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i am trying to replicate this background for learning purpose since i found it very eye-catching. So far i have tried both free form and mesh gradient without success. With mesh gradient, i am able to create highlight sharp edges but find it difficult to create shadow area. It goes the other way for free form gradient. So is there any tip or trick for this ? Thank you

  • Edit : This is the best i could try enter image description here
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    I'd use a raster image editor for something like this, or it could even be a 3d render. It really doesn't look like it has been done in Illustrator at all. – Billy Kerr Jan 19 at 11:53
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    A 3D application would make this a lot simpler. It might even be possible without next to no 3D experience. The exact same look could be difficult to achieve with no prior experience 3D rendering, but it's possible to get it close enough at least. — This video should at least give you an idea how something like that could be done in 3D: youtube.com/watch?v=Y-3PVUaMknY – Joonas Jan 19 at 13:53
  • Thanks a ton. I will have a look at them – Bong Bong Jan 19 at 14:03
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    I agree and think using a 3D program is the easiest way to create this kind of image. Here is a tutorial for doing something similar in Blender How to Create Silky Iridescent Cloth Graphics Using Blender Eevee – AndrewH Jan 19 at 14:42
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One thing that your image has is a Fresnel texture, which gives it an "iridescent" look.

The fresnel is a property of a material that reflects the light depending on the viewer's angle.

So this is done in a 3D program like Blender.

I am linking to the Unreal engine's page to show you the effect and a link to Blender's node.

https://docs.unrealengine.com/en-US/RenderingAndGraphics/Materials/HowTo/Fresnel/index.html

https://docs.blender.org/manual/en/latest/render/shader_nodes/input/fresnel.html

Here is a material setup that can help you: https://blender.stackexchange.com/questions/1605/iridescence-in-cycles

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  • I am quite fresh to Blender so it is gonna take for a while to get there. Thanks – Bong Bong Jan 20 at 1:53
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Actually you are quite close. You seemingly can draw a matte wavy surface seen in 2D. Unfortunately satin reflects light in a complex way which is very different than what matte surfaces do - your too simple diffuse shading must be fixed. It can be done in Photoshop.

I have imported to Photoshop an elementary 3D surface. It's made in few seconds with loft-function in a CAD program. The surface has the edge curves and one intermediate curve. Photoshop got it as an OBJ file.

As well one could paint or draw it in 2D. I'm not a talented painter, so I used a shortcut to get quickly something to be shown:

enter image description here

The surface is grey. Photoshop's 3D is used to direct the light for good contrast but without large contiguous single greyshade areas.

You can use your own RGB image, only desaturate it. If possible try to avoid large contiguous areas where the brightness is the same. Good effect needs that there's plenty of area with gradients.

Then becomes something which resembles the metallic light effect that satin generates, but in BW:

enter image description here

The trick is to make partial brightness scale inversions with curves adjustment layer and a bumpy curve. It's like solarization in photography, but in Photoshop you have much more freedom and no contrast flattening problems.

Satin also glows in different colors. You can fake it with a Gradient map adjustment layer:

enter image description here

I had only 2 intermediate colors. A piece of real satin in front of eyes would be useful to find best adjustments. I skip it.

ADD: CAD programs are not optimal for making bent and folded fabric or other complex natural forms. Something which is made for artists is better. Others have already suggested Blender. If you can easily adapt yourself to use really complex software (Solidworks is one) you may also learn Blender in reasonable time. It has Physics simulation which calculates how fabric settles when it's thrown to somewhere. I guess (=cannot use properly) that no Photoshop postprocessing would be needed if the material and rendering are defined right.

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    This looks so real. I am familiar with Solidwork. I am gonna try it there to see what i can get. Thanks a lot – Bong Bong Jan 20 at 1:54

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