Project: Plants

The intention of this project was to create a selection of original plants and materials from images and scans of objects available to me.


This gave me a chance to improve my texture and material creation abilities, making the textures "from scratch" without the assistance of programs like Substance Painter, and avoiding the use of texture libraries or other pre-made assets entirely.

LuxRender 1.3.1, Blender 2.69, Adobe CS6

I created scans of a number of objects, from books to discarded pieces of wood, using a flatbed scanner. These high resolution scans were then manipulated in Photoshop to reduce highlights and increase consistency, and so that the resulting textures would tile more seamlessly. Resolution was then reduced such that the longest side of each image was no longer than 2048 or 4096 pixels, when appropriate. Further, translucency textures were created by manipulating hue and saturation of leaf textures to simulate accurate light transmission through a glossy-translucent surface.

For certain textures, like those for wood materials I created a number of variations, from dark wood to light wood. These images were exported, after which normal information textures, height information textures, and in certain cases roughness textures were created using CrazyBump and Photoshop. Below are three wood color variations.

With the textures completed, I began to model a number of plant and book meshes using Blender 2.69, as well as “material demo balls” if the textures had no immediately apparent use. Plant modeling made heavy use of the simple deform, bend modifier to generate the curvature characteristic of leaves. Finally, I created a few simple pots for the plants. Materials were created for use with LuxRender 1.3.1.

Most of the images make use of the SPPM surface integrator and a Sinc pixel filter. This ensured sharp results, maintaining high apparent resolution even though the overall resolution of the images is low. Most images used the RSX200 film response preset, which results in substantially higher contrast and saturation than default settings.