Question re tutorial "A Die" on

Hello. I’m going through the tutorials at to learn the program, and I wonder if someone can help me with an unexpected effect that I get when I render my six sided die, based on this tutorial.

Here is the image I get when I render:
Can someone tell me how to make the surfaces of the die smooth to eliminate those bands? I have aligned the tops of the dots with the surface of the cube as close as I can by eye, at full zoom.

Thanks for any tips.

press set smooth in object mode

and turn on autosmooth

other than that, it could be a problem with your mesh but we’ll see then

I still get the bands with SetSmooth and AutoSmooth, so I’ll try rebuilding the mesh. Thanks!

I don’t really like that tutorial much. It seems to take a very long time to make a fairly simple model. Does a die really need that many polys? How I would do it is like this:

  1. use the default scene with the cube.
  2. go round the cube using face loop cut tool (ctrl-r) until you have lines each 10% from the edge. That is for every edge. You use the face loop cut tool 6 times.
  3. in object mode do set smooth.
  4. turn on subd level 1.

Ok, that’s got the bevelled edged cube in about 1 minute and we still only have 56 vertices.

Now there are a few ways to do the holes. For a dice, I would use a displacement map. It’s the same way as I described for making cheese in another post. Just make circles with a spherical gradient interpolation from black to white in the configuration of the die holes using a 2D program like GIMP and wrap it round.

If you don’t like displacements or haven’t used them before, just make a default sphere, scale it down to about 0.2 and use the difference boolean function.

Pick materials as in the tutorial and you’re done in about 10 minutes tops.

I’m not sure about your problem with the stripes, try turning off double-sided polys in the edit panel (F9). If some of your faces are black then those normals are pointing the wrong way.

there is this bevel command now you know

but still, showing how to create the faces between the dimples and the edges of the cube is what that tutorial does best, the creation of the stuff before that is I guess okay [it uses the smooth command which people dont’ often use iirc]

Where can I learn about displacement mapping? How do I predict how the image will line up with the sides of my cube?

for exact mapping of images to meshs you need UV mapping. try the tutorial in my signature.

Thank you. I’ll check that out.

I thought I read in a post that Blender didn’t do bevels. I know you can bevel text and curves but I couldn’t see how to do it for meshes. If there is a way, then sure that’s better than what I suggested. How do you do bevel meshes, z3r0 d?

Yes, I see it could teach some good techniques but I find that people that are new to 3D often follow tutorials as the way things are done. When I first started modelling, I would follow tutorials to the letter and it would take absolutely ages. Then I was doing one tutorial and it suddenly hit me I could do it a quicker way in about a tenth of the time.

If it helps great, but I don’t like seeing newbies wasting time on simple tasks when they could be moving on to more productive stuff. It reminds me of Maths - I used to do pages and pages of the same stuff because I found maths pretty easy, then I just got bored and felt like abandoning it.

I just don’t want to see any newbies getting fed up spending hours manually making 200 faces to produce a simple die and then assuming that all 3D work is 100% effort, 5% result. Often, 3D work is for a strict deadline and the method used is often the one that gets the desired result fastest. That’s something very few tutorials teach.

One of the best examples of this I’ve heard was a suggestion made in a Maya book about getting blood trickling down a guy’s arm. It said you could spend a while trying to get fluid dynamics going or use complicated path curves but you could try getting a film of red paint (or blood-like fluid) running down a board, make alpha channels and just wrap the movie round the arm.

As for getting the displacements in the right place, UVs are the way to go. It’s fairly straight forward for a cube because you just have to make an image of all 6 faces with the circles. Then just position the UVs of each face according to the configuration on a die. You can turn on the option to keep quads with 90 degree corners - that’ll help. The other good thing about using displacement maps this way is that sometimes people forget a die has opposite sides with numbers adding to 7. With the UVs, you just switch them but using the tutorial method, you’d have to move the sides round. That would drive me nuts. It’s the same with rotating the sides.

to use bevel, hit W key in edit mode, select ‘bevel’ and choose the desired resolution. :wink:

Thanks Modron, why wasn’t that option put beside the other subdivide buttons in the interface?

Yeah, if you use bevels, just put the recursion to level 3 or so and do a 0.1 bevel. You don’t even have to use subd. :slight_smile:

This is definitely true about lighting. I’ve seen that as a film-photographer. Things that are very close to the camera and very much the center of attention, and not moving, demand close detail to withstand close inspection … but things that are farther away, off to the side, or in-motion don’t. In fact they can distract from the shot because the eye must constantly be directed around the scene, and if non-subject details get “the treatment” the eye becomes confused. I made the mistake once of letting a client use a family heirloom as a prop-piece. He wanted that piece beautifully lit, positioned and so-on even though the shot was not supposed to be about that. I finally did a really nice portrait-setup of that piece, with an eye toward giving it to him which I eventually did. But if the main product shot had been done that way, the viewer would have wondered what the photo was supposed to be about, because of those conflicting signals.

I seriously believe that deadlines and cost-constraints make for better pictures.

Getting back to this project, can I use the UV Face Select screen to apply the textures? This is the easiest way to orient them how I want them. But I’ve read the online manual chapter on this subject and two or three tutorials, and none mention how to do things like displacement on textures that have been applied this way.