Snare Drum (Constructive help needed!)

So I have been on and off Blender for the past two years or so, but I have never been good with rendering internally in blender. I have looked at different tutorials, and this is probably the most realistic render in blender I have gotten so far (that is not saying much at all :o). I feel like the modelling itself is not my problem, but the materials, render settings, as well as lighting seem to be my biggest hang up. Anyways, I got back into blender because I decided I wanted to re-do my snare drum (it is currently all chrome), and I thought there was no better way of seeing what it would look like if I made it in blender. I was just hoping someone would give me some pointers as to what to do to make this image more realistic looking. As I said, I am not very skilled using Blender’s internal renderer at all (luxrender and indigo is the only way I could get anything looking real, but I want to learn how to do it in blender internal for multiple reasons). So, here is the pic. I personally am not too happy about it. Besides the rim, I think everything looks completely fake, although I am using an HDR image for reflections (Probably the only reason the top rim looks halfway decent). If anyone wants to look at the actually blender file, let me know and I’ll upload it. Any help is much appreciated!

http://img827.imageshack.us/img827/6572/drm5.jpg

Looking good so far! Solid modeling from what I can tell.

First off, I think your chrome has too much gray and not enough reflectivity. Bump up the reflectivity and remember to use blurry reflections if you’re not using 'em already.

Try putting the snare on a more realistic surface - a plane with a wooden texture, etc. Even something as simple as that can make it pop out much more.

What kind of light setup are you working with? Looks like lamps from what I can tell… One of my mantras for rendering is stay away from lamps or use only area lights, to be more specific. :wink: Try using a single area lamp. Oh, and either use AAO or bump up your AO samples - currently the AO is very grainy, making it not so pleasant to look at shadows and such.

Darn, writing too much already…

This image has a lot of potential! I’m excited to see it progress.

-FD

P.S. Oh, and can I take a looksie at the blend file?

http://a.imageshack.us/img829/3816/drm5p.jpg
have circled obvious specularity.
that stuff looks ugly, use reflections instead.
also metal does not have a diffuse component, it’s all reflective.

Here is the blend file

http://download836.mediafire.com/1ea53m3w10vg/booooxun7dh2j75/SnareDrum.blend

Thanks for the quick responses! I haven’t got a chance to work on it since I posted this because I have been busy all day, but I will continue to experiment with stuff that you guys suggested.

Funddevi:

My setup is 3 lamps and 1 sun. I apparently don’t know how to light. I am used to just plopping a sun and letting indigo/luxrender do its magic, but it doesn’t really work the same with the internal renderer.

Oh and something else I forgot to mention, the chrome material you pointed out is actually supposed to look like its painted white, not chrome. Lol

so, painted white?
funny, a quick google image search turned up this image, which has chrome rims…

well, I’ll take a look at the .blend

Well powder coated white, or whatever color I decide to do in the end. I am just trying to get rid of the chrome look because it is so common.

http://www.paste all.org/blend/3493 (remove the space)

http://a.imageshack.us/img831/1042/drm6.png
that’s my version of it.
hope you like!

BTW, I used blender 2.5 to do it, but it should go back to 2.49 just fine; the real reason I used 2.5 is that it renders it about 5 times faster.
2.5 is almost as stable as 2.49 now, I only use 2.49 for scripts now.

also, instead of subsurfing until the polygons are smaller than the pixels, just set it smooth (shade smooth, in 2.5) :wink:

Finally, try playing around with curves, either in blender’s compositor, or in GIMP or PS, you could really make it pop with some good postpro.

Thanks man, looks great! I’m installing 2.5 right now, because if it really renders that much faster than that alone makes it worth it.