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1 Tutorials LightWave 3D Modeling & HDRI Lighting a Gamepad em Qui Jan 27, 2011 8:44 pm


by Daniel (aka da_duke)

<table class="text1" border="0" cellpadding="2" cellspacing="4" width="100%">
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ok, some basic stuff ;-)
a simple gamepad, modeling using subpatch.
i used this gamepad for my 'proper hdri
lighting' tutorial so it's kinda simple
and lacks some details, compared to the

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we will use some primitives
for that operation and so we start with
a disc. it's not really important how many
sides we have but around 16 is good for
creating the big buttons. select disc tool
and use the numeric field to enter 16 sides,
3-4 cm diameter and a high of around 1
cm (y axis). place the disc around 3 cm
left from the center (or right if you want).
switch to polygon mode and select the top
disc and the 6 polygons facing to the center.
delete those polygons and you should have
an object like shown in pic1.
<td align="center"> </td>
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just mirror this part
to the other side and connect the opposing
parts with selecting the points and 'making
polygon' (key p). select all points on
top in clockwise direction and create a
new polygon. mirror this polygon to the
bottom or just create a new one in the
same manner. select both polygons and hit
key b for bevel. bevel the polys around
-3.5 mm inset and 4.5 mm shift. hit the
secondary mouse button and bevel again
around -4 mm inset and 1.5 mm shift. deselect
the top poly and bevel again the poly on
the bottom, just an inset of -5 mm, it
doesn't matter. delete this polygon and
select all the points of the former polygon
and use average weld to weld them in the
middle. you should have an object like
the one shown in pic2.
<td align="center"> </td>
<tr valign="top">
go to a new layer and
create a new disc, use the same value for
sides and place the disc that way that
the border matches the inner shape of the
last polygon we've created. the disc tool
should have kept the last values so the
new disc is at the same place. we just
need a flat disc so the high doesn't matter.
delete all polygons except the one on top.
move this polygon to the same high as the
top polygon of the body. now bevel this
poly around -2.5 mm inside and no shift.
hit the secondary mouse button to bevel
again (ergh, works only if you have selected
this polygon before, otherwise you will
get a kind of hedgehog ;-)). bevel the
disc around -0.2 mm shift and no inset,
then -0.2 mm inset and no shift. copy this
to another layer, we'll need it later.
go back and start to bevel the disc 4 times
like a flat ball.
<td align="center"> </td>
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we're continue our bevel
session, now we go inside the controller.
use the same disc and bevel this disc around
-0.2 mm shift and no inset, after that
bevel the disc around 4 times and follow
the outline shape we've created before.
just bevel one times more to go a step
deeper. now bevel this disc some millimeters
inset and no shift, delete the disc and
average weld the points. small hint for
selecting the points. there are some plugins
for such stuff but i'm always too lazy
to search and install them. so i select
the polygon, hit key + (hide all unselected
polys) switch to point mode, lasso select
the points, switch back to poly mode, delete
the poly, back to point mode and average
weld. (select, +, ctrl+g, select, ctrl+h,
delete, ctrl+g, w [i use the key w for
average weld instead of info]) this works
fine every time and if i have too complex
structures i use the info window to select
all visible points
<td align="center"> </td>
<tr valign="top">
go to a new layer (or
not, it's up to you) and create a ball.
place it at the center of our 'crater'
and try to fit it into the hole. use 8
sides and 8 segments. select the bottom
part of the ball and stretch it until it
fits into the hole. now delete the 8 polys
on top of the ball and merge them (key
shift+z). bevel this new poly a small step
inside and shift it a little bit inside
the ball, use the secondary mouse button
to bevel 2 or 3 steps more to build a small
dent inside the ball, this is for the thumb.
hit 'tab' to check if the ball looks like
we want
<td align="center"> </td>
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ok, now we want to create
the 6 buttons. go to the layer where we
copied the other disc. bevel this disc
a little toward heaven so it will have
the same high as the border. bevel the
disc 3 or 4 millimeters inside. kill the
disc we don't need it anymore. now create
a smaller disc with 8 sides and 3 segments.
use a radius of 6 mm and a high of around
5 mm. select this disc and use the rotate
tool now, change the action center to selection
and rotate the disc 22.5 degree. select
the bottom polygon and bevel it a little
outside (0.5 mm) and then shift 2 times
up (around 1 mm per step), last bevel it
around 2 mm outside. delete this disc.
select the top disc and bevel it 2 times
around 1.5 mm inside, delete the disc and
average weld the points. now create an
array of 3x2 disc's with the array tool
from the multiply menu. if the array doesn't
fit into our previously created disc just
hit undo and stretch the points from the
border a little bit inside.
<td align="center"> </td>
<tr valign="top">
copy the buttons to the
first disc if you worked on a separate
layer. now we have to do some little 'select
points - create poly' stuff. first create
4 polys between the buttons. after that
weld and create polys to connect the buttons
to the outer disc. i don't want to explain
each single poly so just look at the image
and try to do the same ;-) two ways: just
create one side and mirror the new polys
to the other side or create both sides
if you don't want to fitting around with
the mirror tool.
<td align="center"> </td>
<tr valign="top">
ok, now back to the very
first piece we did. kick the poly from
the top and select the two polys between
the disc and the two polys on the bottom
connected to those 2 we've selected some
seconds ago. use knife to cut those polygons,
place it on the center of the controller.
deselect the polygons except the polygons
on one side of the controller which will
be hold the big buttons. use knife two
times for each side to cut these polygons
again. turn to the bottom and switch to
point mode. select the points in strange
position and weld them with the center
point. sounds strange but look at the picture
and you'll understand it.
<td align="center"> </td>
<tr valign="top">
now move the parts between
the disc's a little bit inside, do it how
you like and check with hitting tab if
it looks like you want. copy the big joystick
and the six buttons in one layer and start
to connect them with 4 point polys. just
connect them and cut them with knife at
the middle. kick the two polys at the big
button side or cut them with knife and
connect the inner points to the middle
point. copy this object to the main body
of our controller. merge or weld the points
from the two parts but be careful with
'fixed merge' better select the points
you want to merge before. if you've deleted
the polys on the big button side just create
them, otherwise merge them properly. after
switching to subpatch mode via the 'tab'
key our object could be look like this.
<td align="center"> </td>
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back to the buttons. this
flat version looks kinda stupid and it's
not like the original. select the 6 buttons
including the surrounding polygons (leave
1 row of the 'disc' polygons beneath the
notch unselected) then use the magnet tool
to curve out the keys. play a little bit
with falloff and radius until you get a
smooth and round shape. i use radial and
i define the range with building a shape
with the secondary mouse button, include
all selected polygons. don't care about
the outer ring of unselected polygons,
if you finish your shape just use the move
tool and move the buttons upward until
you have a nice round shape and a similar
high to the joystick. (put it in a background
layer) after some tweaking should the result
look like this picture.
<td align="center"> </td>
<tr valign="top">
so, the buttons are quit
unergonomical at this moment so use the
last selection and expand it with '}' until
you have the notch included. cut it and
paste it back, select some polygons and
select all connected with ']' and use rotate
to rotate the selection 22.5 degrees counterclockwise.
that's maybe not the best position but
we need it to paste it back correctly.
merge the points with 'merge automatic'
you should get a message '16 points merged'.
if not, you can see the non merged points,
they are located between some sharp peaks
in the polygon structure. switch to polygon
mode (no subpatch) select the points and
weld or merge them manually. if you still
have selected the polygons hit 'q' and
type in something like small_knobs or so.
use a black color and some specularity
so that we can see the surface better.
select the joystick cave and give them
a similar surface with the name 'joystick_body'
<td align="center"> </td>
<tr valign="top">
there isn't so much to
do left. we still need the big buttons
and a small notch around the controller.
we will do this in one step because we
can save some work. we have to select the
polygons around the controller. if you
use lw7 or higher just select two polys
and then switch to bandsaw or bandsaw pro,
otherwise select all the polys and use
the knife tool. we need two cuts, around
40% and 60%. now switch to point mode.
if you have used the bandsaw the points
we need are selected now, if not use the
'select points of selected polygons' trick
i had explained above. smooth shift these
points around 0.5 mm outside to keep the
round shape of the controller.
<td align="center"> </td>
<tr valign="top">
back to poly mode, we
need the line of polys between our previously
cuts. select the line manually or use bandsaw
without divide to select the line. now
use smooth shift and shift this line around
1 mm into the body. if you want really
sharp borders then do this 2 times (you
have to adjust the max smooth angle to
avoid a scaling of the notch) but i think
only one step should be ok. you can change
the size of the notch with moving the points
of our cuts closer together.
<td align="center"> </td>
<tr valign="top">
now go to the place where
the big buttons are located. select the
polygons for the buttons. it's ok if you
are work on one side only and mirror the
part later, so we can save some time. select
smooth shift and click with the primary
mouse button only once but without moving
the mouse, switch to move (key 't') and
move the selection around 2 or 3 mm into
the body. deselect the polygons except
the small ones from the notch. use move
to move the polygons to the same position
like the other polys. (what the f#$% is
he talking 'bout?) ok, check the picture
and you'll know what i mean.
<td align="center"> </td>
<tr valign="top">
<td> next step is to weld some points. toggle
to polygon mode (key 'tab') and then switch
to point mode. if you zoom close to the
polygons we've just moved you can see some
points close together. weld those points
and then use statistics to select the 2
point polygons and delete them.
<td align="center"> </td>
<tr valign="top">
select the polygons at
the bottom of the ditch. hit 'q' and give
them a surface called 'big_buttons' or
so. then smooth shift the button 2 times.
use the 'click with no shift and move'
trick to avoid strange shapes. first step
is to the border of the body and the second
step is out of the body. you can tweak
the shape of the button with moving some
points closer to the border or just keep
it like it is. now mirror the part of the
controller or do the same on the other
<td align="center"> </td>
<tr valign="top">
so, that's all, i think
you are able to add a cable by yourself.
just some hints for the texturing. i used
an uv map for the bumpmaps for the small
buttons. just select the top of the buttons,
create an uv map with planar mapping on
the y axis. make a screenshot of the map,
go to your pixel program and place some
numbers at the right positions. about surfacing,
check my 'hdri lighting' tutorial for some
hints. add some noise bumpmaps to the body
and a gradient for the reflections to simulate
the fresnell effect.<table class="text1" border="0" cellpadding="2" cellspacing="4" width="100%"><tr valign="top"><td>
in progress so stay tuned
or send comments to [Você precisa estar registrado e conectado para ver este link.]

i saw a lot of renderings
with radiosity and hdr and i read a lot
of tutorials about the usage of hdr and
radiosity. and sometimes i'm really surprised
about the things people thinking and doing.
i saw often too much reflections, wrong
reflections, too less contrast and last
but not least, renderings with a background
picture instead of a hdri. sometimes it
was a little bit 'radiosity just to use
radiosity' or 'radiosity only for the look'
(you know that clay like stuff with this
nifty noise spangles all around)

so what's the problem
with hdri lighting? i think the first big
mistake is to switch from classical lighting
to hdri lighting without thinking about
the nature of light and the behavior of
hdri lighting. this is based on several
things. reflections, diffuse, overall brightness.
it took me a while to figure out why some
of my renders (and others) are not like
i want. i used a hdri and reflection gradients,
photo textures, depth of field and all
this stuff but it was not like the original.
so i will start to explain the details
<tr valign="top">
i will compare this procedure
with a photography of an object. since
LightWave® is able to produce high
dynamic renderings with the floading point
render engine it is easy to tweak the result
after rendering the image. so let's begin
with the first important thing - reflections.
we don't talk about metal reflections now
i mean such things like dark plastic or
ceramic stuff. since dark materials absorbing
nearly every light hitting the surface
they are only visible because of the reflections
or in comparison to brighter materials.
<td> </td>
<tr valign="top">
since we don't use glossiness
with hdri lighting the reflections of lights
are only adjusted by the amount of reflection
of the surface. if you take a look at a
photography you will see that the reflection
of a window is over exposed because the
exposure is measured for the whole scene
(for example, not generally) and so the
window is too bright. if you adjust the
reflection of the surface to get a good
reflection of the window you will have
only a small reflection of the environment
and nothing more. that's wrong. let's check
the following pictures, we can see that
the whole room is visible on the black
and shiny parts of the controller.
<td> </td>
<tr valign="top">
if we say we have around
2-3 percent reflection at an incidence
angle of 90 degree we have to tweak the
environment that way that we'll achieve
the same reflection on our model. we don't
have to spend too much attention to the
parts where we look with a very flat angle
onto the model because 'mr. fresnell' will
do the trick for us (add a nonlinear gradient
for the reflection layer or use a fresnell
shader). after a first test rendering we'll
see that there is nothing to see on our
model. that's bad, indeed, and the reason
for that is - our hdr is too dark. many
hdri's and mine too are adjusted to get
a good visual expression. nobody want to
see an over exposed picture. since we know
the amount of reflection is given by nature
and we don't want to change the hdr there
is only one way for that - we have to increase
the brightness using the image world plugin
or with the amount of radiosity. the latest
option might work well for backdrop lighting
but can produce strange effects if we want
to use monte carlo.
<td> </td>
<tr valign="top">
after changing the brightness
and a test rendering we'll get a helluva
bright picture. the reason for that is
simple. as long as we used 'normal' lights
within LightWave® we adjusted the surfaces
to get nice results with lights between
0-100 'LightWave® units'. but a hdri
uses a big range for the light and after
increasing the brightness we have lights
with an intensity of 1000 or more. this
ain't good for our surfaces.

<td> </td>
<tr valign="top">
so we have to lower the
diffuse value of our surface until it matches
the expectation. unfortunately we have
to change the reflection value a little
bit. a natural surface 'should' have 100%
reflection at a view (incidence) angle
of 90 degree but this reflection is the
total amount of total reflection and diffuse
reflection. since we simulate the diffuse
reflection with the diffuse parameter the
reflection is too heavy. decrease the reflection
a little bit. the picture on the right
side is close to our original. it's not
the same hdr, i shot the photo later and
the controller is not the same. the reflection
blurring produces light bulb on the left
which is too big. you can try to change
this with decreasing the reflections or
adding a gradient to the diffuse value
to use a lower diffuse value for an incidence
angle of 90 degree.

<td> </td>
<tr valign="top">
here now the settings:

image world brightness:
global illumination: ambient light - 0,
radiosity - backdrop only - 100% - 12x36

surface data:

main body of the controller:
diffuse - non linear gradient, incidence
angle, 0 degree - 35%, 90 degree 20% (this
will increase the affect of light to the

reflection - non linear
gradient, incidence angle, 0 degree - 65%,
90 degree - 6% (the 0 degree value should
be 100% but that's not correct for LightWave® since
we use diffuse too)

shiny parts except buttons:
diffuse 0, because the surface is black,
reflection - non linear gradient, incidence
angle, 0 degree - 100%, 90 degree - 4 %

the other parts are nearly
the same but with additional fractal noise
for bump and a bump map for the numbers
on the buttons.
<td> </td>
<tr valign="top">
the picture is too perfect
so feel free to tweak the surface with
some dirty maps to add tiny adjustments
to the reflection maps (use substract for
blending mode). also the color range and
the contrast is compared to a photography
too good. and, the textures ;-)

<td align="center"> </td></tr></table>

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