Headphones - banner for media page

Hi guys, I threw this one together this morning. It’s a banner for the media page on a website. Let me know what you think!


A banner should be maybe 150-250 px, definitely not 512. Think about this: a netbook generally has a 1024x600 px screen. Subtract 24px for the taskbar, and 90px for the top of the browser (and that’s best case), and your “banner” fills up the entire screen.

As for the blender portion, the metal bits on the headphones lack contrast. Most likely that’s because you have way too much diffuse shading in the material. In an unbiased render, there would be no diffuse component to metal, but in BI it can help to have a little bit of diffuse. It should be way less than that, though.

The environment is also rather boring, which contributes to the unrealistic reflections. Think about studio lighting setups–they usually have a large key light, with a diffuser to both soften the light and improve the reflections, and 1 or more fill lights to lighten the shadows.
In blender, you can just add planes with emitting materials behind the lamps, to fake proper reflections.

Thanks. This is a double sized render, the frame for the banner is 600x300, so the size is fixed.

As it turns out, I already have all of your suggestions integrated into my scene.

You’ll notice the 3 area lamps, and the large reflection emitter behind. As to the “boring” scene, in a website with quite a lot happening (i.e. motion graphics, a variety of colors and information), it’s inadvisable to clutter simple directive banners with unnecessary tchotchkes.

Perhaps you’re correct regarding the contrast of the metal, though I would like to spell out the current metal settings:

Diffuse: 37% gray, intensity is .8
Specular: intensity is .5, hardness is 175 (CookTorr)

Mirror settings:
Reflectivity: .8
Fresnel: 1.2
Blend: 1.25
Gloss amount: .92
Gloss samples: 32

Furthermore, I’d like to demonstrate what the scene would look like, had I rendered it with the settings you obviously are under the impression that I went with.

I realize now that posting this without the visual context of the website itself was probably a mistake. If you’re at all interested in the clarity, you can find it at http://rocksongchurch.org/. You’ll find the image on the lower slider, last slot.

Thanks again for your input.

As always happens when I post to finished projects, something gets me riled up, and I start thinking about what I could do better. I should know better by now.

At any rate, I’ll be making no more changes to this, but thoughts are still welcome.

I’ve changed the metal bits over to tangent shading, turned up the diffuse, and down the mirror. Hopefully they now have the appearance of brushed stainless or aluminum. I also shortened the focal length, and lowered the camera. Minor changes were made to the lighting setup, and the text material (and scale) was tweaked.

I’ve done nothing to alter the general scene. I believe that in situ, this feels better with the stark black and gray background.

Again, this was not meant to be a standalone scene. I’m shrinking it to 600x300 to fit in a sliding banner.

Wow, I didn’t mean to offend you. :S

Looking at the lighting setup, I think I see the problem. The light directly behind the camera kills the sense of depth in the image. Have you considered removing that light and boosting the other two?
Also, the material in question now looks very much like plastic, at least IMO.

If I came across as offended, I apologize. I was a little testy today - a lot going on with work, a lot going on with school, and a lot going on at home. Sorry.

As to the light behind the camera, it might be a good idea to remove it. It would certainly make the scene less even. It’s actually elevated about 3 BU’s above the camera. It’s the only lamp casting a shadow in this scene. You can get a sense of the angle from the shadow. I’m not a big fan of the idea casting the extra shadows, but maybe I just make this a shadow-only lamp. Dunno, I’ll have to play with it.

In reference to the metal/plastic material, I’m not sure I see the plastic there. To my eyes, it looks a lot like a brushed metal. Would you have any advice for creating a convincing metallic texture for the Blender internal? I’ve never really cared for texturing, and it probably shows.

Hey moderator! Can you move this to the WIP forum? Apparently I’m still working on this.

For something that small, you don’t really even need a texture. 0% diffuse, 0% spec, 100% reflections, and glossy to taste, would create a convincing brushed metal look.

As for the shadows, don’t worry about faking them if you think it looks better. Fake = fast. :yes:

Alright, thanks.