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Richard Hebert
03-07-2017, 02:12 AM
Hi Guys!

OK, this gets pretty basic I'm sure... but when you're looking at reference images for surfacing you're seeing Spec. Reflection and/or Diffuse Reflection of the surface. How do you guys guesstimate the actual Color of a surface in a photograph in order to reproduce it more or less in a 3d program? Case in point, I'm looking at reference photos for a Star Wars TIE Fighter studio model. I'm trying to determine how 'black' the wings actually are from the photos to represent them more accurately in a LightWave render. It's proving to be more difficult than I first imagined. Star Wars TIE Fighters aside, how would I tackle this if a surface had light tones and a satin finish and had a lot of diffuse reflection coming from it? Trying to figure out how much of the color is sky and what is actual surface color if that helps to illustrate things better. Thanks for any advice from those that have been there and dunnit before.

Richard

Spinland
03-07-2017, 04:49 AM
I just use the eyedropper in Photoshop to sample the area. I'm sure many programs (such as the free GIMP) have similar features. That at least gets me in the ballpark to begin experimenting.

Richard Hebert
03-07-2017, 05:24 AM
Thanks for the response, I'm having difficulty sometimes determining what color is contributed due to reflection and what color the surface actually is when looking at some of this reference material. For example, I have a suspicion that the 'black' detail of a TIE Fighter really isn't jet black. That being said, how much of that surface color is from the environment. I can play with the colors and reflection until I get something really close to the reference photo... until I change the HDR backdrop then everything looks not quite right and needs to be tweaked again to work with the new backdrop. This is all probably just trial and error anyway but I was just wondering if there wasn't some 'magic bullet' that might make changing backdrops more 'render friendly'. Useful suggestion by the way.

Richard

Spinland
03-07-2017, 06:06 AM
Yeah, for me it's sometimes a bit of a slog to capture the right look. Maybe others are more gifted at it and will chime in. That was the tool, for me the technique is to enlarge the section of interest and sample different places to get a sort of palette and that gives me a little guidance as to what to try. Texturing and lighting can (IMNSDHO) be a royal pain, especially if you're going for an exact look. There's also tweaking in post. ;D

Snosrap
03-07-2017, 06:36 AM
I just use the eyedropper in Photoshop to sample the area. I'm sure many programs (such as the free GIMP) have similar features. That at least gets me in the ballpark to begin experimenting.

Not to derail this thread, but the LW color picker has built-in color samplers. :) You can either pick from anything on your screen or any image loaded into LW.

136218

Spinland
03-07-2017, 06:38 AM
Heh. Great point! I'd forgotten that was even in LW. I'm so used to just firing up Photoshop at the drop of a feather I lose sight of the fact there are so many other ways to skin the proverbial cat. :jam:

daforum
03-07-2017, 07:21 AM
Thanks for the response, I'm having difficulty sometimes determining what color is contributed due to reflection and what color the surface actually is when looking at some of this reference material. For example, I have a suspicion that the 'black' detail of a TIE Fighter really isn't jet black. That being said, how much of that surface color is from the environment. I can play with the colors and reflection until I get something really close to the reference photo... until I change the HDR backdrop then everything looks not quite right and needs to be tweaked again to work with the new backdrop. This is all probably just trial and error anyway but I was just wondering if there wasn't some 'magic bullet' that might make changing backdrops more 'render friendly'. Useful suggestion by the way.

Richard

Richard. I find it easier and quicker to just start with the colour you think it is, then begin to add specular, reflection etc and begin to note the changes to be able to adjust for final look. Render each stage out too ( as simple previews ) and put them together as a group ( in PShop ) and you'll see subtle changes in the look especially if you put the group next to the reference image(s) which helps you to say 'not like that but like that' and it's easier then to move on to the next version and eliminate what you don't need to do. You are in essence creating your own reference to compare to the reference you started with!


Don't get caught up in the detail first before you've even started. It can kill the passion for a project!

rustythe1
03-07-2017, 07:38 AM
it will also depend on your scene, if they are reflective they will reflect space so will appear much darker, most the toys do show them as a mid grey, probably a battleship colour, the tie itself is often a blue grey battleship but then loses its blue in the reflection and light, to me the panels look like a ral 9004 or just above which is a common model paint, you can find ral charts in google that will convert to rgb (or just use the pick from screen in lightwave)

Snosrap
03-07-2017, 10:36 AM
Heh. Great point! I'd forgotten that was even in LW. I'm so used to just firing up Photoshop at the drop of a feather I lose sight of the fact there are so many other ways to skin the proverbial cat. :jam:

:) :) :)

prometheus
03-07-2017, 12:41 PM
Not to derail this thread, but the LW color picker has built-in color samplers. :) You can either pick from anything on your screen or any image loaded into LW.

136218


Yeah..I have been using that as well...it doesn´t matter which method though if you simply just can make an average balance of what surface color somehing is, Everything is rendered in light or in environment light or reflection..and you ultimately have to decide a balanced average color, Unless you have the perfect color coating info they used when coloring something wether it is real life painted or cg painted.

0:38 in the clip..using pick from screen, and you could also use the free little kuadro program to pin some reference images, and use the color picker pick from screen and have vpr open and try to match...
I guess one way is to try and match a photo as accurate as possible in angles and lighting, to sort of get it lit the same way, then adjust color.
Another way is to look at color index reference card, and materials etc..and perhaps simply go for what looks good.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dnd8AuXpUs4

Richard Hebert
03-07-2017, 03:18 PM
Thanks for all of the techniques, familiar with some of them but you guys have nailed it for me. It really comes down to trial and error coupled with experience over time. You guys rock the forum! Again, thanks for input.

Richard