Leica IIIf



Intro(or you could skip to the project section below)
Let me begin this by saying that this is a hobby for me and something I enjoy doing. I currently don’t earn a penny out of this. Now, what I am looking for is maybe tuning my skills so that in the future I could quit my day job (graphic design) and switch to this which makes me happier. Because I suck at it and it feels less straightforward to me, I enjoy rendering much less than modeling.

Now about the project, I started in 2008, when I was bored at work. I modeled and modeled and after, say, a week or so I thought I was done. As I soaked every piece of knowledge I could get my hands on (DVD’s, tutorials, etc) I learned that boy, was I wrong. That model wasn’t anywhere near done. I’m not going to lie to you, a project like, I could bring to this level in maybe a week or so, but every time I resumed work, I tried applying what I previously learned and it kind of opened my eyes and see mistakes I made, which resulted in, of course, scrapping parts and redoing them. Add to that, other projects inbetween ( tend to get bored easily on a 3d project, and start on anther)
Of course, as I took the reference pics gathering more seriously, I learned that I modeled a mix between different models of the camera. This could be the case now as well, so if you see any discrepancy, please let me know.

And as a fun fact, here’s where I was back in 2008 and when I was afraid of texturing :slight_smile: : http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=43&t=671786

The project
I have no idea why I chose this camera. I like it and it feels very sofisticated for an ~80 years old camera. More on this camera http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leica_III
It felt quite a challenge to me back then and it feels to me right now as well as I struggle to texture it, the first time I am doing this for what I model. My weapon of choice is Maya, Photoshop for tuning/creating maps, Maxwell for rendering overnight :slight_smile: and recently I discovered Mudbox for adding sweet details on maps.

But enough about that, here are the renderings:

And here is part of the reference pics used:

I would like to hear what you think about the renderings. I am still tuning the top texture for those silly flakes. They were supposed to be some sort of added scratches/detail but that blew up in my face. All of the detail is made with displacement, I am looking into parallax mapping to help me achieve the same detail but render faster. The camera pouch/case is close to be exposed for critique, but mudbox file also blew in my face. Hope I recover the file.


Hi nemuro, I first thing I noticed where the scratched you mentioned which I thought took away from this great piece, what I would say is your version could benefit from an environmental map, as apart from the subtle noise in the photographic version would make your scene that more convincing


Hello Artdigital,

Thank you for your feedback. Thanks for confirming that the flakes definitely have to go. That’s a good call on the env map. I now have studio setup and nothing else to reflect, so yes, an envmap should show more detail, but that is something I’ll worry when I am happy with what I have as a model, and I am not there yet. I’ll keep that in mind when doing the final render.

Now onto some work. I did something I wasn’t very happy and that I avoided for years. Redoing the top part, cleaning, and making the mesh flow nicer + removing the ridge that shouldn’t be there because it was on another model of the camera.
The result is a better flowing mesh that has a fifth less polys and some fixed areas.
At first I was thinking of saying which of the two is before and which is after, but if you can’t tell the old part from the new part, I did my job poorly.

From here on, I will fix the plate that this part sits on because I’ve seen some texture stretching in the render. After that, it’s sculpting away.


I think you did a great job so far. obviously you’ll be adding the whole writing stuff on the body, that’ll give it the necessary tad more realism. What I’d do is to redo the scratches, they somehow seem too artificial and partly too harsh, also I would try giving the metal some slightly different shades and maybe some slight stain. Your base material for the metal is great, but it would greatly benefit from the aforementioned… As said before the lighting needs some improvement but then hey… keep going ! :slight_smile:


@jojojo to be sincere, I just used the default values for the aluminium material in maxwell.
Good point about stains on the aluminium, but not going to worry right now about that because it is the hardest task in the world to keep me from refining the model and even redoing some parts. The bad thing is a lot of the existing uv sets are no longer relevant and I’ll have to redo the UV’s together with the new tweaks.

Here’s some new updates and a comparison with the real world actual model I am following.

Points one through 5 in white were tweaked or redone.
The numbers in red are on my to do list (tweaking/redoing), so please let me know if you spot anything else I missed.

Somebody stop me… from tweaking and redoing stuff :slight_smile:


And here is the sculpted and painted pouch


I’m curious, how did you create the bump pattern around the end of the lens?


The image I earlier provided is a screenshot from Maya, not a render.
That is actual geometry, and it’s easy. About 5 Years ago easy:).

You extrude the outer edges and uncheck keep faces together. Using the local scale pivot, shape the extrusion to taper the shape and make it look like that. You could also add a twist modifier later to make the piece look even cooler.


Your model looks great!

I think some of your highlights are a little hot. You’ve got lots of areas that are completely blown out at 255 white.

What kind of light setup are you going for? A classic product shoot with a couple of large area lights, or are you just lighting it like its sitting on a table in a house?

Have you played around much with anisotropic reflections? The tops of the dials look like they were milled on a lathe, and they’ve probably got lots of tiny grooves in a radial patten. If your using raytraced reflections for your highlights, you can try making a super high res bump map of a bunch of black circles. You can also try to make a noise texture, and then setup your UVs so it maps in a radial pattern. You might need to way lower your image filtering, or even turn it off, and turn up your bump samples. Although I think Maxwell is an unbiased render, so I’m not sure you’ll have bump samples and image filtering. :shrug:



Thank you. :slight_smile:

The setup I go for is studio/product shot.
Here is the lighting setup I use. Background is a nicely angled corner, left is an hdr grayscale image that is generating light, right is an area light, black rectangular box above is a softbox type of light with adjustable light inside that I can move towards the open edge or towards the bottom to allow for more control.

You are right about the burnt out areas, I see what you mean. That’s what I get for playing with multilight and iso shutter speed camera settings, I guess. The original result was more towards a realistic lighting but greedy me wanted to get more light to see the detail better.

I must confess I reread your post multiple times and I believe I finally understand what you are saying (my English is worse that what you thought about me, I guess :slight_smile: )

I definitely overlooked that piece of detail. I did look on the internet a bit, and it seems I can do this rather easily. Looky here http://www.vtc.com/products/MaxwellRender2/MaterialsMapping/96828

Again, this will be also on my to do list as I near final render, thank you.

Some tweaks in the front and in the back. The red numbered items that were shown previously, were addressed, and then some.


Cool man, no problem. I’ve never played around with an unbiased render before, so I’m sure the terms are all different.

As far as your light setup goes, it might help to have a look at some typical setups people use for product photography.




Usually the camera shutter speed is set pretty high, and the room is kept dark. If you snapped a photo without the flashes, it would some out black. The light boxes have a flash in them, and the product is entirely lit by them. The lights you see on in the set photos are just the modeling/preview lights. This gives the photographer absolute control.

For your light setup, I would make your area lights way bigger, and move them further away from your camera model. If your felling confidant, you might also try to remove your HDRI image, and just use geometry. You can turn up the reflectivity/indirect illumination on your area light geometry. Also try moving your view camera further away, and tightening the field of view.



AJ, Thank you for the lighting advice, I wish I could know how to translate it into better results, but making the lights bigger and moving them away didn’t do much, or doesn’t feel as an improvement to me. What I’ve seen these days and ipressed me and I wish I could light the scene so it gives the same feeling is this: http://www.maxwellrender.com/index.php/gallery/images/9/1/449


[left]then you might want to consider 3 to 4 spotlights and a series of surrounding reflector planes around the setup :slight_smile:


I never would have considered such an easy setup for achieving that picture. Would be worth a try for sure.

Reduced the polycount as good as I could, removed faces that couldn’t be seen or wouldn’t help on rendering so the scene now is somewhere around 117,000 polygons.

Redid the adjuster near the main outer lens, and I found a schema of the lens configuration https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-I9egLu4imEw/T_5p6puCJLI/AAAAAAAABp8/I21H1owuBcI/s718/Elmar.jpg so the lens are done, I guess:


I would need someone’s help that can answer a question to me.

As I approach the UV setup stage before rendering, I have these elements that have writings on them and share the same type of material ( aluminium )

What would be better:

  1. selecting all elements that share the material, create uv’s for them in the 0-1 space, making sure they don’t overlap and that the scale for similar objects is similar and that objects where I need more resolution occupy a larger area of the uv map, and create one large resolution shared diffuse and another displacement map, and apply the same map to each object

  2. select each individual piece and have its own uv’s in the 0-1 space and then have each object with it’s own diffuse and displacement map.

Up until now I used the second option and it seems cumbersome, so if there is a faster way I’d like to learn about it.


uv-ing away. This must be one of the most important, and at the same time the hardest steps.
I am basically taking each piece, making sure the normals are “normal” :), that the UV’s are good for its purpose (textured or not).

So far, I am trying to match the engravings seen on the real model by recreating the textures in photoshop letter by letter. I also have trouble finding the font used on the model, I doubt it can be found, but I use something that I feel it is similar.
The black and textures will serve as a displacement or bump mapping ( If I will find a way to create normal maps for parallax mapping).


that’s almost all of the pieces textured.


and the maps are done


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