Comment had been made about 3D images that are available on the web and how unrealistic they looked. It is true that many (most? – all?) straight 3D images might look a little plasticky and unreal but could I rebut this and offer a solution to this perceived issue?

The real secret behind making images like this look reasonably realistic is to add texture, lighting and shadows as well as putting them into a realistic environment. I decided to take as my starting image this 3D Jack-in-the-Box available (at the time of writing) free to download from the PixelSquid website. PixelSquid offer many models in .psd and .png format but not any of the standard 3D formats and, within certain limits, they can be rotated to various angles. This allows for a degree of flexibility in viewing angles for those who do not possess 3D skills or, indeed, software.

After a couple of hours of work the original image was transformed into an old, grubby Jack-in-the-Box that had obviously been neglected by its childhood owner and stuck at the back of a cupboard while he grew up. Unfortunately the winding handle had broken off and now lies on the table awaiting repair.

All the textures were easy to source and comprised just three images of rust with the ‘grubby’ bits painted on in Photoshop. The table, picture frame, vase and spilt water all came from PixelSquid. The wallpaper, the alphabet print and the kapok stuffing were all sourced from the web.


Grubby Jack-in-the-box small

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