Procedural Asteroid

Step 1
The geometry
From the Get>Primitive>Polygon Mesh menu pick Icosahedron. Increase the Geodesic Frequency to 2. From the Modify>Deform menu pick Shape Jitter. In the Amplitude section of the PPG, change the X to about 4 and the Y and Z to about 3. (You can use the Seed slider to give each asteroid a unique shape). With the object still selected, chose Create>Poly.Mesh>Subdivision and set the Subdivision level to 3 to smoothen the asteroid.

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2D Illustration Shading

While pretty much every surface will hold a great deal of bumps and scratches if it’s just magnified enough, there is an important dissimilarity between any given surface and the one found on brushed metal for example. As the name might intimate, somewhere along the process the metal have been brushed or treated in a similar manner. The tiny grooves or scratches caused by this handling aren’t completely random as on most objects but forms a somewhat regular pattern with the all the bumps running in the same direction, which is what makes all the difference. Because of the uniformity, the reflections or specular highlights will stretch along the surface instead of evenly in all directions. This is called Anisotropic shading or reflection and can also commonly be seen on things like CD’s, hair and wood, to name a few.

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Electron Microscope

Creating electron microscope material

f you don’t have a virtual spore (or alike) of your own, open the scene spore.scn from the CD. Select the spore object, apply a Lambert shader and set both the Diffuse and Ambient colors to almost pure white. Switch to the Indirect Illumination tab and set the Incandescence Intensity to about 0.75 before pressing [7] to open the Render Tree. From the Nodes>Texture Generators menu get a Gradient Node and connect it to the Incandescence input of the Lambert node. Open the Gradient PPG and press the White/Black preset to limit the gradient to shades of grey. Switch to the Input tab and change the Input Type to Scalar input set the Active Maximum Range to 2. By controlling the gradient with an incidence node you can really fin-tune the shading, so from the Nodes>Illumination pick Incidence and connect it to the input of the Gradient. Open the Incidence PPG and set the Bias to about 0.7 and the Gain to 0.65.

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DNA Shader

Regardless of the object or environment you’re constructing, you’ll most likely need some sort plan to ensure that all bits and pieces ends up at their right location. So does nature. DNA constitutes the gene pool of all known living organisms, and serves as a blueprint to life itself. While today’s biology lesson could easily turn into a fascinating discussion about Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), the theories of evolution and why not the essence of our existence, I’m afraid it will probably be the shortest class you have ever attended. As the word itself is almost to complicated to even pronounce, I want even attempt to provide you with any deeper explanation on the subject.

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2.5D Shading

It’s kind of funny to see that the world of 3D hasn’t been spared from trends and the desire to dress in whatever that happens to be the latest fashion at the time. Though we might not have an official spring collection coming out each year nor the fancy vernissage held by the design houses from the cloth industry, we still have vogue in some manner. As they should, the trends do have shifted quite a bit during the past decade. Though I still have occasional nightmares every now and then from the time when people for absolutely no obvious reason persisted on putting lens flares on every single image they created, I must say that today’s obligatory flock of birds aren’t by far that painful as they still leave room for some peace of mind (and the ability to actually se other parts of the image).

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