Today is day 23 of my challenge to learning 3d in a month. I want to create a Tokyo street scene in 3d. I’ve never done any real 3d before. Yesterday, I added rain, blinking lights, sound and built a mini VR web app for the scene.
Here’s what I’m trying to make in 3d:
I started out today accidentally finding out about shadows. I knew my scene was missing them but I wasn’t sure how to get them. I figured they would show up automatically if a light would be behind an object. But they don’t. You actually have to specifically let a light project a shadow with something called a shadow map:
I didn’t really had to set anything else, it immediately looked pretty good. You don’t see shadows in your viewer, you have to render your scene to see it first:
One place where the shadows turned out especially well was the wooden sign in front. Here’s how it looked yesterday:
And now with shadows:
That’s all shadow, not the texture. And it looks eerily close to the real photo:
Adding more stuff
The thing I’d been dreading finally had to happen. I had to start adding more detail again by modeling more objects of the scene.
3d wood-carved text
I also added 3d wood carved letters on the bar front sign. You simply add a Text path:
You customize it:
Then you drag it in place:
And you use a Loft array group layer again to make it 3d. Just like I did when making the curtains. It connects two paths:
And it looks like this:
Then I put a light above it:
It’s so much easier than it looks. Like literally, it feels like the physical renderer does most of the hard work and it’s default settings work great!
I built an aircon unit by extruding a tube shape from a box shape using a Boole NURBS. That’s a functional array group where you can put two objects in and the second object’s shape will be removed (as in boolean, true or false, I guess) from the first object.
Then I went on to add the aircon circular rings, simply by Boole’ing lots of cylinders in withs smaller cylinders:
More walls, roofs and details
I also added lots of mini walls and roofs, giving everything a better sense of space:
I also added tiny details like the metal bars on the paper door on the right and the finger holes in them:
Here we are now
This is day 1 vs. day 25:
All-in all, we’re getting pretty close now. With the shadows, better lighting and more objects in the street, it’s actually starting to feel a bit cosy.
Next is finding more details in the photo and adding them to finish it off.
P.S. I'm writing a book on bootstrapping startups called MAKE, which you can pre-order now. And I'm now on Instagram and Twitter too if you'd like to follow more of my adventures. I don't use email so tweet me your questions.
Day 23 of Learning 3d 🎮 Filling up the street and adding shadows