I have the software and use it. I still find myself fumbling to produce a good 3d model. the colors on layers (insert band on brightness layer) in the load menu do not seem to help me produce raised areas when loading a photo. my main interest is human faces with proper heights (noses lips etc) and eyes that are smooth / not too deep. I saw the reply that the software can make lithopanes. I have seen articles but none on the website. can better instructions be published? is it better to work the photo in a photo program before loading the file? will replacing colors or dodging prior to loading help? is there an optimum number of pixels? thanks
When using a photograph as a basis for a relief sculpture (image brightness scaled to surface height), there are some things to consider - especially when a facial portrait is involved. Here are some suggestions:
1) Use the red image band only.
2) Use a photo where the subject is illuminated by a broadly-diffused (spread out) light source coming from behind the camera. A dark backgound behind the subject also helps.
3) When importing (or prior to importing), the image should be resampled to a size of around 1000 to 1500 pixels in each dimension (horizontal and vertical). Or, in other words, the total number of pixels should typically be around a million or two.
Here is an example (you may have seen already):
No matter what you do, however, the image brightness is never going to correlate perfectly with the desired surface height. Suppose, for example that someone has light skin but dark eyebrows. Initially, when the image is imported (as brigntness mapped to surface height), the eybrows will be sunken into the surface because they were darker than the surrounding areas. This is where the sculpting tools in VS3D would be used to raise up the eyebrow area.
Lithophanes are a special case. To make one, first convert the image to grayscale, or just import the one band that looks best. When importing the image, set the "Map Minimum Brightness to Height" value to zero. And set the "Map Maximum Brightness to Height" value to a negative number (like -0.1, for example). The resulting surface will be the highest (thickest) where the image was the darkest. And the surface will be the lowest (thinnest) where the image was the brightest. When the surface is cut in a translucent material, this will naturally result in a lithophane (appearance of the original image when held up to the light).
Daniel Carr - President,
Designs Computed, LLC