BasRel v1.0 is a plug-in for 3dsMax (2013 only, apparently) that uses the renderer’s z depth, or depth mask, rendering to produce height maps you can use to plot out CNC-routed bas reliefs from 3d scenes.
That might sound like a simple function until you realize that the depth information needs to be rescaled and modified to create the illusion of depth and additional shading in the shallow environment of a bas relief. It’s a fascinating idea of the kind that leads to other fascinating ideas, mainly of the “Hey, I could do this…” variety.
Or, anyway, that “One could do this…”, seeing as how I don’t have a supported version of Max. It’s still pretty dang interesting, if in a sort of abstract way..
The web site is unfortunately pretty confusing. The original incarnation of this idea used Blender, and most of what you find on the site relates to that application and – I think – a series of tutorials that help Blender users build their own copy of a plug-in, at which point there’s a bunch of post work in Photoshop or another paint program. Like I said, it’s a bit confusing.
The results do look very neat. I can imagine all sorts of ways to use a process like that, if I had a supported version of Max, anyway. Below is a video for the Max 2013 plug-in; I have no idea what’s going on during the multiple renderings and whatnot. Still, very neat. They’re getting a lot of detail out of Max’s depth maps (which I’ve found to be a little twitchy, myself).
There would have to be some limitations: since the resulting image(s) is (are) based on the depth map then the process is best suited to very high resolution models without things like opacity maps, bump or normal maps, and so on. And I’ve got no idea how one would get the data prepared for CNC work, which I think involves cutter choices and cutting paths. Chances are that’s just one of the many things that the web site doesn’t explain clearly enough for your humble correspondent, who’s now degrading to the “Get off my lawn!” stage of his development, oddly in the third person. Oddly, certainly.
If you missed it, here once again is a link to the product’s site.
[tags]3d rendering, cnc mill, cnc router, plug in, 3ds max, BasRel 1.0, depth map, height map, bas relief[/tags]