
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3D Custom Material Creation Process. (Birdseye Maple). Here is a powerful example of the process I use to create custom, photo-realistic 3D materials for color accurate design visualization renderings in 3ds max. I always start with a precisely measured (and repeatable) physical studio setup, with two light sources of equal intensity positioned in symmetrical orientation to the physical material that I want to replicate. I use a CamAlign chart from DSC Labs as a reference for correct exposure, accurate color and reflections in combination with three wooden blocks (Red, Green and Blue) which are used as a reference for reflection intensity and blur at various angles. I then photograph the actual material from the same distance at three different angles (0, 45 and 90 degrees) to later use as visual references for creating the virtual material in 3ds max. I then select and sample a square area of the face-on, photographed material in Photoshop and create a seamless tile. This tile is then applied as the diffuse material within the 3ds max material editor. In addition to the diffuse material image, I also create a black and white version to use as a "bump map". This is what gives the virtual material the appearance of an actual texture when working with materials that are not 100% smooth. Once my materials have been photographed in the physical lab, I then recreate the exact same scene, with the exact same measurements, objects and light placements within 3ds max. By applying a photographed "map" of my CamAlign chart to a piece of geometry in the scene, I am able to calibrate my virtual light sources and camera settings to match those of the 'real world" setup. When these parameters are all synchronized, I know that whatever adjustments I start making in the material editor will be accurately reflected in the 3d scene. The virtual material must then be adjusted from each of the three different camera angles in order to recreate the reflective and other surface properties of the physical material. Once these adjustments have been made, the virtual material can re-used over and over again on any object in any scene and always remain consistent. Notice the reflections of the "real" photographed material (upper right) and the 3ds max rendered scene material (lower right).