Let's draw 3D icons

Previous articles about the icons have generated a lot of interesting questions about the drawing technique, namely mini-illustrations. I will try to uncover this simple mystery :)
I am not going to give you a detailed description of that, because this would require writing a series of lessons, but I want to share a common principle.

I took the icon from the current project as an example.
Rizzoma is a collaborative tool, an alternative to Google-wave.
During working on the website was born the idea of making beautiful icons for each block with the benefits. The snail symbolizes the context messages and essentially it is an advanced symbol @.

Usually working on an icon starts with a pencil drawing, but this time here are enough inspiring Fast snail images. It was decided to make own version of the beautiful and charming snail with a turbine.

Generally, in 3D Max a model does not have decisive importance. You could do it in Maya or Blender as well.

The model is designed as a rough low polygonal, and then you put over smoothing.
Slug and turbine
Similarly, you do the soft part of the snail. The turbine does not need any smoothing; you just do it with a dense grid.
Finished model
You put it all together.
You render this using Vray, it is better to use a newer version in order to have fewer bugs and everything would go fast.

I use a fairly standard C-shaped scene with three light sources. It allows getting not too loud with a good reflection render at high speed. A tutorial for creating such a scene can be seen here. I added two additional light sources, one is blue and the other is yellow to make the colored glares and add something dramatic.
Rendered model
You do a render test with a simple gray texture to see like the light falls. Here you can see that a strap for the turbine is little improved.
Now you find you’re a favorite picture of snail and parse it on two parts of texture. Then you convert the texture in black and white, slightly increase the contrast and get a bump (texture roughness). The textures are put over without the loft, because the model will not be animated, and a look only will be from one angle. Set the desired degree of reflection and transparency. There is a gorgeous website http://www.vray-materials.de that has a lot of high-quality materials for Vray. You can use finished models or take as a basis for creating your own.
You render the picture in higher resolution than it is needed in order to reduce it after the further processing. So you get a higher quality end result, less noise and sharper details.
In addition, you render the alpha channel and masks for different objects. Theoretically, the masks can be considered as a single channel by giving the necessary materials (or objects) that correspond to ID, but I prefer individually.
Post processing
Finished and quite dirty render could be adjusted in the Photoshop:
- Using the alpha channel cut out an object from the background.
- Do a lighter background and contrast, remove unnecessary things leaving only a shadow.
- Using masks cut out objects for the separate layers.
- Each object make brighter with more contrast, add glares, and correct a form, etc. There is no exact algorithm for these steps, it is difficult to make it, everything depends on what kind of material is being processed, and what you want to get.
You make it a little smaller and add some sharpness.
The big snail will be used for articles, and a small will be used for the home page.
Skull 16 march 2012, 15:36
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