Tag Archives: Realistic Rendering

Graphics and Realistic Rendering news in TopSolid 7.7

TopSolid 7.7 is about to move from Alpha to Beta and while the official release of  TopSolid 7.7 might feel as if it´s still far, far away why not take a look at some of the work Missler Software has done to graphics and realistic rendering in the next version of TopSolid 7.7
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Here are the most interesting ones:

Redway3d announces the release of Redsdk 2.1

p271009Redsdk21

As of october 27, 2009 Redway3d announced the release of Redsdk 2.1

  • Redsdk can now run in a “CPU only” mode
  • RED “realistic” material ensures light energy coherency
  • SCU (System Check Utility) makes manufacturers drivers available to end-users
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    More information about this release can be found at the redway3D website.

    How TopSolid 7 users can benefit from this release remains to be seen.

    Source: redway3D

    RAL Colour Library for TopSolid 7, free download

    ral color chartI have made a library with RAL Classic colours for TopSolid 7 and for you to download and use, for free!

    This library contains about 208 coatings representing the RAL Classic Colours.

    RAL is used for defining colors for paint and coating. The colours in this library are RGB and matched to the original RAL Colours and are not representing exactly what they look like in real life. Monitor settings and such may also affect the apperance of colors.

    Go to “Coatings” section to download.

    Cubemapping made easy!

    Missler was kind enough to send me a link CubeMapGen_logoto the
    ATI CubeMapGen which makes creating a CubeMap Environment for TopSolid 7 a piece of cake!
    I can´t belive i missed this one, it makes things alot easier working with CubeMaps!

     

     

     

    Just open up your “CubeCross” (that you created in “HDR Shop”) in CubeMapGen, choose “Save CubeMap (.dds)” and that´s it. You´re done!

    CubeMapGen

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Note: CubeMapGen also functions as an HDRShop plugin that provides the filtering functionality of CubeMapGen to HDRShop v1.0.

    Environment tutorial revisited

    Environment

    Some people e-mailed me asking if there´s a free alternative to using Photoshop when creating DDS files. 
    And yes, there is a free alternative to Photoshop, it´s called GIMP. And using GIMP together with the GIMP DDS Plugin you can create Environment DDS files that works perfect with TopSolid 7.

    So here it is, the “creating environment DDS files for TopSolid 7 using only free-to-download tools tutorial”!

    Ok, first download the necessary tools to be able to complete this tutorial:

    Download Free HDR Shop (V1) here: http://www.hdrshop.com/

    Then download Gimp here: http://www.gimp.org/downloads/

    And also of course the Gimp DDS plugin which you will find here: http://nifelheim.dyndns.org/~cocidius/dds/

    To start with you need som sort of image to use as environment. Either you take a picture yourself if you have the appropriate equipment or just download something from the internet.

    Fisheye Gate

    Open up HDRShop and open your image.  Just click OK when the “Specify Camera Response Curve for LDR Image” dialog appears.

    Then choose Image, Panorama, Panoramic Transformation.

    Settings should be as screenshot:

    Note: I am using a “mirrored ball” as source image format but it is possible to use others such as panoramic pictures, then change the format setting.

    Save from HDR Shop

    HDRShop will now convert your image to a “Vertical Cross”.
    It should look like on the screenshot below (except for my text of course). The picture has now been divided into six images.

    Gate Cross

    Next step is to open open your image in GIMP. Then create one more image in GIMP and set size to 512×512 pixels. Now, cut out the six images one by one and paste them in your new image on individual layers. If you are unsure on how to do this check GIMP documentation for proper instructions.

    You now need to assign names to the different layers, see screenshot below. Be sure to set the names to the correct layer (image).

    Gate_DDS

    When thats done, all you have to do is to save your work as a DDS file. Use settings as screenshot.

    saving_dds

    Now just open TopSolid 7, create a new environment and insert it into your scene!

    Pimp your 3D model!

    Sometimes you want to give your creations that special look.
    TopSolid 7 comes loaded with nice materials and textures but sometimes you just want to give it a piece of your own personal touch! Well you have come to the right place my friend! Here´s how its done:

    First you need a picture to use as texture. If you don´t already have one you can download one from here: http://www.freetextures.org/ or create your own.
    I´m using a picture i have taken with my mobile phone.

    When you have your sourcefile you need a program to make it “seamless” and you can download Imagelys Picture Styles here: http://www.imagelys.com/downloads.php which works just fine.
    Install and open up your source file. (There are limits to image size in the free version so you might have to adjust the size of your image).
    Then click “Image” and “Make Seamless” (see screenshot below)

    make seamless

    Then save your image and open up TopSolid 7.
    Create a new “texture” document. Change category to “Auto-axis”, add your bitmap and assign a proper width to it and save and leave your texture document open.
    Now create another document, “Material”. Add your texture and assign any values you like. Name it, save it and your done!

    All you have to do now is drag and drop your new material onto your solid/surface and your almost there. In order to be able to see your texture you have to activate “Realistic Render Mode”.

    paper material applied

    How to create a custom environment in TopSolid 7

    In TopSolid 7 it´s possible to insert environments into a scene while working and get reflections on solids and surfaces.

    Now, in order to make this happen TopSolid 7 uses something called .DDS-files (DirectDraw Surface) which is a fileformat initially designed by Microsoft for DirectX for storing textures, cubic environment maps and mipmap levels. Though it was originally designed for DirectX, it can also be used in OpenGL

    The format is specifically designed for use in real-time rendering applications such as 3D games or CAD.

     

    So,  here´s a small tutorial on how to create your own custom environment and insert it into TopSolid 7.

    There are om stuff you need to be able to complete this tutorial, first download HDR Shop V1:

     http://projects.ict.usc.edu/graphics/HDRShop/ 

    Then you also need the nvidia .dds plugin for Photoshop:

    http://developer.nvidia.com/object/photoshop_dds_plugins.html

    Of course you also need Photoshop but i can´t help you with that.

    To start with you need som sort of image to use as environment. Either you take a picture yourself if you have the appropriate equipment or just download something from the internet.

    I have used my mobile phone and a fisheye lens from my videocamera. It´s maybe not the best quality but it will have to do as an example.

    Fisheye Gate

    Open up HDRShop and open your image.  Just click OK when the “Specify Camera Response Curve for LDR Image” dialog appears.

    Then choose Image, Panorama, Panoramic Transformation.

    Settings should be as screenshot:

    Panoramic Transform Save

    HDRShop will now convert your image to a “Vertical Cross”.
    It should look like on the screenshot below (except for my text of course). The picture has now been divided into six images.

    Gate Cross

    Save and then open it up i Photoshop.
    Create a new image in Photoshop. Size = 3072 x 512 pixels.

    Now you have to cut out the different images and paste them into your new image according to the picture below, notice how two of the images have to be rotated 180 degrees.

    Gate 6 squares

    Save image using settings shown on screenshot below:

    saving dds

    When that´s done we can open up TopSolid 7.

    Choose File, New Document, Special, Environment.
    Add your environment bitmap and save.

    Drag and drop you new environment into your scene (you have to create a reference to the library where the environment is stored.

    And your´e done!

    Realistic render

     

    Environment Scene

     

    Sources: http://www.hdrshop.com/

    Modwiki: http://www.modwiki.net/wiki/DDS_(file_format)

    Realistic rendering in TopSolid 7

    I don´t think i´m the only one who wonders what the  RedWay 3D render engine can actually do for TopSolid 7. So far it looks promising anyway. We will have to wait and see what Missler have in store when it comes to new featureas and enhancements for the TopSolid 7 render module.

    Check out these videos featuring some realistic rendering with next generation CAD software TopSolid 7.

    First video provided by: ClearCutSolutions

     

    This second one is provided by:  Missler Software

     

    Anyone interested in reading more about RedWay 3D should visit their website: www.redway3d.com