Dead Bar

This is my first Blender project. I decided to model a new item of weight training equipment I designed and built.

In the past I would get a photographer to photo the equipment (the first photo), however it is apparent to me that the Blender modelled render is better than a photo. Not only is the model itself perfect but I can alter the handles and pin positions to get additional renderings to show the adjustability of the apparatus.

I have to apply materials to the pins to get a stainless steel look, also material to the end caps. Need to alter fresnel so that the uprights look more shiny. The handles are composed of 2 materials, the actual grips need to be given knurling - does anyone know how to do this so that on close-up the knurling will look real.

I also need to sort out the blue sheet it is sitting on, it looks like it is floating when it is actually standing on the sheet, perhaps radiosity?

Damn, i thought the first picture was your render. Scary !

I also need to sort out the blue sheet it is sitting on, it looks like it is floating when it is actually standing on the sheet, perhaps radiosity?

Maybe that’s because there is no shadows ? It should work.
Good work for your first work on blender, have you already medelled on others softwares ?

I also need to sort out the blue sheet it is sitting on, it looks like it is floating when it is actually standing on the sheet, perhaps radiosity?

I think if u turn on AO at high samples it would look better.

Yeah the I though the first pic was your render.

Thanks all for comments.

I designed the equipment on Autosketch 7 a basic 2D cad package. Blender is the first 3D modeller I have come across, I started it in March. Ironically I discovered Blender via a library book on 3D which had a small picture of Suzanne on one of the pages, it said,

“Blender is a free 3D modelling program with a quirky interface.”

It still amazes me that Blender is only 5 MB.

Since discovering Blender, I’ve gone opensource and now have a dual boot Ubuntu/XP machine!!!

Okay, I’ve updated the picture.

First I altered the material settings of the floor, altering its hardness and specularity so that it isn’t so bright and the light spot is now reduced - thus it is more matt, like the original photographers background paper.

I’ve also discovered that lamps can throw shadows by enabling ray tracing for that lamp. The shadow however is hard edged so I dupliverted the lamp. There is thus a shadow at the frame floor so it doesn’t look like its floating.

Shadows on the spot lights are by default shadow buffers which is like a projector, which explains to me why one of the spot light shadows looked like a transparent projection.

Ray tracing of the single dupliverted (9 times) lamp increased the render time from 1:43 to 7:08 minutes - that was with decreased oversampling from 16 to 5.

Hmm…why not just use area lights? the softness of the shadow depends on how big the lamp is. So if you use an area light with a size of 10, you will get a very soft shadow boundary. btw, if you do choose to try area lights, then the power will have to be turned right down, otherwise the lighting will just kill the image.

Alternately, (and much quicker) you can use spot lights with buffered shadows…very useful for soft lighting.

Oh, and for a first project, this is great work :wink:

Yes I might try raytraced area lights. Spot lights with buffered shadows, however don’t give a shadow close to the blue sheeting, which on their own make it look like its floating.

At the moment I have 2 spotlights, one dupliverted ray traced lamp, one regular lamp and one hemi lamp [!] .

I’ll look at the pins now, then the knurling - don’t really know how to do the knurling.

Irony: Nice model. I can definately see where you are going with the deadlift apparatus. That is, if my assumption is correct.

I happen to have a bump map that may help with the knurling. I hope it is ok to post it here.


Here’s a close-up of the locking pin. I’m trying to simulate a stainless steel effect not too chromey so played with shader and ray mirror reflectivity - I don’t really know what the difference is between the two.

I may add a texture to give it a grain.

Tried a ray traced area light instead of dupliverted ray traced lamp and got a similar effect but stuck with the lamp version as it looked better.

Daronas thanks for the bump map its just what I was looking for, so I’ve saved it - I was pretty sure it had something to do with bump maps but will now have to figure out how they work.

It would allow the animation of how this adjustment happens, too. Would like to see that!

wow keep going

That first rendering sucks. You need to adjust your lighting. Haha, just kidding, I know it is a photograph. I just wanted to fool anyone here too lazy to read the rest of this.

Your stainless is fine for what you need. Actually, everything you have is more than good enough. You are selling a product, not the artwork. A less complex and less realistic rendering would be fine too. Like a TOON setting, that can be placed in a brochure or a set of instructions for easy assembly, without words to read. And you know how those ‘muscle men’ are. All braun and no brains. Again, just kidding.

What you have shown us here is great!

Now, if you are really into stainless maybe try my stainles tutorial

And more thing to add. Back in the early 80’s (before computers were anything worth touting about) we had to get huge photographs of merchandise and fix the by touching them up. Air brushing with special paint to make them look perfect. Add shadows, some shine, and reflections, remove backgrounds, etc… Then they were re-photographed, resized and sent to the publisher for approval then printed.

Spin, just out of curiosity, perhaps I didn’t see something, but in your stainless steel tutorial, your texture settings show a nor button depressed but in the slider your nor value is 0.0 why depress it if your not using it?

These are really nice renders and the modeling is great. I’d say just add your handle texture and do your final tweeks and render your finals!!

Actually it is 0.005 You can’t see the last digit, due to my “squeezed” frame boxes. That little tiny amount has a huge effect on mirror and shiny surfaces.

Thanks all for comments. Thanks Spin for the stainless steel texture.

I haven’t posted in a while because I was learning how to do normal maps. I’ve applied Daronas’s bump map image to the handle. I can’t quite get it right however. If I tube map it, it has stretches at the top and bottom of the knurling. If I cube map it, it is much more even but has seams at the boundaries.

The image above is taken at the side where there is no distortion and no seams.

I’ve also figured out how to UV map though it doesn’t look like UV mapping supports bump mapping?

You can uv map anything you want. Nor,alpha,color, whatever. What is this rendered in? Blender internal or YafRay? The reason I ask is because Blender’s renderer is good for bump-maps, but YafRay is better.

Use the NOR button instead of the COL button (of both if you want).
It is that easy.

jw… how close up are you planning on showing all these things? if ur gonna show the whole machine half the details you’re putting in won’t even be noticed… it’s just a lot of work for stuff you won’t notice in the end without going over it with a magnifying lens… btw… it looks great so far… the lighting could use a few more duliverted lights to get better shadows… maybe tone down the nonshadow lights they kind of make the shadows seem less relistic… but the model looks great…

As noted by others I am aiming at a brochure/industrial type look so perhaps am going into more detail than I need. Then again details such as stainless steel pins and good knurling are selling points. Also I’m using it as an exercise in learning how to use Blender - the model for this item can also be used as a template for other items of equipment I have so I’ll be able to do those a lot quicker.