Texture gathering reflective surfaces

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  12 December 2012
Texture gathering reflective surfaces

Hi there. I am in the throes of modelling a morgue for a film project. I want to gather textures of brushed steel units (tables, operating bench, cooler doors etc...), I have access to a lot of nicely worn textures that I can photograph but I am anticipating a few reflective issues.

I want to be able to photograph some doors and surfaces with dints, scratches and general wear but they are very reflective to the point where direction is light greatly affects the colour of the metal and the surrounding environment, is semi visible.

I have though about flagging off the visible area with either a large piece of black cloth or white cloth on a frame to flatten out the reflective area.

I have also thought about dulling the area with dulling spray/hair spray.

I was also thinking about not actually using the metal texture itself just creating a matte or a photoshop brush of the scratches and that, then painting them onto a clean texture.

What are peoples experience and thoughts about this.

Thanks in advance.
  12 December 2012
All those techniques sound good. Personally, I grab texture elements from non metal textures to make metal textures. Like for example, I found some great scratches on a plastic garbage can that looked very much like scratches you see on metal, but are far easier to photograph. And brushed steel scratches are pretty easy to replicate in photoshop, just apply a pixel noise to your image, then use the motionblur filter to brush the lines in a particular direction. Good luck!

- Neil
  12 December 2012
Thanks for your reply.

It would be easier to do what you suggest. I have a circular polarizing lens that I might try to remove the reflection, again though one of the biggest issues is going to be the slight change in light will greatly affect the colour. I can it pretty easily in photoshop, but its still an extra step.

I will experiment with what you suggested, as well as having a go at what I mention above and see how I get on.

Thanks again.

  12 December 2012
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