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 Post subject: Virtual lapidarist...
PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2011 11:05 am 
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Just to share some recent experience...

Being far from my real/physical lapidary tools, I thought I had to find another way to cut stones when I have no access to my faceting machine and Dremel-related tools.

I always have with me at least one computer, so the way of virtual lapidary seemed to be the one to choose. Besides, I saw some interesting rendering images of faceted stones around, so I decided to give it a try.

I asked for some info to 3D guys and I tried some sw; at the end I decided to stick with a sw called bryce. Why?
- It imports .dxf files (output from gemcad)
- There's a Personal Learning Edition, for free, for non-commercial users
- There's also a mac version
- It works very well :)
- I don't like "blender" at all. ;) (never been able to use it proficiently, we are incompatible, I guess)

After some testing I got some interesting results. My 3D rendering experience was limited to tomography volume rendering software (almost useless for this purpose) and some practice with an ancient 3D Studio 4 (dos software!), so...

Another cool issue is that with boolean operators I can simulate "carvceted" stones. 8) This is REALLY interesting.

Anyway, the past week I added to the GemologyProject a few new designs. They have NOT been test-cut (yet), but I checked the performance with gemray and I also did some rendering.

This is a new simulaltion of a rhodolite cut ("Barrel 2" design). My rendering images are getting better, now that I've also added a virtual light tent. No polishing scratches nor inclusions in this one, also meetpoints look perfect... :lol:
Image

Now I'm waiting to go back to Italy next weekend to cut a rhodolite in my "Raspberry" design. A REAL stone at least...

Oh, if you cut some of the non test-cut designs, please post a pic, if you'd like to. I'll add it to the GP, with proper credits (no rendering can compare with real life experience/performace).


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 Post subject: Re: Virtual lapidarist...
PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2011 11:57 am 
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Bryce has a problem with rendering shadows nicely. Try to photoshop away the shadows and replace with more transparent and natural shadows. Very nice if you put the object on top of something. Long time since I used Bryce though.

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 Post subject: Re: Virtual lapidarist...
PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2011 12:16 pm 
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Shadows seem to be not so bad... But keep in mind that my experience it this field is ~0. I remember I tried a very old version (probably the very first) several years ago and I was not impressed, anyway. But I think this one is pretty good for my purposes.

I was also planning to add a non-reflecting object to place the stone onto. :)

In the meanwhile I tried to "carvcet" a citrine quartz: I carved a 'bubble' on the culet of a "Starfish 80". The rendering looks ~correct, BUT I won't cut such a stone IRL (it looks quite ugly to me...). :mrgreen:

Image

The good news is that I have not to cut+carve a stone to check the effects. Or at least I can rule out the ones that look clearly bad. :idea:

Well, well... another useful tool to add to my arsenal. :D


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 Post subject: Re: Virtual lapidarist...
PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2011 12:21 pm 
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Thanks. I looked your new designs yesterday and was just going to ask about the rendering sw. I'm just downloading it to my mac :D

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 Post subject: Re: Virtual lapidarist...
PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2011 12:45 pm 
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Just a thought:
Renders to real stones photos are like synthetic stones to natural gems... (c) Egor Gavrilenko :)

Here are some "synthetic" pics from my collection, used for mouse pad design for our Institute (some of them are "virtually faceted" after Marco's designs):
Image

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Last edited by Egor Gavrilenko on Mon Feb 07, 2011 1:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Virtual lapidarist...
PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2011 12:51 pm 
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There was an ad for a ski resort running in Switzerland when we lived there, which showed month by month an unseen player doing increasingly difficult moves on a snowboarding simulation game.

Then the month was December and he was on a real slope, falling on his bum. :lol:


Renderings are cool, but there's nothing like the real thing!

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 Post subject: Re: Virtual lapidarist...
PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2011 1:16 pm 
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Ahaha, Domestic =D>
Now that cherry one, where was this design when a garnet gave way at the end?..my Darkside has never been the same :(
Some cool renderings guys.

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 Post subject: Re: Virtual lapidarist...
PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2011 1:32 pm 
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Lisa Elser wrote:
Then the month was December and he was on a real slope, falling on his bum. :lol:


Lisa, aren't you calling for my next stone to pop off the dop while polishing the last facet, aren't you? [-X
:lol:

I 100% agree that a stone in the real life is different, and it's needed to test a design (that's the reason of my warnings and the request of a pic if somebody is cutting a real stone). Nevertheless I find rendering VERY valuable for prototyping. I always use BOG to check/optimize angles and to look for particular reflection patterns I want to get. And this new rendering stuff is important to me for 2 main reasons: 1) I'm far from my faceting machine :D 2) Check the effect of stones with carved bubbles&C. The reflections of carved particulars is not easy to predict, for me (the effect I got with "Hanabi" is different than planned). Direct experience would be better, but I've no the time/opportunity and the good material to "waste" for it. So, lacking experience, I'm taking a shortcut. :mrgreen:

Egor, that's for sure a sparkling mousepad! You are using Hypershot for rendering if I'm not wrong. It works fine, but I had to rule it out because I cannot carve my stones (and it does not accept any direct gemcad output, if I remember correctly). :) Besides, it costs $.


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 Post subject: Re: Virtual lapidarist...
PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2011 1:44 pm 
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I would NEVER wish that on you! May all your stones facet easily and look better than the rendering!

I also think it's extremely useful. The big question is can I get my husband, our SLJO (shitty little jobs officer) to decide it's fun to learn :-)

maialetto wrote:
Lisa Elser wrote:
Then the month was December and he was on a real slope, falling on his bum. :lol:


Lisa, aren't you calling for my next stone to pop off the dop while polishing the last facet, aren't you? [-X
:lol:

I 100% agree that a stone in the real life is different, and it's needed to test a design (that's the reason of my warnings and the request of a pic if somebody is cutting a real stone). Nevertheless I find rendering VERY valuable for prototyping. I always use BOG to check/optimize angles and to look for particular reflection patterns I want to get. And this new rendering stuff is important to me for 2 main reasons: 1) I'm far from my faceting machine :D 2) Check the effect of stones with carved bubbles&C. The reflections of carved particulars is not easy to predict, for me (the effect I got with "Hanabi" is different than planned). Direct experience would be better, but I've no the time/opportunity and the good material to "waste" for it. So, lacking experience, I'm taking a shortcut. :mrgreen:

Egor, that's for sure a sparkling mousepad! You are using Hypershot for rendering if I'm not wrong. It works fine, but I had to rule it out because I cannot carve my stones (and it does not accept any direct gemcad output, if I remember correctly). :) Besides, it costs $.

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 Post subject: Re: Virtual lapidarist...
PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2011 2:16 pm 
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Lisa Elser wrote:
I would NEVER wish that on you!

I know. I was just kidding. :P

Besides... I've found it seems to work for inclusions too.
A dream stone: a citrine with a black tourmaline needle in the center:
Image

I chose this design ("Darts", see the GP) because it has only 8 facets in the pavilion... (crown should have rounded facets anyway).

edit: why imageshack made my image so bad? :x
edit2: fixed. I had checked the "optimize" option. Actually it looks like a "worsenize" option :)


Last edited by maialetto on Mon Feb 07, 2011 2:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Virtual lapidarist...
PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2011 2:20 pm 
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I do like natural rutilation and needles! That would be a killer stone.

I've seen the stones with "inserted" rods, and find them not at all to my taste.

L


maialetto wrote:
Lisa Elser wrote:
I would NEVER wish that on you!

I know. I was just kidding. :P

Besides... I've found it seems to work for inclusions too.
A dream stone: a citrine with a black tourmaline needle in the center:
Image

I chose this design ("Darts", see the GP) because it has only 8 facets in the pavilion... (crown should have rounded facets anyway).

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 Post subject: Re: Virtual lapidarist...
PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2011 2:53 pm 
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maialetto wrote:
...I find rendering VERY valuable for prototyping.


Totally agree, me too!...

maialetto wrote:
Egor, that's for sure a sparkling mousepad! You are using Hypershot for rendering if I'm not wrong. It works fine, but I had to rule it out because I cannot carve my stones (and it does not accept any direct gemcad output, if I remember correctly). :) Besides, it costs $.


Hypershot has evolved to Keyshot, and now it imports .DXF files too. With Hypershot I had to pass them trough Rhinoceros, but now they can go to rendering directly from Gemcad!
The best thing of Keyshot for me, compared with other rendering programs, is the possibility to move the stone with mouse while observing the render image, just like having it in your hand, not to wait to get static picture. It's a real "real-time rendering", just amazing!

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 Post subject: Re: Virtual lapidarist...
PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2011 3:28 pm 
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Cool thread. :D

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 Post subject: Re: Virtual lapidarist...
PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2011 8:58 pm 
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maialetto, thanks for the tip about Bryce. I too use a Mac, so I downloaded the program, and imported a dxf. What kind of setting have you been using to get the nice renderings? So far what I have just looks like a solid.

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 Post subject: Re: Virtual lapidarist...
PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2011 9:17 pm 
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I'm hardly an expert, with less than an hour so far fiddling around with bryce, but it sounds like you haven't set a suitable material. There's a built in set of gem materials or you can make your own. Next to your shape click the M button to bring up the material window. There's a little triangle near the top left that brings up the list of defined materials.

Something I looked for but haven't found yet is modeling of dispersion. Anyone know if that's possible?


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