Meet Yosef! He’s teamed up with instructor Shawn as part of Game-U’s New York Accelerate program. Yosef usually works in GameMaker Studio, or the professional gaming engine Unity, but he took a break to accept one of Game-U’s daily modeling challenges: dice!
Like art, modeling works by seeing objects as an assembly of shapes. Dice bodies are cube-shaped, so Yosef fired up Blender – the open source software for everything 3D – and began the challenge with six boxes, uniformly sized. Dice don’t usually have a box’s sharp lines, however, so Yosef next used a smoothing tool to round out and soften the edges of each model. He also added dots (in their classic formations) to the cubes’ sides. Ready for a little Disney magic? Blender’s new principled shader, which controls the model’s materials, was developed by Disney Studios and does awesome work. By adjusting properties such as base color, tint, sheen, transmission, and clearcoat, Yosef determines how the surfaces of his dice appear in the finished product. Different base color settings set off the dots against the dice backgrounds. To get just the right visual effect, Yosef also played with the scene lamps until he found the perfect lighting to showcase his work. Finally, using a physics simulation, he created a realistic “roll” of the dice as an unseen hand casts them onto a red card table. Rendering his model in Blender took some time, but the result is worth the wait. See for yourself!
Great work, Yosef! You’ve gone above and beyond here, especially since the modeling challenge only called for a single die, not six, and didn’t require an animated display. Your digitally rendered models could easily be taken for real dice! Thanks for sharing, and stay in touch. We’d love to see more of your projects!