View Full Version : Replicating a microscopic particle

01-24-2008, 11:54 AM
A client has presented me a challenge... to create a 3D model of the attached image of a particle of perlite.

My attempt using a highly subdivided mesh for the gross deformations and overall shape, coupled with a 2.5 million poly APS for extreme closeups (like flying above and around the "terrain") and several layers of crust bump map textures is rather feeble.

So, I'm asking... what would you Pros do?

Another idea I toyed with is using this object, but covered with HVs... one layer would be eaten away by another offset layer to create a more swiss cheese effect using the Negative blending mode, but render times are going to be far higher than using geometry. That and the swiss cheese effect would be too uniform and not very 'fibrous' as shown in the ref. photo.

01-24-2008, 12:16 PM
I did a project very similar to this, but my particle was a 20 nanometer wide nanosphere. I had a lot of instances of these, so my scene ended up with I don't know how many polies, but each sphere had around 2,000. I just modeled them...but for your project I would definitely go with hypervoxels. In the hypervoxel presets there's this pink fuzzy fibrous thing...try that preset and work from there maybe?

01-24-2008, 01:21 PM
Lighting sure does play a key role! I changed the single distant RT light to two area RT lights and added a distant non-RT back light, changed the surface by added translucency so the back light could do its shading from behind work, and dispensed with all the procedural bumps in exchange for Worley's Disgusting! shader. Got some cool 'shelving' and stuff going in in the XCU. But overall, I think much better.