3D Procedure

The steps used to create a 3D Illustration.

The first stage is to gather together the reference material needed to create the actual objects in 3D virtual space. In this case, blue prints for measurements, art for the lables and scanned in images for the attached 'taped-on' stickies.

01 Reference

Stage two is the creation of the objects in virtual space. This is called 3D modeling and can be very exact (for manufacturing purposes) or just 'visually' accurate. For most 3D work, visual correctness is all that is needed. These models have physical form within the virtual 3D space and can be rotated, moved and made larger/smaller. Logos take on depth and products/prototypes have realistic form.

02 Construction

After the objects have been created in virtual 3D space, the next step is where the material properties are assigned and refined. Plastics, metals, glass, etc....the exact finishes of the surfaces are created. In the 3D program I use, the finishes are represented by spheres which show how the material will look, once the material is applied to the object. 

03 Materials


Stage four is where I start to compose the scene. At times, I will compose before the materials are assigned to the objects but mostly I'll do it afterwards. I have a camera which I look through which ultimately will take a 'picture' of my scene. All principles of composition apply to this stage. I want my clients product/logo/concept to look the best it can. Obviously, an interesting and pleasing composition makes everyone look good. The large panels in the scene are the lights I will use in the next stage.

04 Scene Composition

Lighting of my scene is the fifth stage. All principles of photographic lighting apply here and much time is spent balancing out the material properties of the 3D objects within the given illumination I have chosen. Usually, I have a good idea of the lighting I want to use but the beauty of 3D is that I can change anything at any time. Much creative experimentation results in the objects looking the best they can for my clients.

05 Lighting


And finally, the finished image. The 3D forms created with the chosen materials in place, lit to show-off the characteristics of the product in a visually pleasing way. The realism of 3D can rival photography if needed. But, 3D Illustration can take on many different appearances and is a great tool for visual experimentation!

06 Final

sherstobitof@earthlink.net © Paul Sherstobitoff 2012