3D Project Blog (for those interested)

Feel free to ask questions…

Currently working on a project for the Burswood Casino, Perth. I thought I’d blog this for those interested in 3D work.

The project is to outfit the casino atrium with an extensive LED lighting system – something like you see on LV casinos. Here, I will only show the process leading up to the actual finished building, and not the lighting aspect, which is not only extensive, but also confidential (and I am dropping the project for a while and focusing on another, higher-priority project for the same client).

Firstly, here are two shots of the building – daytime, and nighttime. Interesting architecture (looks like a giant spaceship), and only really appreciated when one looks closely at the minute details, as I have had to do.

This is a top-view architectural blueprint, reversed to white-on-black for better contrast while working on it:

Ok – I start out by using the architectural plan as a background in the top view of my 3D program – in this case – 3D Studio Max. This allows me to match angles and size, despite it all being built to scale. Because I need to manipulate all the panes individually, it is not enough to just build flat surfaces and ‘paint’ imagery on it. Each glass pane is built individually, complete with aluminum channel borders, and bolts. You wont see that detail in these images, but trust me – they are there. So, I start building the glass sections, composed of joined panes, like so:

Getting the angles right was not as easy as it seems. There are 3 axises to manipulate, and it turned out a bit of a nightmare during the process.

Fabricating the sections and positioning them takes a while. Despite having the correct dimensions for each panel, I could not align the triangular sections with the rectangular sections. And then – I discovered that they ‘cheated’ :) The glass panes making up the rectangular sections are actually longer – and not shown in the plans.

Finally, I have the rough shape of the atrium:

Next, I begin to build the surrounding structure – a simpler jog, using elementary geometry and boolean exercises:

Oh, and I chucked in a sky background just to feel like I’m getting somewhere:

I alternate between the main structures, like the pond, and little details like the aerials because I have a short attention span :)

A few more details – building the surrounding walkway

Changed the sky, because it got boring – only temporary. I begin playing with lighting and applying custom made (in Photoshop) materials:

Lighting is 90% of a 3D render – it takes a long time to get it right – the mood, and the realism. I place palm trees around the pond (made earlier), and spend a while getting lighting right for a ‘dusk’ image. Also work on the pond reflections, and lighting behind glass panels:

Finally, I use a decent sky that suits the image:

Has come up pretty good, I think.
Depending on what the client says, I may or may not continue this, showing the LED lighting system in place and operating.

Thanks for reading, and ask anything you like :)

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