Make easy custom buttons for Clo3D using Blender and Photoshop

United States Olympic Team Uniform Brass sleeve button

In this tutorial I am going to show you how to easily model a custom brass button, then texture it and give it a raised logo effect with a displacement map made in Photoshop. It is a follow-up post to my last one, for people who aren’t using Substance Painter. Blender is completely free and can be downloaded from Blender.org, and a 30-day trial license of Clo3D at clo3d.com. It is best to have a familiarity with Blender so I suggest you watch the beginner’s tutorials at CGCookie.com– it’s where I learned and continue to learn from their excellent learning flows.

First, the video, then the notes. The written instructions are meant as a reference guide only, for full instructions it’s best to watch the whole video- if you have questions post them below or under the You Tube video and I’ll explain further.

These are the buttons we put on the 2016 United States Olympic team opening ceremony uniforms, and yes that’s me sketching and cutting and sewing these buttons on in the promo video.

Starting in Blender, we will model the button’s mesh and unwrap and export its UV map, then export the mesh as an obj file

A brass button modeled in Blender, UV unwrapped. ready for texturing

I created an alpha using Photoshop for my displacement map- if you’re new to displacement maps, check out my post on them here

I created an alpha using Photoshop for use in the height channel of Painter. This can also be used as a displacement map in Clo.

Open the UV map file exported from Blender, then place the displacement map image over the UV chunk corresponding to the top of the button. Add a solid color fill layers set to black to fill in the rest of the UV map and drag it beneath the logo layer in the layer stack. Save this file as a jpeg and name it something like Button_uv_textured or something you will remember.

In Clo, click on Materials-Button-Register button.

In the dialog box set up your button or buttons, give them a name, select an image to serve as a thumbnail, set the size of the button(s), select your obj file, and hit OK

In a Clo project, go to the object browser and find the button tab. Set up a new button and name it, then go to the shape browser and click the little arrow next to it and scroll down to find your new button.

Change the material type from Fabric Matte (in the photo above it is set to plastic) to Metal, then go to the color picker and select a goldish color for the brass. Increase the roughness slider to about 20. In the displacement map section of the property editor, select the UV map you created in Photoshop, and set the displacement amount to about .25 mm. Play around with this amount until you get a result you like. Remember you won’t see the logo in the 3D preview window, only the render window so you may need to adjust the button alignment in the render window. The Painter workflow makes this easier as you can see the logo in the 3D preview window.

Finally, take your rendered image into Photoshop and create a Bokeh effect using the Field Blur effect in the Blur Gallery section of the Filter tab.

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