Now, not every render requires such attention to
detail, as everyone has their own "style"
of what they like in work and what they are trying
to make, plus how much time they can spend on a single
for example, if you are doing "cell shading"
cartoon work you don't need this, and usually, distant
objects don't need it either.
With myself, often I am "learning" with
each scene I make and want to move onto the next one
with what I've now learned, and don't want to spend
months making one perfect picture. Plus of course,
real life limits time for all of us.
Model makers often do not "chamfer" the
edge of models because it adds a great deal of poylgons,
which makes them use more resources, more bandwidth
to download, etc.
In games, to get around this, the designers use several
versions of the same model, with different "levels
of Detail" (LOD), so as you approach, say, a
house, the model a mile away has only a few polygons,
at 200 yards it's swapped out for one with more detail,
and up close one with a lot of detail.
The detail in games often comes from using "Normal
Maps" to push polygons out of the model using
a 2D image to keep resource useage down, as a fully
detailed model with every little bit modelled and
built into it would require a LOT more resources than
one using a simpler model base butwith Normal Mapping
which just pushes detail out based on one special
With recent versions of Vue, you can use displacement
and Normal maps, to add details to models.
Vue Infinite and some other versions, can export the
UVMap of a model, this you can then use as a basis
for making or tweaking a displacement or Normal map
to add features you wish.
With a bit of work, you could make the perfectly straight,
unrealistic corners of a building, more rounded and
believable by doing this by making your own custom
Displacement or Normal maps.
Another easier way to do this, is to use a "Boolean"
to cut off a roudned edge off the corner, Doesn't
always work well and means you may have to texture
the cut away apart.
You can take a long thin Cube in Vue, then Boolean
out a Cylinder from it, leaving a curved "C"
shape you can apply to a straight corner, to cut it
into a more smooth, rounded shape ;)
The easiest way of all, but most difficult IMHO to
get right, is simply to paint in details in postwork,
in Photoshop or whatever paint application you use.
because models are non-real geometry in 3D space,
they can have PERFECT edges which are impossible in
real life, real edges always always have some width,
which scatters light causing highlights, so knowing
this, you can use highlight and shadows etc to paint
the illusion of more rounded edges.
For dirt and variation in colour and bump, the simplest
method is to just put a dirt material layer over the
top of the existing one.
Using a random, fractal based procedural, you can
make no two leaves etc look exactly the same!
Generally if you set a texture to WORLD MAPPING, this
ensures the difference in position will offset the
procedural between each leaf, so none look the same
My free "Dirt material" does this kind
of effect, though I have set it to "Object mapping"
by defualt so folk could use a UVmap to drive it for
Using a UV map of an object, you can make the "dirt"
appear only on specific areas, again such as the hem
of clothing, or the doorway of a room, deck of a ship,
perhaps, or even make footsteps!
In Vue material editor, you link the UVmap greyscale
image you make to the Alpha channel of the "Dirt
layer", setting where there will be, and will
not be, dirt using black, white and greys.
Dirt and grime and wear...aren't always dark smears,
again, exposure to wind, sun and friction would leave
a doorway more scratched, lighter and the raised surfaces
of a door handle will have more reflection and less
bump by being worn smooth.
So you need ot uderstand how real objects come to
look, just like a painter does.
3D models can be specially made to have a 2D image
projected onto their surface, this "UVMAP"
sets out where parts of an image will go on a model.
Using this UVMap, you can make your own textures for
the model, including using it to make greyscale maps
to drive transparency for where dirt mapbye, or bump
Vue Infinite and Xstream, and I *think* Complete can
export object textures and thus UVMaps.
Bump maps are an easy way to fake surface depth on
a model using 8 bit greyscale or even colour images.
problem is, it's only a "fake", so at the
edges of objects you can see it's not really pushing
brickwork out, for example. However, it uses less
resources than Displacement or Normal Mapping.
If such details were built into the 3dD model itself,
the polygon counts would be enormous, and hence, bump
mapping, evne if it uses resources, is a lot LESS
resources than modelling it would be.
ALso, importantly, bump, displacement and Normal mapping
are not permanent, they can be changed at the user's
this is like "super" bump mapping: it really
does push the model's surface in or out, adding lots
However, it requires a LOT more resources than bump
mapping as it can hugely increase polygon counts.
Note that like with Bump Mapping, if you only use
an 8 bit image this only gives 256 possible values
of grey, from black to white, and that can leave some
obvious bands of differing height, like "stair
16 bit images allow for many thousands of shades of
grey, but require even more resources as the images
have large file sizes comapred to 8 bit and not all
paint applications can make them (Photoshop can however)
this is a very advanced form of bump mapping. Like
displacement mapping it can push an object's surface
out, but also, in varying directions and angles!
The images themselves are very peculiar blue-purple
things that take some work to get used to.
Again, they can cause huge increases in resource useges,
but can give incredible detail work and still use
less resources than modelling the object in high detail
My Layered Dirt Mpa material for VUe
My tutorial on Poser clothing showing how ot add
wear, grime etc and fix clothes "poking through"
Putting dirt on the bottom of rocks or walls:
Weathering 3D materials
Optimizing Poser Imports:
Making UVMapps with UVMapper:
Overlaying Materials for stians etc (old tutorial,
"Layers" in more recent evrsions of Vue
are btter than Mixed materials in general)