Modelling a Product - Advice Desired

I am working to model a product to a specific specification and am interested in advice related to improving the quality of the image. My goal is to model this:

http://img167.imageshack.us/img167/2981/p1010136hf5.th.jpg

With this on top:

http://www.barco.com/projection_systems/images/DP90_N.jpg

Here is my current result:

http://img149.imageshack.us/img149/1493/fusionlcpass4mp4.jpg

I am using some features which are new to me. By this, I mean I have never fully explored the options here. I have played with these features

  1. YafRay - I have always used Blender Internal in the past as I usually model rooms and need to create a number of views. YafRay’s rendering speed was a limiting factor that drove me to stick with the internal renderer.

  2. HDRI -
    I have always been impressed with images that use Yaf and HDRI to light the scene. So, I am trying to mimick that success here. So far, I do not know how much benefit the HDRI probe is giving me. For instance, the “chrome” material on the keyhole and the bolts doesn’t look very chrom-ey to me. I had hoped to get nice Chrome results more like those you see in the tutorials.

  3. Global Illumination - I have used AO on my interior renders and never been successful with GI so far. I am using it here. I am somewhat satisfied with the result but not thrilled so far.

I am also dissatisfied in my texture on the box itself. I used a texture I got off the web and used the make seemless feature of gimp on it. I then applied it to the box but you can still see that there is a diagonal sort of pattern that results from ms. This is a common problem I encounter. I never get a texture big enough to texture the item properly. So, I am forced to repeat it. Creating a texture that is properly repeatable is a pain.

So, I just thought I’d toss this up there to see if I could get any advice. If I could get some advice where I have gone wrong with topics like these, it’d be great:

  1. Lighting Setup
  2. Texturing
  3. HDRI
  4. GI
  5. YafRay

Any modelling/rendering advice you have I will certainly read through. I can’t promise I will be able to take advantage of it all on this project as I do have some timeline, but I hope to take this opportunity to learn.

[Decided to move from WIP forum old thread here
http://blenderartists.org/forum/showthread.php?t=77551]

when Blender is used for product presentation and technical illustrations, you can choose other ways of rendering your scene. A common practice is almost neglecting the backgroung or conceding it very little protagonism:

Examples are two these works:
http://blenderartists.org/forum/showthread.php?t=75432
http://blenderartists.org/forum/showthread.php?t=77559

Second question is choosing a rendering style, which doesn’t need to be realistic. I would try a different style than realistic, given the ugliness of your objects. For instance, this style:

http://blenderartists.org/forum/showthread.php?t=76954

As you see, there are many alternatives in that kind of works that doesn’t follow rules used in Blender artistic works. You have more freedom.

Right, thanks for the insight. The customer wants realistic renders though. I think he is satisfied with the current quality. However, I saw this as an opportunity to improve my photo-real skillz if possible, Any advice in that vein?

Well, I think that a “Yafray HDRI render” would be a good and fast solution, maybe reinforced with some arealight to get shadows if needed.

the info about yafray HDRI lighting is here:
http://wiki.yafray.org/bin/view.pl/UserDoc/ReleaseNotes008?CGISESSID=7a47d1113841162b221273f90975fe6c#HDRI_as_background

Alvaro.

PD: this is the solution I know best. Don’t hesitate over trying other GI renders if needed.

Another interesting product presentation:
http://blenderartists.org/forum/showthread.php?t=72119

reaper,

Perhaps a studio lighting setup will help you improve the quality of your image?

Below are links to two non-Blender tutorials on studio lighting. You sholud be able to apply the techniques, covered in the tutorials, with Blender and the raytracer of your choice.

See:
http://www.aversis.be/extra_tutorials/vray_studio_lighting.htm
http://www.computerarts.co.uk/tutorials/3d__and__animation/studio_lighting

Raytracers:
Yafray
Indigo
Sunflow
Kerkythea
POV-Ray

Also, I came across the Indigo Blender Tutorial yesterday and it looks very useful.

Good luck!

Here is my update form last night. I switched back to the BI renderer for now. I was having a helluva a time with the YafRay Renderer.

http://img182.imageshack.us/img182/8255/fusionlcpass5op1.jpg

http://img245.imageshack.us/img245/4505/fusionlcpass6et5.jpg

Well, I ended up being on a very tight schedule and needed to simply use what I knew. Maybe I’ll do another project sme time to learn more about yaf and such.

http://img115.imageshack.us/img115/1739/fusionlcfinalow4.jpg

http://img57.imageshack.us/img57/8020/fusionlciifinalyr2.jpg

http://img118.imageshack.us/img118/3198/fusionmfinalle3.jpg