UPDATE 10/10/2020: You can read an in-depth “Behind the Scenes” article about this project at BlenderNation! Enjoy
This is my second 3D project, and my first big modeling project at the same time. Learned tons of stuff, namely:
- HDRIs are next to useless in studio lighting situations, especially if you want to achieve precise control over reflections
- Hard lights are more interesting than soft lights (when you can use them)
- Photorealism needs to be subtle: it sits on a fine line between clean CGI look and hyper-realism with too much “dirt”
- Precise modeling from references/blueprints & lots and lots of modeling tricks
- Complex masking with color ID (guitar body & neck) & using multiple UVs for “decals” (headstock)
- True displacement for embossed text (tremolo, tuners)
As a sidenote, I’ve been reading the book “Light Science & Magic: An Introduction to Photographic Lighting” while working on this, and it helped me greatly to properly light this tricky model having lots of shiny reflective surfaces. It’s an excellent book, my highest recommendation!
Finally, my main sources of inspiration have been these two absolutely beautiful (and expensive!) instruments from Padalka Guitars:
I’ve also uploaded this to my ArtStation, you can check out my other works there too.