Friday, July 31, 2009

Free 3D couch/sofa models

Get these free 3D sofa models here link I've checked the files and the quality seems fine :) There are 4 different sofas in .max, .3ds and .obj file formats.

Compositing Premultiplied 3D CG...

Often, when working in the 3D visualization field one has to composite 3D renderings on top of a photographic background, using Adobe Photoshop. Here is a great tutorial I found on how to do it properly: link

Thursday, July 30, 2009

60 free 3D model websites

There is a great list of free 3d model sites over at - check it out here

Making of the "Milk - Sad princess" advert by Florian Witzel/Psyop

Friggin radical stuff (Florian Witzel was one of the 3D artists on this job):

Making of 'Milk' - Rigging the Waves from Florian Witzel on Vimeo.

Making of 'Milk' - Lighting the Waves from Florian Witzel on Vimeo.

Watch the complete spot here: click

Sculpmaster 3D app for iPhone

SculptMaster 3D [iPhone] from CreativeApplications.Net on Vimeo.

This app allows you to sculpt in 3D, by using your fingers on your iPhone touchscreen. You can even paint your creation once you have modelled it, although there is no way as yet to export your 3D sculpture. Nonetheless, If this is the way things are going maybe I should get an iPhone after all?

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Charles Leo's article on 3D Architectural Rendering

Charles Leo, owner of, has written an informative article about 3D Architectural rendering. It's a great read if you are considering a career in this field, detailing the pros and cons of working in the 3d visualization industry. I can personally relate to what he says about freelancing and outsourcing!

Read the article here: click

A rendering done by Charles Leo/Lunarstudio:

Framanip Pro V1.0 animation sequence viewer for free

FRAMANIP PRO is now is available for download here: It's an animation and image viewer created for 3D animators. It displays individual frame sequences in real time, using your computers RAM.

It can do many things including:
  • Display any BMP / TGA / TIF / PNG / JPG / JPEG2000 sequence at any Frames per second rate (FPS).
  • Resave all the frames in different file format.
  • Resize or crop all the frames of your animation and resave as a new sequence.
  • Tell you which frames are missing from your animation sequence.
What like about it is that it's a portable .exe, which means you don't have to install the program, you can just dump it on your desktop or wherever and your are good to go. I also like that it loads the frames to RAM really quickly. And of course I like the fact that it's free:)

What I would like to see in the next version is suport for more file formats, such as .rpf/rla etc. and the ability to see just the alpha channel of rendered frames.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

How to create volumetric 3D clouds with V-Ray 1.5 SP3

Francesco Legrenzi has a great tutorial on his site on how to create 3d clouds using V-Ray. Click here to go to his site and view the tutorial
(He's the Italian dude who wrote the excellent book called: "VRay - THE COMPLETE GUIDE".)

VRayEnvironmentFog - Test 01 from Francesco Legrenzi on Vimeo.

Monday, July 27, 2009

vRoom plugin for Lightwave 3D

VRoom 1.1 is a plugin for Lightwave that simulates the interiors of buildings and the glass panes through which these interiors are seen, even if there is no interior geometry!

It looks pretty cool - check it out here



Thursday, July 23, 2009

Apple Boot Camp support from Autodesk (for 3DS Max)

Autodesk is now officially supporting Apple Boot Camp, a component of the Mac OS X operating system that enables customers to run Windows on their Apple Hardware, for users of various Autodesk products, including:
  • AutoCAD 2010
  • 3ds Max 2010
  • 3ds Max Design 2010
  • Autodesk Inventor 2010
  • Autodesk Revit Architecture 2010
  • Autodesk Revit Structure 2010
  • Autodesk Revit MEP 2010

This means you will be able run 3ds Max properly on an intel-processor Mac :) Well, it has been possible for a while now, but it is now officially supported...
More info here:

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Ocean Surface Test by Sascha Selent

A cool 3D animated ocean surface test by Sascha Selent - made with 3ds max and V-Ray: link

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Relink Bitmaps v2.0 is available

Relink bitmaps is a maxscript utility that allows you relink all 3ds max and VRay stuff - it's a bit like the standard 3ds max resource collector - just better! You can donload it for free at Colin Senner's site:
The download is free, but if you can, why not give Colin props and make a small donation to help him pay off his student loans?


  • All 3dsmax supported Bitmap Texture types
  • Relinks Mental Ray Proxy files
  • Relinks VRay Proxies (.vrmesh)
  • Relinks VRayHDRI files
  • Relinks IES files (including VRayIES files)
  • Automatically checks for script updates and new versions
  • 250% speed increase from previous versions
  • Command-line mode available for automating repetative tasks (see documentation on the website)
  • Configurable default user options saving button clicks and wasted time

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Tutorial: How to make a shadow matte with V-Ray

Welcome to this tutorial on making a shadow matte with V-Ray. To complete this tutorial you will need 3DS Max 2008 or newer, with V-Ray 1.5 and Adobe Photoshop.

The purpose of this tutorial is to show you how to render out a 3D object, with its shadow included in an alpha channel, so that you can composite the 3D object and it's shadow on top of an existing photograph.

You will need to download the "vray shadow matte tutorial.rar" file from:

In this file you will find two 3ds max files, a background photo and some additional info.
Please note that the max file used in this tutorial uses the V-Ray LWF (Linear Work Flow) technique, as described on the chaosgroup forums ( To use LWF you need to change 3DS Max's Gamma settings - please see the included file called "LWF_gamma_settings.jpg" to see what your settings should be. (You can change the Gamma settings in 3DS Max under: Customize >Preferences.) You also need to change the color mapping in your Vray settings, there are various options for this, I've shown one in the included file "LWF_VRay_Color_Mapping_settings.jpg"

lukx ( has made a simple video tutorial on LWF, it can be found here:

Aversis also has a brilliant tutorial about LWF on his website:

There is also a tutorial on LWF on my blog:

Lets start:

Step 1
Open the file: "vray_shadow_matte_tutorial_start_file.max"
You should see something like this:

Step 2
We need to load the background photo ("background.jpg") into 3ds max, so that we can match the perspective of the VRayPhysicalCamera01 to the perspective of the background photo. We also need to match the shadows created by VRaySun01 with those in the photograph.
Go to the 3ds max menu bar and chose View>Viewport Background...

Now load the background photo ("background.jpg") as shown in the screenshot below. Remember to select Match bitmap, Display Background and Lock Zoom/Pan, so that the background stays the correct size in the viewport.

Step 3
Your 3ds max viewports should look like this now:

At this point you could move the Camera and the Sun to make the chair look as though it is sitting correctly on the paving. I've done the basic setup for you already - you can always fine-tune it later if you want to.

Step 4
Create a Plane object under the chair. This is going to be our shadow matte object, so rename it to "shadow matte". It needs to be approximately 2400 mm x 2400mm big.

Step 5
Now assign a plain grey VRayMtl to the "shadow matte" plane. I have made a material for you already, it's in the top right corner of the material editor.

Step 6
Right-click the "shadow matte" object and go into the V-Ray properties of the object:

Select the Matte object checkbox, and change alpha contribution to -1.
Alpha contribution=1 is solid, with no transparency, 0 is transparent by itself, but still shows anything behind it, and -1 is transparent blocking everything behind:

Now to include shadows and their effect in the Alpha channel, you must enable Shadows and Affect Alpha:

Next we need to turn off "Receive GI" in the VRay object properties, so that the shadow's colour is not affected by the light from the VRaySky and VRaySun. (Otherwise it would be blueish in colour):

Step 7
Change the size of the VRaySun01 size to 13 (this will make the shadows a bit softer).

Step 8
Click Render and render the scene:

Step 9
Now save the image as a tiff or tga file with an alpha channel:

Step 10
All we need to do now is open the image we rendered out and the background photo in Photoshop and comp them together. (Easy if you've done before, not so easy if you haven't :p )

Select the chair and shadow via the alpha channel:

Make the RGB channels active:

Copy the chair and shadow selection to the clipboard (CTRL+C) and paste(CTRL+V) the chair on to the "backround.jpg" image, and place it where you think it fits best...but there is a problem with the shadows:

Don't worry, we can fix this by duplicating the chair layer, and making the bottom layer (the shadow) use linear burn as a blending mode.

Now switch the top chair layer back on (make it visible). We also have to delete the shadow area from the top chair layer:

Just a bit more Photoshopping....

You're done!

Please note that this might not be the most accurate or beautiful rendering and comp, but I just wanted to show you the basic principal behind using a VRay shadow matte - it's a handy technique to know!

JG3D has moved and is now at

3D models