Baseball Aging

Hello Blender Artists!
First I was trying to model a proper baseball with proper topology. But then I started to make materials for leather and treads, besides to try to use only procedural textures and blendings… and then figured that I could like to use/render brand new and used balls in my creative work in future, so I tried to make material with Single Aging Value which adds/changes spots, dirt, wrinkles, stripes, scratches, abrasions, etc. That’s the result so far. CC wellcome.
BTW: off course I used reference pictures, and noticed that balls can differ as well as different is how they look used. They can become finny and also oily/shinny, so there’s no one ideal old baseball look. I plan to add hairs to aged threads.

Looking great so far!

I think the oldest ball, on the right isn’t feeling quite right. I’d try to connect the darker worn material with some bump as if it’s been worn off, and maybe add more variations in color, tiny weird looking rips, a touch of 30d dirt particles.

Really cool concept!

Great start! are you going for aging on the balls from being used in a game, or from sitting outside in the elements for a while? They would look different. As they are now, I can’t quite tell.
I suppose mlb balls wouldn’t even get very dirty with the amount they use in games.

I agree with ctabomb… it really depends on what kind of ball you are shooting for. MLB ball really wouldn’t get aged very much, but little league balls can get pretty scuffed up and aged a lot.

You did a nice modeling job on the laces, I’m curious as to what technique you used.

Thanks for CC’s! Here’s some update with more grunge on surface but less contrast of color. I am not paying lots of attention to league of ball. Just took most prestigious league IMO and playing with that. I can also remove stamps if they disturb :slight_smile: Let’s say ball is used after its duty on league field…for fun, for practice, etc.

Modeling. Long story, but I started wit cube. After I achieved mesh which has smooth edge which matches seam, I made topology so that there are even width edge-loops on both sides of “seam”. All the time I used mirror modifier to be sure that all sphere is even. Then I separated seam and made it as path for future “belt” of laces, compressed leather, holes by using array and curve modifiers. In sphere object I deleted those edgeloops and seam, so after I can connect this “seam-belt” with sphere. Object which was multiplied and banded for seam-belt consisted both - treads and leather segment around threads. It was try and repeat dozens of times till I was satisfied with result, but I also added several displace modifiers for different sets of vertgroups to deform uniform treads. As I said - long story. And even after applying and connecting sphere parts with belt I used modifier to displace surface of sphere and seam zone to make it more natural.

The crevices need a dirtier look, like the dirt has gotten stuck in there over time. Maybe use an AO bake?

Cool info on how you modeled it.
The reason I bring up league/how it aged was just that the ball would look different depending on how it was used. Maybe to most people that wouldn’t even cross their mind, but as a big fan and player of the game that stuck out to me…

My comment wasn’t regarding what is the better league logo to use, but rather, in little league they have a very limited budget, so game balls start out new, used once in a game, and then usually relegated to practice balls. Those practice balls get used often up to a couple years and tend to get very beat up ragged over time.

Thanks for the description on how you modeled the ball and laces

Definite improvements. You pull the camera back a little, run a little compositing blur and noise and it’s going to hard to tell it apart from a real ball.

The seams are looking really good, I’m pretty convinced. Only thing I might think to add is a handful of barely perceptiable little frayed peices of hair/fabric from the seams, and maybe one or more is a little more bent out of shape.

I keep looking at the MLB writing. Parts are worn completely and parts are fully opaque. I would experiment either making the whole lot of it partially transparent showing the ball materially, or going the other way and making sure none of it is 100% gone. There are some hard edges that are drawing my eye to it.

Also I feel like the entire shape is a little too cube-like (cubish? cuban? :spin:). I know they will warp a little but you may have gone too far.

You’re in a tough stage, where it’s entirely possible to spend a few hours tweaking and have a side by side which is worse. Keep experimenting. Really nice stuff!

Coming along nicely.

Have you considered getting an actual ball and doing what you can to replicate it?

I had one, but I’ve lost it somewhere in house. So I am using references a lot. If you google “old baseball” or “used baseball”, you’ll see that there’s no 2 balls alike. They aging differently regarding of different duties and fields where they are used.

Thanks for detailed suggestions. I must say that I little outpace them. I already added hairs to threads, I differed opacity of abrasion of stamps.

At the moment camera is like 32cm form surface of the ball and has 2mm aperture radius for DOF. I’ll try Your suggestion, but it will decrease perspective of ball which is barely sensible already.

I am still tweaking all the material of leather, so I will post progress later, hopefully today :slight_smile:

I hope it’s progress and I would start to make some more natural environment like grass or soil, or both

Really nice progress, for sure subtle but powerful improvements. Are you planning a scene for it?

Thank You! Just let the vet ball go out on green.