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Read Issue 19 : Explore Digital Artwork from 8 Featured Artists and How to Add Realism to Your 3D Digital Models

The problem with virtual models can be that they’re too perfect, too abstract, so how do you overcome this?

Going back to Industrial Light and Magic’s (ILM) early history may provide an answer. When they started out, they had to innovate because the budget for the original Star Wars movie was relatively small. So they employed “Kit Bashing”, using pieces from hundreds of plastic models to build the needed Star Destroyers, Y-Wings and so on for the movie. The bare surfaces of the base models were jammed with pieces of model kits and even the odd plastic soldier – anything to break up the flat planes.

Allegedly, Industrial Light and Magic model-makers originally created the term “greebles”. There’s also an equivalent geeky sounding term banded about “nurnie”.

So “Greebles” were used to make physical models look less bare. Model-makers, whether working with physical models or virtual for that matter, run into the same problem – and can employ the same solution. It’s basically saying they fix the issue by “gluing lots of junk to bare surfaces”.

Issue 19 includes a resource list of Greeble plug-ins for popular 3D art applications to “unperfect” the surface of your virtual models and give them additional realism.… Read the rest

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