View Full Version : Can we simulate glass on tiles?

Mike Wilson
05-03-2004, 12:20 AM
Here is the artwork we would use to print glass on the Lemons tile.

05-03-2004, 06:45 AM
Would love to help you out bud,
but we'll need more information about exactly
what you're trying to do.

Mike Wilson
05-03-2004, 06:09 PM
Thanks for the response. I had to splitt may initial query into 2 post. The first post explains a bit more about what we're trying to do. Basically we're trying to bring our artwork (in this case of lemmons) into lightwave, and then bring our artwork which we'd normally use to make a screen which we screen print powdered glass with. The tile is then fired leaving a clear moulded glass over the original atwork.

Does this make sense? When I'm back in at work I'll post a pic of what our finished result would normally be. (a real photo)

05-04-2004, 06:30 AM
Sounds neat, but yeah a photo would be helpful. :)

05-04-2004, 07:05 AM
Without seeing the picture first,
I'm going to guess that what you're looking at
is a texturing issue and "yes" you can do this.

There will be some laying of the properties to
be done but absolutely doable.

Mike Wilson
05-04-2004, 09:33 PM
Here's a pick of what the real finished product looks like.

Basically the original artwork, with clear glass over as per the glass artwork.

05-04-2004, 11:26 PM
Why would you have to use LW to do this. I'd suggest using Photoshop to simulate this. I'd start by deciding which shapes overlap which shapes and organize the Photoshop layers accordingly. Then, I'd use KPT or even Photoshops own layer styles to start creating the subtle glass like extruded shapes. Once that's complete use the create layers command, flatten image and apply the watercolour filter. You may want to multiply the flatten image layer so you can use a layer mask to hide portions of the top layer to simulate the areas where the glass appears sharper and more transparent.

You'd probably benefit from tweaking curves as well.

Mike Wilson
05-04-2004, 11:58 PM
I don't think your understanding what we're trying to do.

We have artwork made created in photoshop. (i.e the lemons design) We also have artwork made which ends up being used to create the clear glass. We have used this artwork in the past to creat a glassy look inside photoshop.

What LW or some other 3D app would let us do is simulate a whole room of the tiles with the light reflecting differently at different points. Alternatively we could spin the tile round with the light reflecting etc. We could do all this simulation before we ever actually make the real tile.

Basically can we use the glass artwork and create a model or bump map for our image artwork and simulate something like the finished product.

05-05-2004, 01:34 AM
try this out

05-05-2004, 01:40 AM
the above is just an example of using a bump map on a transparent version of the tile that is slight ly larger than the diffuse version of the tile where the color map is.

Instead of using the color map in that you posted, which has all that gloss and specular, use a version that just has the water color look on it only. You can simulate the glass look by adjusting surfaces and applying the BDRF shader to the transparent polys. You can also trick out the bump map so it has more detail but a similar gradient edge like the one I made.

05-05-2004, 05:04 AM
I don't think your understanding what we're trying to do.

Ah! sorry I didn't see where you mentioned that you were trying to use these items in a 3D environment, you're probably planning a virtual walkthrough or something like that. The suggestion above is the best approach, but even that's going to take some PS work to design the water coloured version of the artwork and the bump map version.

I look forward to seeing the final piece.


05-05-2004, 08:38 AM
maybe, if you could make that into a vertex or pixel filter for the new 3d graphic cards you could use your skills on Photoshop to make a real time render of your artwork.

Brett H.
05-05-2004, 05:45 PM
If you have a vector format image of the lemons (illustrator/epsf) you can import that into another layer and stencil it onto a tile, then smoothshift/extrude/bevel it out to your liking (giving you the raised "glass" profile) and then surface with the watercolor bitmap.

Then the surface of the extruded stencil area can be textured using the usual glass methods, giving you the look you want. HDInstance would come in real handy here, as you will evidently need a lot of tiles, and alot of render time to make all that glass look good.


Mike Wilson
05-05-2004, 09:30 PM
Thanks for the reply's. Unfortunatley I don't actually own LW yet so I can't try out Zach's suggestions. My boss is getting me to do all this so I can convince him to buy it.

The Lemons is one example of what we'd be wanting to do daily. Basically we'd get artwork (photoshop) and simulate glass without having to actually create screens and fire stuff etc.

I like the sound of the transparent bump map approach. It seems quicker and simpler than actually modelling the glass. Mind you I'm happy to try anything.

I guy from Strata 3D sent me a quick time movie of simulated glass on the artwork with the tile spinning around slowly. He did 2 versions, 1 with bump map and one with Geometry based on the greyscale image. I'd post it but it doesn't support the formatt.

Basically we're wanting to do a similar thing. Can you create geometry (model) without having to convert the glass art to vector? Is bump mapping the simpler option? Is LW the app to get? We're also looking into Mayer, however LW is cheaper, and has more users and training here (Melbourne, Australia).

05-05-2004, 10:25 PM
For this type of work I would say that Lightwave beats Maya hands down. It is easy to learn and has a great modeler and renders nicely as well. Maya is a good package, but overkill for this work and costs more. :)

*Edit* Yes you can model without converting to vector. Basically you set your picture as a backdrop and eye it in and model your picture. If you can think it up LW can model it.

Also you can use bump mapping and it works well for this sort of thing. If you need a more 3 dimensional object you can always use a displacement map to kind of convert your bump into geometry. Works well if you do it right.

05-05-2004, 10:57 PM
I'd say it'd be easiest .. and faster, to just use a bump map. As you're in Melbourne maybe you should contact New Magic and they might be able to come and demo Lightwave (something like this might take 30 mins at most to set up), or maybe you could go into their office? Anyway, here's their contact details.

Darrell J Vanderwolf
Sales / Marketing Manager,
New Magic Australia Pty Ltd
ABN 57 100 704 416

Melbourne Office:
Direct: (03) 9752 5200
E-mail: [email protected]
Postal Address:
PO Box 18, Belgrave, Vic, 3160

Mike Wilson
05-05-2004, 10:59 PM
Thanks for that. I've been in contact with new magic about pricing and where to buy. A demo could be good.

Cheers Mike

05-06-2004, 03:35 AM
This was done with bump displacement.I also quickly colored the image myself to show the effect. The rest is all procedurals and gradients. This can be done in just a few minutes and pretty easily tweaked.

05-06-2004, 03:50 AM
They haven't sent you a demo cd yet :confused:

But as Larry has shown, it's simple and fast to create the effect.

Brett H.
05-06-2004, 04:37 PM
As usual, Larry has an elegant solution. Nice. :)
I'd go with the bump displacement, and yes, LW is perfect for this, it won't take you that long to learn and the renders are beautiful.


Mike Wilson
05-06-2004, 05:05 PM
Thanks for the imput guys. The following posts show images created by a Strata 3D user. (we were looking into Strata because it was cheap. But no one seems to use it or train it locally).

The first image shows our colour art work with our greyscale "glass" then used to create a bump map. Apart from the fact that in doing this the background went dark the image is the sort of thing were after. We wouldn't actually want to change any colour. Infact I'd want to try as hard as we could to make our Photoshop art work stay exactlty how it is (we have proprietary ICC profiles made of our work flow).

Have a look is this something easy to do?
(He also sent a Quick Time movie of this image spinning with the light changing on the "glass"

I'll post the 2nd image next

Mike Wilson
05-06-2004, 05:07 PM
Here is a version of the Lemons Tile created using the base art and the Glass art Bump Map Image to create geometry.

Mike Wilson
05-06-2004, 05:08 PM
Here is the geometry image used to create the glass in the last image.

Can this be done easily with LW

05-06-2004, 06:11 PM
Hey Mike,
What I did took about 15 minutes and that includes roughing out the colors myself.
All I did was to create a grid object with subpatches on and then apply the b/w version of the art as a bump displacement.
The geometry can be frozen and saved that way. This is a piece of cake to do in LW plus you have the added benefit of a great renderer. :)