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Need to render realistic powder/icing sugar on food

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Arno du Toit
Need to render realistic powder/icing sugar on food
on Oct 23, 2018 at 12:03:07 pm

Hi guys

I am new to posting something on the Creative Cow forum but I've used the advice and tutorials on here a lot in the past. I have a job where I need to create a South African dish called "Vetkoek" in 3D because a food vendor needs stylised images for his website. I am very new to C4D so I am still learning the basics but I managed to model a rough scene so long but I can't seem to get the icing sugar sprinkled on top of the dish right. Let me give you some references so you know what I am talking about:

Photos of Vetkoek:

Thus far I have only been able to create a icing sugar material and use a Vertex map as an alpha to mask out the bottom half of it so that it'll only display on top of the model but it doesn't look great and I also can't get the icing sugar on the plate right at all.

I was thinking of maybe just creating the icing sugar as particles and dropping some particles on top of my models but I don't even know where to start! Any advise or help would be amazing!

PS. I am using Cinema 4D STUDIO R19


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Steve Bentley
Re: Need to render realistic powder/icing sugar on food
on Oct 24, 2018 at 6:13:19 am

You can also use gray scale maps (think "alpha") in the alpha and transparency channels to define where the sugar is instead of "masking" the area with geometry boundaries. Two noise textures should do it - one for the small "holes" and granules and one scaled up to create a noise edge where the effect dies away - then just multiply or screen the two noises together in a layer inside your alpha channel.
Use the same bipacked noise layer for the bump channel (this may or may not work depending on your lighting)
Or instead of bump, you could put it in the displacement channel. (warning - displacement can significantly increase render times - but its a still no worries - this will produce a more realistic result than bump.)
If you have octane, its displacement is photoreal and has no smearing on the edges of the displacement (to crazy extrusions!)
You might want to add the noise layers into the luma channel as well to give the whiteness a little kick.
Then finally add an inverse of the noise layers into the either the roughness channel of the reflection channel or just as a mask for the reflections channel - powdered sugar is very non reflective.

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Arno du Toit
Re: Need to render realistic powder/icing sugar on food
on Oct 24, 2018 at 5:19:25 pm

Thanks so much for your incredibly helpful response Steve!

I have now been able to create a more realistic sugar material using the noise layers etc. as suggested however I am now stuck at creating the grayscale map.

I've searched for Youtube videos on how to create a grayscale map but couldn't really find anything so as I was searching it looked like it had something to do with 3D painting in C4D but none of them show how to paint on the alpha channel? Can I please ask for a basic walkthrough on how to set up my now created material with a alpha/greyscale map and also how to paint in the parts where I want my material to show?

Thanks in advance!

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