All posts tagged: rendering
Starbucks coffee cup engine
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Over the past few days I’ve been tinkering with some of the new texture mapping tools in FormZ, and I’ve got to say that having the ability to place textures “live” in a 3d viewport is a huge help when it comes to composing a scene. In FormZ 6, the texture mapping tool was completely separate from the modeling windows and testing placements meant running test renders over and over again until the image map was positioned correctly. It was a very time-consuming and clumsy process, so I ended up placing textures in Photoshop more often than not. Maya (my other favorite modeling software) is much better when it comes to texture mapping, but the process is a lot more complex and not as intuitive as doing the same thing in FormZ 8.

For testing purposes, I built a simple 3d model of a white coffee cup and played with different ways of placing the Starbucks logo on it live in the modeling windows. No, these aren’t the most exciting renderings I’ve ever done, but that wasn’t the point – I consider this set of Starbucks logo renderings to be more of a test than anything else. Perhaps I’ll create a full set of images with 3d Starbucks logos in the future if there seems to be enough demand, but for now, this is it.

starbucks coffee cup with pills spilling out

Starbucks Addiction

handcuffs and starbucks coffee cup

Protecting the Coffee

magnifying glass and starbucks coffee cup

Searching for Starbucks

starbucks coffee cup and lifesaver

Starbucks to the rescue!

screenshot of formZ modeling window placing textures

Having the ability to place textures “live” in the modeling window is one of my favorite things about the new version of FormZ. The map can be repositioned in any axis in real-time, eliminating the need for endless test renders.

Exactly why I chose to do this experiment with the Starbucks logo is interesting, as I’m not a coffee drinker at all. I do like the smell of it (quite a lot actually) but I just can’t stand the taste. My wife, on the other hand, can’t get enough and I’m convinced that she alone is keeping that company in business. Anyway, our refrigerator and kitchen is overflowing in white paper cups from Peet’s Coffee and Starbucks, so I thought it would be fun to create some illustrations that depict her crazy addiction to coffee.

BMW M logo with engine pistons
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Some of you guys might already know that cars and airplanes are two of my biggest passions in life, and if I didn’t have to worry about being practical and trying to make a living I would probably spend my days just drawing airplanes and cars just like I did when I was a little boy. A 30-second stroll though my airliner art gallery exposes my obsession with airplanes pretty clearly, but I don’t have very much automotive art to display here on my blog (yet). Of course there are the Lamborghini, Ferrari, and BMW logos – but those are just examples of 3d logo art that isn’t much different than the other 3d renderings I’ve been doing in my professional day job for years.

My ultimate goal is to be a master at hand-drawn car illustrations. It’s something I’ve been working on privately in my spare time, and I’ll start revealing that work here when the time is right. I don’t feel like any of my car sketches are worthy of posting here at the moment, so that means that I’m relegated to continuing with the 3d logo stuff until I become the automotive artist that I want to be.

And that leads me to my latest set of automotive-based 3d renderings: the BMW “M” logo. For those of you who don’t follow the car scene, BMW designates performance versions of it’s cars as M models (M3, M4, M5, etc). And just so you know, I’m an M3 kind of guy myself. As a matter of fact, I’m doing everything within my power to refrain from browsing for old e36 M3’s on Craigslist. I want one as a project car really bad, never mind the fact that I don’t currently have extra garage space (nor the mechanical know-how to keep an older car like this running smoothly).

The need to scratch that M3 itch is what led to this set of 3d BMW M logos. I didn’t have the time to create a full set of renderings, but since it’s a simple enough logo to begin with, I thought it would be fun to model it up and arrange it with a few performance-related objects. This is what I came up with:

BMW M logo with wrench and screwdriver

BMW M Tuning

BMW M logo with precision calipers

BMW M Precision

BMW M logo 3d addiction

BMW M Addiction

So, I’ll bet you’re dying to know if this little project satisfied my craving for that M3. The answer is a big fat “NO”, and I think this actually might have backfired on me. I’ve already been to Craigslist twice today eyeing a nice little 1999 white coupe with low miles and need for a good home. If it wasn’t tax season and we weren’t in the middle of some major home renovations right now, I’m not sure I’d be able to resist…

free parts
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I haven’t had much time to work on 3d renderings lately, but I’m trying to tinker as much as I can so I don’t forget how to do this stuff. I’m not kidding – the intricacies of FormZ and Maya are so complex that I start forgetting things after only a few weeks of non-use. That need to keep tinkering is how this set of 3d renderings came to be. I wasn’t even trying to create a full set of images here…I just needed to do something to keep my 3d knowledge fresh.

Luckily I’ve got a pretty good system of pre-lit environments set up in FormZ that I can just dump objects into and render. Not having to set up environments from scratch saves a ton of time, which is really important to me these days. Time is something I don’t have much of anymore, so I’m taking advantage of anything that I can get! The downside to that is many of my renderings tend to look the same, so the balance of time and creativity (learning new things) is something I think about a lot. What’s more important? Spending 4 hours on one amazing illustration, or creating 10 in that same time period that are similar to what I’ve already been doing for years? I know that I’d learn a lot more by slowing my output and focusing on fewer (and better) images instead of trying to crank out as many as I can. But letting go of the feeling of needing to produce as much as humanly possible is hard to let go of, especially since that’s what the Norebbo brand was built on (in the beginning). But I’m getting off track here…

Free Time

Free Time

Free Help

Free Help

Anyway, these three renderings consist of various objects posing with bright red FREE tags. The one with the lifesaver is the one I like the most. It represents the concept of “free help”, which I think could be a useful image for anyone offering that kind of service. Please feel free to use the image to promote your own brand or product – and I’d love it if you send me a link showing how you used it!

movie delivery stock photo
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I recently upgraded to the latest version of FormZ (v8), and finishing this set of stock illustrations featuring movie clap boards was the first time that I really got the chance to dive in deep and try out all the new features. These aren’t the first renderings I’ve created in the new version though – that honor goes to my Google+ mini-set, which I am still thinking about finishing (someday). I’ve got a lot of fun ideas for that one which should work pretty good when modeled in 3d.

I actually started this multimedia-themed clap board collection in FormZ 7 last summer. I never did get around to finishing all the renderings that were on my list, but I wanted to get it wrapped up, so I imported what I had created so far into the latest version and got to work. Importing old project files into the latest software always makes me nervous (will it even work??), and I did run into a couple issues here. The first (and most annoying) was that the parameters of my saved views were all messed up. The cameras were intact, but the viewing angles were not. I basically had to rebuild all my views, which is something I usually spend a lot of time on to get looking just right. The second issue I had was that all my texture maps were lost – so I had to manually re-map everything.

Other than that, I’m starting to like version 8 a lot. Of course it’s nowhere near as powerful as Maya is, but this is good 3d modeling software for creating simple (but great looking) renderings.

Anyway, this is an eclectic collection of images. Any one of them could be used in association with movie-production topics, but there are a handful that are more generic and would work well for anything related to multimedia in general.

movie addiction stock illustration

Movie Addiction

movie research stock illustration

Movie Research

movies on sale stock photo

Movies on Sale

car movie stock photo

Car Movie

movie database stock photo

Movie Database

making movies stock photo

Movie Making

movie premier stock photo

Movie Premier

award winning movie stock photo

Award Winning Movie

clap board on a soap box stock photo

Film With a Message

So there you have it. And now that I have a decent 3d model of this clap board built, don’t be surprised to see it make random appearances in other renderings going forward!

Smartphone Sale
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The trouble with creating conceptual stock illustrations of anything related to the world of tech is that those images don’t have much of a useful lifespan. My 3d rendering collection consists largely of tech-related concepts, so it’s a major bummer that much of my early work (starting in 2006) has become horribly outdated and darn near useless for anything but laughs.

Because of that, I spend a lot of time recreating and modernizing some of my oldest and most outdated images. A perfect example of that is this series of smart phone illustrations, created to directly replace my old collection of conceptual flip-phone renderings. That flip-phone collection had a good run, but they are understandably not so relevant today and there is nothing more I can do with that set. They are gone for good, forever regulated to my personal archives never to be seen again. Maybe someday I can create a “Norebbo Classics” section of the blog where I can post old images and we can all sit around and laugh at technology long forgotten. 🙂

Anyway this collection of smart phone illustrations marks the beginning of what I hope will become a much larger set. There are a variety of concepts here featuring the same basic device, some with a blank display, and some with a generic home screen that I created. I realize that most people would want to map their own custom screens onto these illustrations, but I just wanted to include a few “complete” images just in case anyone needed them.

Free Smartphone

Free Smartphone

Smartphone Security

Smartphone Security

Smartphone Data

Smartphone Data

Smart Phone Audio

Smart Phone Audio

Smartphone Batteries

Smartphone Batteries

Chained to Your Smart phone

Chained to Your Smart Phone

Black Smartphone with Blank Screen

Black Smartphone with Blank Screen

Black Smartphone with Home Screen

Black Smartphone with Home Screen

White Smartphone with Blank Screen

White Smartphone with Blank Screen

White Smartphone with Home Screen

White Smartphone with Home Screen

Smartphone Help

Smartphone Help

Smart Phone Chips

Smart Phone Chips

UX Design for Mobile Devices

UX Design for Mobile Devices

Smartphone Tools

Smartphone Tools

Smart Phone Research

Smart Phone Research

Smart Phone with Connected Cord

Smart Phone with Connected Cord

Smart Phone Sale

Smart Phone Sale

Locked Smart Phone

Locked Smart Phone

Smart Phone and Checkmark

Smart Phone and Checkmark

Global Smart Phone

Global Smart Phone

Broken Smart Phone

Broken Smart Phone

Hopefully you’ll find some of these smart phone renderings useful. You can always leave a comment if there’s something in particular you’d like to see, and I’ll do my best to try and get it into my rendering schedule. I also want to create some different devices (tablets, for example) just for the sake of variety. But I’m probably going to be forced into doing it anyway once the next big thing is on the market and I’m forced to retire this set…

cloud space for rent
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With all the talk about cloud technology these days, it seemed like a no-brainer to create a set of stock illustrations featuring clouds with a variety of different objects. The trouble is that I’m not much of an organic 3d modeler – my style is a bit more on the chunky side of things, and I found it to be quite a challenge to recreate a useful cloud-looking object that could work in a variety of different poses and perspectives. As you can see here, I settled on a simple icon-style design complete with an ultra-blingy chrome finish. And I’ll let you in on a little secret: that simplicity is what allows me to create so many illustrations from a single object. There’s no way I could be able to generate so many images if I only built objects that looked good from one angle!

You’ve seen this cloud from me before here and there (if you’ve been paying attention), and I even used a variation of it with Facebook logos a little over two years ago. But I thought it would be good to finally post the entire collection here on the blog for those who might have a use for them.

So here’s the full set:

No Access to the Cloud

No Access to the Cloud

Space in the Cloud for Sale

Space in the Cloud for Sale

Keep Out of the Cloud

Keep Out of the Cloud

Data in the Cloud

Data Activity in the Cloud

Search the Cloud

Search the Cloud

Cloud Strategy

Cloud Strategy

Financial Data in the Cloud

Financial Data in the Cloud

I’ve also got a series of these metallic clouds over white backgrounds (and with different objects) that I’ll post soon. IMHO, the versions with the white backgrounds look better!

red smart watch
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Wearable technology is all the rage these days, but I’ll admit that I haven’t been tempted by any of it. Head mounted displays (HMDs) and smart watches aren’t fully matured yet, and most of the products currently on the market just seem so…compromised. But I know all too well how fast technology moves, and I’m sure it won’t be long until you see me sporting the latest tech/fashion gadgets – heck, I laughed the first iPad off as a “worthless piece of crap” the day it was announced, but I’m not going to lie when I say that I can’t live without my Apple tablet today. Yeah, I can be stubborn and short-sighted sometimes…

Anyway, last year I created a series of generic smart watch designs for stock illustration purposes. The images you see here are the best examples from two different sets. The first batch I created (at the bottom of this post) was based around a very simple and blocky design, which I never really liked all that much. That lack of satisfaction kept eating at me for several months, so I decided to give it another go with a slightly more detailed and curved design. The illustration of the red smart watch at the top of this post is from that second set, along with this chrome one:

chrome smart watches

3d rendering of two polished metal smart watches with a glowing pulse graphic on the screen over a dark reflective surface

And yeah – I created these in Maya just as I was still learning my way around, so they took far too long to stage and render (which is the same problem I had with my forklift illustrations). For comparisons sake, the illustrations of the more angular smart watches (below) were created in FormZ within a matter of hours – fully rendered and all.

silver smart watch

3d illustration of a generic smart watch over a white background

upright smart watch illustration

3d illustration of the front three quarter view of a glass and metal smart watch over a white background

If you need to map your own custom design onto the face of the display, these blocky watches will probably serve you better. That’s precisely why they look the way they do – I knew that most people who use these images will need to customize them somehow, and a curved screen would give even the best Photoshop professionals serious heartburn.

I may do more of these in the future, so stay on the lookout.