Crystal Ball - needs a tweak...or three

Started this thinking it was a good subject for a quickie. It’s not turning out that way.

  1. The candle reflection (a photo in a dome over the table) is being overpowered by the rest of the scene reflected inside the ball.

  2. I’m having trouble getting the edge of the deck of cards to look like the edges of a stack of cards.

  3. The ball is actually two. There is one in a layer with three ray trace lamps (mimicking the three candles) only casting it’s shadow and not rendering. The second is on a different layer with it’s own three lamps. I didn’t want the raytrace to screw up the transparency. The ball doesn’t look nice and crisp inside. I’m having a hard time getting it to look good.

  4. Another thing about the ball. What the heck are those rectangular shapes floating around in there? I’m pretty sure crystal balls don’t have junk like that floating inside them.

Suggestions appreciated.


So, it’s perfect, right?


Hmm… Looks like those lamps are screwing something up. Try moving them to a different layer or deleting them to see what happens.

Nice anyways! And… for the cards. This may sound crazy (and believe me, I am) but try making one card and duplicating it, or using dupliverts. It might look a bit better, but all of this is my opinion.

Your deck of cards looks like it is made out of either rubber or ceramic.

I feel like I did fairly realistic looking cards in this pic:

A little dark and can’t find my original blend, but I rendered each card individually using “extrude dup” on a very thin mesh cube. 52 cards looked like too many, so there are only like 30 or so, but looks like a full deck.

The trick for me was to have them stacked, but not quite touching… this gave the edges a good look in a fully lit scene. And allowed me to fairly easily offset as many cards as I wanted.

Hope that helps!

(Then again, maybe the look you have is exactly what you were going for and I’m wasting your time, heh.)

BumpyMonkey; I really wasn’t looking for that rubber or ceramic effect on the cards. It just looked a heck of a lot better in Photoshop than it does on the model. I’ll try copying a card several times because though I’ve heard of dupliverts I don’t know what they are or how they work.

penitentman; I’ll try the no touch thing. I sounds like it will work. (Just a question between you and me, Are you “penitent” because you rigged the deck? :smiley: Electric at that even. Mmmm.)

As far as the lights go I guess it’s back to the drawing board (or keyboard in this case).

Thanks guys!


Dupliverts are incredibly easy. all you do is parent the card (or anything else) to an object and it duplicates it on all of the vertices. Hope it helps! Oh, and make sure to use ambient occlusion in your final render…

“…The penitent man shall pass…” - from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

Sorry for the double-post, but you need something glowing inside. Like some kinda magical energy or something…

Looks pretty good, most of the other people’s suggestions have covered what I was going to mention but as a suggestion: This might be a little late, but yafray might work out better in the whole glass/caustic transparency thing.