Starting up an in-house 3d department...

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  10 October 2012
Originally Posted by iLEZ: Has anyone been there "from the beginning" when starting up an in-house 3d-department? What was the biggest hurdles? What were your best arguments to convince people that this is a good idea, if it was. =)


I would do the following:

1) Purchase or make a seriously cool 3D product model. Something more detailed than a simple smartphone, and preferably relevant to the industry you are working in.

2) Assign materials and a good lighting setup to it in the 3D software of your choice (i.e. set it up for a sexy, photoreal final render)

3) Render with that setting. Then do variations (different materials, different lights/HDRI/GI, different camera angle/DOF)

Use a screen-capture tool to record the whole effort.

Now give a presentation to the "Money Guys", showing them - probably for the first time - what an in-house 3D workflow would actually look like.

Make sure they see lots of "iterations" type workflow - the product render going through many small, successive changes in the 3D software. Make it look quick, easy and snappy. (e.g. "We now replace the yellow outer casing of the product with an ice-blue one that is less reflective, and 30 seconds later we have a perfect new 3D render to show"...)

Now tell the Money Guys "What you have just seen, in 25 minutes, would have cost 5,000 to 10,000 Dollars if we outsourced it to an external 3D services provider".

Hell, you can do a voiceover narration over the recorded screen capture, narrating what is happening and why, and give the video to the Money Guys on a USB memory stick to take home with them. Then they can sit down with their corporate laptops and watch the whole thing.

The important thing to stress at every turn is that an "Internal 3D Department = lots and lots of time and money saved, much faster turnaround times, and much more painless two-way interaction between the people calling the shots, and the people doing the visualizations". Plus product/design confidentiality is not an issue this way - no 3D design data leaves the company offices, so nobody outside can leak it, sell it or accidentally "leave it in a bag under the subway seat".

I hope that helps...

Good luck!
 
  10 October 2012
Originally Posted by AJ: In all honesty, it doesn't matter if they use it or not (but they do), V-Ray is genuinely faster/better for visualisation work than Mental Ray with 3ds Max. Of course you'll still need to learn how to use it and it won't magically improve your renders so if you're familiar with MR it might be more economical to stick with that for now.


AJ! I'm sorry I doubted you! I just checked with my friend and confirmed that you are right. =) V-ray was a hell of a lot more cheap than I thought, so I don't think that it will be a problem to motivate a purchase to the ones with all the cash.. I have no problems with the task of learning a new renderer, that's part of what I think is fun with all of this. =)
 
  10 October 2012
If you are looking at quickly getting up to speed with Vray, particularly for product shots, I strongly recommend the 'viscorbel' tutorials, particularly this product lighting set (also includes scene files)
http://viscorbel.com/vray-tutorials...hting-released/

There are a couple of great vray material tutorials on that site as well.

Another great resource is the vray guide site!
http://www.vrayguide.com/
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Michael Wentworth-Bell | 3D Artist & VR Designer | Melbourne, Australia

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  10 October 2012
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