dvGarage, the QuickTime-only site dedicated to “building the next generation of visual media artists,” has announced its first product: “The dvG Surface Toolkit,” a collection of images and tutorials specifically designed add the final touches of reality to both 2D and 3D projects, according to dvGarage founder, Alex Lindsay.
“The product and techniques vastly reduce the time required to create photo-real work without the need for complex shaders or well-developed illustration skills,” he told MacCentral. “The Surface Toolkit uses dvGarage’s proprietary technique to extract the surface of reality’ from common images. This process provides the needed detail to create the intricate wear and tear common in real world and very difficult to produce effectively in computer graphics.”
The Surface Toolkit includes 150 “grime” images along with step-by-step tutorials and project files to accelerate the learning process. The images included can be used for anything from building organic surfaces to brushed metal. Already used in high-end production houses for over three years, the collection of images have been utilized in a host of large film and TV projects, Lindsay said.
“It’s not just another collection of texture maps,” he added. “It’s a surfacing philosophy. Whether you’re a Photoshop user or 3D artist, it completely changes the way you approach every project.”
The Surface Toolkit provides a visual library of “Reality Essence Maps” photos that have been distilled down to the basics of what is necessary to make surfaces look real, he added. You can apply the images directly to 3D objects or use them to build on 2D images. The Surface Toolkit is not a replacement for other image libraries, it complements them by re-introducing the subtle damage many of these collections lack, Lindsay said.
“We call it a toolkit because you can use it in many ways,” he added. “You can mix and match maps to build exactly what you need for your projects. Sometimes, it needs to be subtle; sometimes it needs to be intense. Either way, you have the flexibility to create what you need.”
The product can be purchased through dvGarage’s distribution partner,
Toolfarm.com, for US$249.95. Details, tutorials and samples can also be found
online. The product is available for the Mac, Windows, and UNIX platforms.