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I am a pioneer in 3d animation and LEGO is the mother of all 3d. When I found LDRAW a long time ago on the internet I started to do some research with digital LEGO a long time before the LEGO movie. Due to my limited time as a company owner I just made some tests and that's it. Now I am testing with MODO and could unlock a new level of detail and realism which is worth to share. LDD2POVRAY is a nice toy but not really useable for more complex stuff like handling bigger scenes with animation, simulation, effects etc. And it's far too slow. The actual result looks quite promising. I need to find a way to get the LEGO logo on the studs. Unfortunately the replacements for stud.dat and stud2.dat are broken and give not the geometry shown in the pictures: http://www.ldraw.org/cgi-bin/ptdetail.cg...-logo3.dat

The fun part is now that I can import everything coming from LeoCAD or MLCad and setup the materials and shading in 15+ minutes to get this quality. A rendering of this Snowspeeder in HD will take around 4-5 minutes on my 12 core DELL. I wished LEGO would allow an export from LDD. I will update this thread with more results. Have fun.

[Image: 7130_Snowspeeder_002.jpg]

[Image: 7130_Snowspeeder_003.jpg]

[Image: 7130_Snowspeeder_004.jpg]


UPDATE +++ Studs with LEGO logo

[Image: 7130_Snowspeeder_v05b_Camera_04.jpg]

And here's a result where you see the missing panel in the cockpit now. The panel picture is modeled with MLCad I think and not based on a .dat model. Therefore the python script couldn't convert it. But in MLCad you can export in primitives and then you get the complete model but no separate bricks anymore. And this causes again problems with the rounding shader, low-res studs only as you can see and that's not the model I want to have. So I need to do more investigation and talk to the dev team of that LDR importer to fix this for the future.

[Image: 7130_Snowspeeder_Complete_v03_Camera_05.jpg]

4K Rendering with materials from the Peeron Color List. I made intense tests with hi-res studs and bevels I created with Primitiv Generator 2 but the results are the same when I start to adjust the LEGO logo and edges with the rounded edge feature. And the geometry will be much higher. The Peeron RGB colors are looking good. You need to click again on the picture to scale it to full 4K.

[Image: 7130_Snowspeeder_Normal_Studs_v03c_LEGO_RGB_Wide_4K.jpg]

And another test with a Technic model. I fixed some missing parts but still some bended hose is missing.

[Image: 8070_Technic_Car_v07c_4K.jpg]

The ultimate renderstresstest with over 5.000 bricks what will take full 32 GB of RAM and patience. Check out the 8K version with impressive details:

[Image: 10179_Millennium_Falcon_UCS_v03_Front_8K.jpg]

[Image: 10179_Millennium_Falcon_UCS_v03_Back_8K.jpg]

Another test with the great 10019 set. I wished it were based on the original LEGO CAD data from Billund incl. labels *:-)

[Image: 10019_Rebel_Blockade_Runner_v01_Front_8K.jpg]

[Image: 10019_Rebel_Blockade_Runner_v01_Back_8K.jpg]
Quite impressive.

Are the bevels something you achieve while rendering or you editing your mesh before ?
Darats Wrote:Quite impressive.

Are the bevels something you achieve while rendering or you editing your mesh before ?

Bevels are a rounding feature of the material. It's a fake by normals but works pretty well. I have worked out the LEGO logo onto the studs now. Stay tuned for more renders.
If the logos end up looking good, some people might not believe you when you say it's a render. These do look really, really good.

Just out of curiosity, are the imperfections (slight speckle) a consequence of the lighting model, or added texture to prevent the surfaces from looking too perfect?

Also, IMHO the depth of field effect in the one picture ruins it. It's very obviously computer-generated (at very low quality, to boot), while the other images do a very good job of looking real.
Wow, these look really impressive! I would love if you could share with us who you did it.

I'm quite curious...

How do you import Ldraw models into this renderer ?
It's not that easy. I am going via Blender and a Python script to import LDR directly. There are a lot of traps and I could work out a way how to do it right. LDView can convert to 3DS but this is a shit format. The problem in this scene is that there's a panel in the cockpit what isn't part of a model. It's made of a lot of polygons and just MLCad and LDView can read that. There's also a bug in the latest MLCad Version what exports wrong colors of models which have colored polygon groups. The programmer gave me an older version what works but might have other issues. When I try to import the model into blender it looks great but the panel picture isn't there. I have to pass this to the dev team of the importer because they are actually rewriting it from scratch. The only way to catch the picture would be to isolate the model and export it as ldraw primitives. When I do this with the whole model it's just one model with materials on polgon groups. And the studs are just in low-res. And the rounding shader will also do concave bevels where bricks touch other bricks. I am sure I will work out a way and will do a tutorial in the future when I have finished all this investigation and testing.
Would it be possile for you to share one of the MODO materials your are using? I'm also starting to have fun with MODO, quite challenging but really interesting.

Edit : This is what I achieved so far :
[Image: test01.jpg]

Not yet as impressive as yours... And I got gaps on the wheels, don't really know how to get rid of that without editing manually the mesh.
Darats Wrote:Not yet as impressive as yours... And I got gaps on the wheels, don't really know how to get rid of that without editing manually the mesh.

If you used POV, turning off primitive substitution for your POV export should get rid of the gaps. Of course, this generally lowers the quality of the whole model. I suppose your best bet would be to do both exports, then replace just the wheels (and perhaps the tires) in the substituted file with the wheels from the non-substituted file.
No, it's not POV, I tried MODO as virtualrepublic.

As I'm exporting first to Blender, primitive substitution doesn't work (I guess). I can only choose between Low, Medium or High Res Primitives. Maybe Low primitive will do the job, I need to try.

Great advantage of MODO is the easy beveling of every edge. Far more easy than remodelling every "none-LGEO" part to have a nice POV Ray render (which is what I'm currently doing for my renders) :

Here is the same model rendered in POV Ray :
[Image: 11730086965_2c56b7fe1f_b.jpg]
Here the tyres have been remodelled and used as they were LGEO library parts.
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