3D assets and other services – How the digital world can help you with a deadline

3D assets and other services – How the digital world can help you with a deadline

The year 2020 has been momentous if anything. In the world of 3d, we’ve seen some developments underway that promise faster workflows, more accessible software, and new ways of interacting with digital media in three-dimensional space. We’re also challenged more than ever to work flexibly and produce quality content within shorter time frames, possibly outside the physical proximity of our teammates and collaborators.

Now more than ever would be a good time to take advantage of the many resources online- from 3d Asset libraries, industry level open source software, render farms and more- to help us land more jobs, or get our digital content ready as soon as possible.

As 3d artists and designers in the CG industry, we may soon find ourselves amidst growing competition, and in more project-oriented work than a stable monthly income. Investments in hardware may be less feasible for some time, and we may need to land more projects to get by. For some, now might be the time to focus some energy on original content. In any case, we are looking at a new decade of uncertainty, but we face it armed with all the resources our digital world has to offer.

3d assets, Scans and Textures

3d Models, textures, volumes and hdri maps are crucial to most projects, but can be costly. Unfortunately without pre-existing assets, projects can take twice as long or more to finish, which could mean inability to meet deadlines. Fortunately there are several places these assets can be found at low cost or even for free.

3DBee.IT

For Interior Architectural visualization, 3DBee.IT offers a growing library of high-quality 3d models, materials, and optimized scans for furnishing, appliances, ornamentation, and food. While the service is subscription-based, affordable credit packs are available for on-demand purchases, and many of their assets are available for as little as $5 or free.

Textures.Com

Textures.com is one of the oldest and most extensive repositories for tileable textures for 3d, as well as mattes and recently, 3d assets. While the platform is subscription-based, a free account grants 15 credits every month that may be used for many of the assets available.

3d model haven

Texture haven

Hdri haven

These three platforms are repositories for models, textures, and hdri maps respectively, and are donation based. The sites are run by open source advocates, Greg Zaal, Rob Tuytel, and Cameron Casey. All the assets are available to download for free with a CC-0 license, which means they can be used for any purpose without the need for accreditation. The sites are sustained by the community through support on Patreon, and grants from companies like Epic Games.

Third-party services

GPU server rental

Xesktop

Xesktop is a remote GPU server rental solution that provides access to high powered GPU rental servers for $6/ hour. This can come in handy for offloading heavy computational tasks from a personal workstation, and as an alternative for GPU rendering when a render farm isn’t justified. Users may choose between servers equipped with 10 GTX 1080 Ti Cards with 11GB vRAM or 8 Tesla V100 cards with 16GB vRAM. Xesktop also offers 24/7 support and a free hour for trial and set-up.

A workstation set up is stored as a virtual image so that users can return to their existing projects at any time.

Render Farm

GarageFarm.NET

GarageFarm.NET is a render farm that offers competitive pricing and 24/7 Live Support for its users, as well as a proprietary scene preparation plugin for popular 3d software and Render Engines. They have also recently announced new support for GPU rendering on their farm. The difference between GPU rental and using a render farm is that with the former, a user has direct access to a GPU workstation and can work on projects there. The latter is meant strictly for rendering. With GarageFarm.NET, new users get $25 worth of starting credits, and often give coupons and promotions that can double the starting amount. They are also open to subsidizing a considerable amount of rendering in exchange for participation in case studies and project showcases as well as other content contributions.

For large scale projects, they give huge discounts for large top-ups. Refer to their pricing page for more information.

Software

3d dccs can be expensive, and upgrading to the latest release, or maintaining subscription might have to be postponed in light of recent events. Fortunately, viable open-source or freeware alternatives are available as partial or total more sustainable alternatives for tools crucial to our pipelines.

Blender

Blender is an open-source 3D creation suite. It has grown to be a formidable tool for every part of a 3d production pipeline: modeling, rigging, animation, simulation, rendering, compositing, motion tracking, and video editing. Despite being a bit of an underdog in its earlier years, Blender is now recognized as a viable 3d package for industry-level use. Not only is it used by notable studios, but it has also garnered the interest and support by way of a financial grant from many industry-leading companies such as Ubisoft, Epic Games, and Nvidia.

Quixel Mixer

Quixel Mixer (previously known as Megascans Studio) is a tool that blends scanned surfaces together to create tileable texture-sets for Film and Games. The recent 2020 updates provide features akin to Substance Painter’s fill layer system, where more control is afforded users by way of paintable masks and mesh maps. Mixer is also available for free, without restriction.

Unreal Engine

Unreal engine is a 3d creation tool and game engine centered on game development and real-time rendering. The software is also made available for free by Epic games, under very liberal terms of use. Many industries turn towards the advantages of real-time rendering in terms of speed and immediate visual feedback during production and Unreal’s continued development in realtime rendering promises closer levels of realism to traditional rendering with every release.

Since UE requires some serious GPU power and no straightforward way of distributing the render process across a network, GPU rental services can come in handy for those without dedicated GPUs looking to render animated sequences from directly within the engine.

Image manipulation software is integral to 3d creation as an auxiliary means of texture map creation and editing, and postprocessing. Luckily, there are a few capable tools available under open-source licenses or similar.

Summary

While these resources are just as useful under normal circumstances, the huge advantages of leveraging services and platforms such as these are the time saved in content production and the flexibility in allocating budgets towards what is most profitable in any given situation.

With the state of many industries unpredictable in times like these, it’s a comfort to know that many alternatives exist, and are a google search away.

The 3D tasty challenge

The 3D tasty challenge

We at 3dBee.IT are celebrating our first birthday with something delicious!

Grab your aprons, roll up those sleeves, and prepare for our first ever 3d challenge! Choose any of our available 3d models and scans, and whip up the tastiest masterpiece you can muster!

The theme is simple – Make It Tasty

We’ll be making some of our food scans and a few of our models available to download and use for the purposes of this contest, along with all of our already free assets in the library. Whether it be a sumptuous photorealistic food shot or an out of the box rendition of a colony of apple creatures crossing a vast and mysterious chopping board frontier, we want to see a feast for the eyes and imagination! Crispy details, flavorful color schemes, and a meaty story are the ingredients for success in this competition. Surprise us!

Post your entries on Instagram and use the #3dtastychallenge hashtag to let us know, and if your entry is favored by our digital AI clone of Gordon Ramsey, you and two runner-ups will be rewarded with mouthwatering prizes!

3D still life examples

Super specific mechanics and terms

– Download our preselected assets for the contest here

OR

– Register and Download any of our Free 3d Assets and Scans over at 3DBee.IT (if you use Max or Sketchup with Arnold, F-Storm, V-Ray, or Corona you might want to check out our asset manager app)

– Create a 3d scene around these assets. Anything goes, as long as it looks great, and doesn’t leave a bad taste in the mouth (nothing NSFW or otherwise offensive)

– Render a single image and post it on Instagram or Artstation with the hashtag #3dtastychallenge and tag 3DBee.IT. If you prefer to live in the fringes of society, that’s cool. Email it to us over at [email protected]

– By participating in the contest you agree to let us share your work on our social media channels and other promotional efforts.

Awards

1st place:
– One-year 3DBee subscription
– $300 worth of rendering on GarageFarm.NET
– $150 wired to your PayPal (or personally delivered by a guy wearing a mask of a Hollywood celebrity of your choice)

2nd place:
– One-year 3DBee subscription
– $200 worth of rendering on GarageFarm.NET
– The consolation in the fact that while you aren’t first, you aren’t third either

3rd place:
– One-year 3DBee subscription
– $100 worth of rendering on GarageFarm.NET


Judging criteria

– Creative interpretation of the theme: 50%
– Technical skill in lighting, composition, etc: 50%

Deadline for entries: July 19, 2020 July 26, 2020

Update: Due to the participants’ requests, the contest is extended by one week. The entries can be submitted until July 26th.

Things are still pretty tough for a lot of us these days, but when life gives you lemons, why not make a cool render out of them? Come join! It’ll be great, and you get some pretty neat assets for free to boot.

For additional questions, email us at [email protected] or send us a DM at https://www.facebook.com/3dbee.it/ or https://www.instagram.com/3dbee.it/

Best of luck! See you at the Hive!

3DBee.IT app guide

3DBee.IT app guide

Welcome to our little hive!

We’re excited to see what you create with the 3d models and scans in our asset library, and we hope that through in the use of our service your interior visualizations become a much more productive experience.

Topping Up Your Balance With Credits

Our assets are purchased through a credit system. To avail of credits, simply head over to
https://3dbee.it/, login, and select “my account” in the header.

The account page is where you can keep track of your balance, and purchase more credits.
Hit the “buy credits” button to purchase credit packs or an annual subscription.


An annual subscription not only allows you unlimited downloads of assets but also $100 worth of rendering credits over at our mother company, GarageFarm.NET.


Select Add to cart to make your purchase, and proceed to checkout to seal the deal!

*If you’re still unsure about making a purchase, search for the FREE assets we have in the library to download free 3d models and test our service out.

Downloading assets

There are two ways you can add our 3d models and scans to your scene: By downloading them directly from our website or by using our asset management app.

Downloading directly

Once your balance has been updated, head over to the asset library by clicking the “asset library” on the header of our page.

Select an asset you want and on the popup, simply hit “add to my library” to get your copy.


After hitting “add to my library” you will see the prompt as shown above. Hit “buy asset” to confirm the purchase.


You will receive this prompt once the purchase is complete. At this point, you may now hit “download” on the pop up to save the asset locally.

You will receive your asset as a zip folder containing an FBX, and the maps assigned to each Material ID on the mesh.

The maps are numbered according to the material ID, and for additional guidance for more complex assets, you can refer to the included .xml descriptor file.

From here you can import the FBX to your DCC and link the maps accordingly.

Downloading from the 3DBee app

Our App currently supports 3ds Max from 2016 up, and the following render engines:

  • Scanline
  • Corona
  • V-Ray
  • F-Storm
  • Arnold

We also have working support for SketchUp with the V-Ray engine and encourage you to give the app a go if this is your DCC of choice.

In the “my account” page, you will find links to the app installer for your operating system. Simply click on a link to receive the file.


Installing the app is straightforward, and the install wizard will help you along.

Once the 3DBee App is installed and launched, be sure to launch either 3ds Max or Sketch Up and load your scene. In the app, log in with your account credentials and browse through our assets.

When you have found the one you need, select it and hit the blue button on the app’s toolbar.


The button will be named either “buy” or “add” depending on whether you have already purchased the asset, or if it is available for free.

When hitting “buy” you will be prompted to confirm your purchase. Check “use real money” (this just means you will be spending credits) and then hit “confirm and buy”.


The asset will download and once the download is complete, you may select on the preview on the right side of the app, and drag it into your scene.

Position your asset where you like and left click to confirm the placement.


That’s it!

We highly recommend taking advantage of the app so you won’t need to manually set up shaders and textures for your assets.

If you aren’t a Max or SketchUp user, feel free to download directly from our site, and sit tight! Support for more DCCs is on the way!

Thanks for reading, and we hope to hear from you soon!

Happy Creating from all of us at the Hive!

3D asset bundles by 3DBee.IT

3D asset bundles by 3DBee.IT

As we’re slowly nearing the end of this unfortunate global ordeal, and into an uncertain future, the question of how we regain our bearings looms over us all. We at 3dbee.it are just as uncertain, but we’ve been working to prepare ourselves, and you, for new projects that need doing, and (we never thought we’d say this) new deadlines that need beating.

We’ve put together some bundles of 3d assets suited to add that extra touch of detail to your visualizations, and are offering them at the cost of a couple of coffees!

Without further ado we present to you our discounted 3d asset bundles:

set of 3D bundles

The Coffee Lover Bundle

Nothing tops off a pantry like the essential ingredients for that sweet, sweet brew of liquid motivation. In this bundle is everything you need for a good cup of Jove, from an espresso machine down to the beans.





The Baker bundle

What gives off that special lived-in in vibe to your home kitchens? Some food and appliances! The baker asset bundle contains some of our bread scans, a container, and a dainty retro toaster among other things. Here are the assets in detail.




The Juicer Bundle

Renders of springtime out in the patio, or a garden cocktail party would be perfect for this asset bundle! Accentuate your scene with some fresh fruit, pitchers and glasses, and a blender to depict home in the midst of a pleasant get-together.




The Collector bundle

Tabletops, shelves, counters, or nightstands – what wouldn’t benefit from some lovely figurines? Add even more visual interest to your interior close-ups with this fine assortment of figures and statuettes.




The Modern Chair bundle

Chairs chairs chairs, deceptively simple but a real-time guzzler to model, and you’re bound to need a few. Worry no more! This bundle is comprised of various options for your seats and could come in handy for almost any room visualization.




Little Tyke Bundle

A collection of essential modules for a quick child’s room for expecting clients! Furnish a Child’s room in no time with this themed bundle!




The Burgundy Bundle

Created based on The Anchorman franchise, this 3d asset bundle has all the components for a Parlor, Cabin, or generally any manly man cave that needs some quick sprucing.




Market Haul Bundle

A modest paper bag filled with various fruits and vegetables might seem trivial, but this could easily be what turns your render from a simple visualization into a living breathing story! Honey, I’m hooooomee!


As always our library continues to grow, and we’ll be coming up with more solutions with your asset needs, so stay tuned, and most importantly, stay safe!

Till next time!
The bees

Visual storytelling through color

Visual storytelling through color

In our previous articles, we discussed framing and lighting, but as in a holy triad, the key element missing to complete the artistic combo is color.

With colors, we can set moods, tones, and themes. Color is the charismatic brother of Light, and both interact as one in this regard. From a psychological point of view, you can use a determined color to energize or to cool down a particular scene.

Let’s start at the very beginning.

History of a wheel

picture of a color wheel

The color wheel is the basic tool for combining colors. But in order to find the first circular diagram in history, we need to go way back in time and meet Sir Isaac Newton, who experimented with prisms in the eighteenth century getting revealing results.

He “published” a book called Opticks, where he made a breakthrough in proving that light was made of different colors.

Controversial at the time—as it was thought that pure light was colorless—his experiments became important stepping stones for color theory.

His experiments led to the theory that red, yellow and blue were the primary colors from which all other colors are derived. While that’s not entirely true, it’s still influential in the color wheels developed in the early 1800s as well as the color wheel currently used today for the subtractive model.

Add to that the secondary colors of violet, orange and green—those which result from mixing the primary colors—and the color wheel begins to take shape. The tertiary colors yellow-orange, red-orange, red-purple, blue-purple, blue-green and yellow-green complete the color wheel.

-Nevertheless, on computers and television screens we most commonly see the additive color model which begins with darkness and uses different colors of light mixed together to achieve white.-

But it was Johann Wolfgang von Goethe with his theory of colors and Michel Eugene Chevreul with his Law of simultaneous color contrast that really founded the documents of color theory and the term “color psychology” was coined. This was the cornerstone for a whole entire market like the one we have today, that bases its entire design and identity on the way we perceive all the colors from the wheel, using those to make us react as they need.

Spinning the color wheel

Before going too deep on the psychology involved and related to colors, there are a few concepts I would like you to start grasping about this subject. Usually, these concepts are used in a wrong way so let’s dissect those using some practical examples.

When mixing colored light (additive color models), the achromatic mixture of spectrally balanced red, green, and blue (RGB) is always white, not gray or black.

Tints, shades, and tones

picture of ceramic gazelles with white tint added
Tint: Adding white to a pure hue.
picture of ceramic gazelles with shade added
Shade: Subtracting white to a pure hue.
picture of ceramic gazelles with grey tone
Tones: adding gray to a pure hue.

Color harmonies

There are different combinations of colors based on their relationship to each other, inside the color wheel. As with music, the harmony is present in colors. They are pretty simple to understand and mimic once you learn how each color is placed on the color wheel.

If you’re wondering how those color schemes look, below you’ll have a few practical examples of the most common ones.

Complementary color scheme

Any two colors opposite each other on the wheel are considered as complementary colors.
This scheme creates contrast in the frame, such contrast can be used as a tool to give accent to depth or suggest protagonism.

I’m sure you have seen this scheme used in Architectural Visualization a million times, due to blue and orange being opposite each other and due to orange and teal being one of the most used moods for exterior architecture visualization.

Orange and teal can be considered the opposite because this scheme allows tints and shades over any of the colors.

picture of orange ceramic gazelle

Analogous color scheme

I personally like this scheme a lot. Analogous color schemes use colors that are next to one another on the color wheel. You can see this scheme in nature, over a grass field or on a fruitless tree top or in pretty much everything generated by particles that include random decay on those.

In 3D software, we use it without knowing sometimes, when we try to add randomness and variation to a surface by slightly tweaking the hue of a color.

In general, when creating an analogous color scheme, one color is chosen to dominate, a second to support, and a third (along with blacks, whites and grey tones) to accent.

picture of orange ceramic gazelle with leaning yellow disc

Triadic color scheme

A triadic color scheme is when three colors that are evenly spaced around the complementary color wheel are used in conjunction. You’ll find this scheme on the ultra-modern interiors where the furniture fabrics, artworks, and wall paint will try to explode the contrast in this fashion.

picture of purple ceramic gazelle on yellow support with leaning green disc

Split-Complementary color scheme

This color scheme tends to soften the complementary color scheme and is a combination of complementary and analogous. In essence, complementary colors are chosen and then the colors on either side of them on the color wheel are also used in the design. It’s considered to soften the impact of a complementary color scheme, which can, in some situations, be too bold or too harsh on the viewer’s eye.


Rectangle (tetradic) color scheme

Tetradic schemes utilize two sets of complementary pairs: four colors. These can create very interesting visual experiences, but they are hard to keep in balance. Why? It’s because one color of a tetradic scheme needs to dominate the other colors without completely overwhelming them. An equal amount of each color often leads to a very awkward look, the last thing you want your users to see.


Square color scheme

The square scheme is a variant of the tetradic scheme. Instead of choosing two complementary pairs, you place a square on the color wheel and choose the colors that lie on its corners. Therefore, you’ll find four colors that are evenly spaced at 90° from each other. Unlike the tetradic color scheme, this approach often works best when all the colors are evenly used throughout the design.


Again, I can’t stress enough the idea that these are all made up of guidelines. Highly subjective. Nevertheless, this is part of the history of color theory and we all should know about it.

The physiological side of colors

We’re going to go even further into the land of subjectivity.
The cornerstone of this idea could be tracked to the idea of warm and cold the colors can give us.

picture of a color wheel

Warm colors, these are colors located on the half of the color wheel that includes yellow, orange, and red. These colors are said to reflect feelings such as passion, power, happiness, and energy.

Cool colors are colors located on the other side of the color wheel, including green, blue, and purple. Cool colors are said to reflect calmness, meditation, and soothing impressions.

Neutral Colors – These are not said to reflect any particular emotions. These colors include gray, brown, white, and black.

Ok, but how does this look when it’s applied to rendering and visualization?
Well, it’s really pleasant to look at.

Think about the concept of complementary colors- two opposite colors from the color wheel like the warm orange from a soft light that fights against the cold blue that covers a brutalist piece of architecture.

Notice how the contrast in terms of color scheme is also enhanced by the feelings attached to the concept of juxtaposing the warm and inviting against the cold and boring look of a concrete wall.

You will find a lot of examples in archviz using this combination.


What if we want to provide a sad, flat and nostalgic experience to the viewer? well, as with the music when you play minor chords, you can play with the analogous color scheme, tinting some colors near each other in the color wheel.


But you can try to experiment with any of the color schemes mentioned above.
You will find yourself really quickly playing with combinations that are really pleasant without guessing, but following a guide.


A guideline is not a rule. Art has no immutable rules, but it isn’t harmful to know which are the rules to know how and why to bend or break them.

Keep all this content in mind and surf the web for more information. Color theory is one of the most relevant topics for artists, and Color Theory In Architectural Renderings reflect the same principles. This article just grasps the idea of the theory based on history.

To really understand color grounded on digital art I strongly recommend The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Digital Colour by Troy Sobotka.

There is a massive difference in how we understand colors from a psychophysical point of view and how a display shows us the colors by light emission on each of the RGB lights.

But that’s something we can discuss in another article.

Credits:

Joni Mercado is a 3D artist and Blender user since 2007. Developing himself as a freelancer on several areas of digital art such as Architectural Visualization, Virtual Reality tours, Augmented reality, and game prop artist.

The 3DBee.IT asset digest: assets for kitchens

The 3DBee.IT asset digest: assets for kitchens

Kitchens can be one of the trickiest spaces to visualize from scratch. Apart from racks, tables modules, and chairs, there’s a multitude of appliances that are essential to the room but can be a real challenge to model. Our bees have your back, though! Here is a list of our highlighted assets for kitchens.

Appliances

Perfect for almost any kitchen home, these assets were made with the utmost care and attention to detail. Save yourself hours of modeling by adding these appliances to your scenes instead!

A Retro Style Blender for any homemaker’s kitchen!
Can’t have a kitchen or pantry without a reliable coffee machine to brew that sweet nectar of productivity!
For the more discerning coffee drinker, here’s a lovely espresso machine!
For the busy bee, here’s a compact Gas Stove!
A stylish Nordic Kettle for when you feel like brewing tea in your turtle-neck sweater.
Compact and versatile, here’s a modern oven for any kitchen space!
A Retro Toaster to soften up your kitchen space.

Modules

Here are some collections of modular storage units based on popular interior design styles

Contemporary

Scandanavian

Modern

And that’s a wrap for this first monthly roundup! We’ll be keeping you posted of any new developments at the end of each month, and for more assets and freebies, be sure to browse our entire collection over at 3DBee.IT!

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