Product and architectural models can get a quick artistic makeover with a variety of effects. Not every rendering needs to look like a Kodak moment.
Sometimes, photorealistic is just too realistic. Architects learn early on that initial designs for the customer should always follow a “less is more” process of clean lines and minimal visual description. At Siggraph Luxology was showing off non-photorealistic rendering (NPR) as its latest add-on to Modo, the 3D modeler popular with the makers of both real and imaginary models.
The new NPR Kit for Modo is now shipping; it provides for expressive, hand-drawn looks and animations for rendering 3D models. Everything from product visualizations to architectural mock-ups to anime all become possible.
The eight shaders included in the NPR Kit offer a high degree of artistic control. For example, the SketchTone shader uses hand-sketched hatching examples to map an artist’s personal drawing style to any 3D surface. High priority strokes appear even where there is little shading; while lower priority strokes are filled in later, as the shading grows darker. Luxology says this technique not only reproduces the hand-drawn quality of the strokes used, but also the artist’s own interpretation of the surface.
“Pushing the boundaries of 3D rendering back to a traditional look delivers an organic feel that resonates with people,” says Yazan Malkosh, beta tester and founder of 9b Studios. “The NPR Kit cleverly juxtaposes the 3D medium with a 2D look, so you can show your audience something that is both new and familiar.”
The kit comes with material options for ‘toon’ shading, stippling, halftones, and edge rendering. The built-in ability to mimic traditional styles like blueprints, sketches and chalk drawings will make it a resource for technical illustration, where edges and other important features are emphasized at the expense of detailed visual accuracy.
When the only tool you have is photorealism, everything looks like a new car waiting to be rendered under a tropical sky. Luxology’s NPR Kit for Modo brings familiar 2D styles that allow for visually stunning yet totally non-realistic representation. The ability to emphasize edges, colors and create pattern details on 3D models should be a welcome addition to many who are called upon to work visual commercial magic.