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I want to start designing posters that have 3D elements on them... like the below example where the glass objects interact with the design of the poster.

I'm under the impression that the only way to really do it, would be to import the poster design itself into Blender, and export it back out again? So basically:

  1. Export poster design (without 3D) as PDF or image
  2. Import poster into Blender
  3. Create camera that is 300dpi A4 (but in pixels)
  4. Position camera so that the poster takes up 100% of the view
  5. Add 3D elements
  6. Export 300dpi A4 image from Blender

I just feel that importing the poster design into Blender, and then exporting it back out... will have some kind of negative impact on the quality of it?

enter image description here

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  • Hi. Blender questions are generally off-topic here. Did you know there is a Blender Stack Exchange?
    – Billy Kerr
    Commented Feb 12, 2023 at 9:37
  • @BillyKerr Yes but I wasn't 100% certain that the solution would be involving Blender... e.g. maybe someone would suggest a Photoshop workaround
    – user176780
    Commented Feb 12, 2023 at 10:50
  • Adobe is gradually removing support for 3D in Photoshop, so it's pointless to use it for that now. You would be as well using Blender. The only potential problem I see is the small text inside the cubes. Rendering small text as raster images at 300 ppi could cause problems in readability, making small text just look blurry. Maybe don't use such small text, or perhaps overlay the image with small vector text instead.
    – Billy Kerr
    Commented Feb 12, 2023 at 11:15
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    Another option might be to make a composite image in software such as Illustrator, and only use the blender rendered cubes (masked out) as a raster graphic on top of a vector design.
    – Billy Kerr
    Commented Feb 12, 2023 at 11:28

2 Answers 2

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Nice design BTW.

import the poster design itself into Blender, and export it back out again?

Yes. So there is something to refract.

When importing your bitmap as planes, remove the BSDF node, and connect the image node to the output node directly. That way the colors will be preserved, protected from light falloff, and without the need of making the material as an emitter.

enter image description here

I just feel that importing the poster design into Blender, and then exporting it back out... will have some kind of negative impact on the quality of it?

Basically yes. The vector elements are not vector anymore.


But you must have in mind an important concept in 3D rendering. Passes.

So, make an additional pass assigning an opaque material on the ice cubes and render a mask. You can delete all other elements and render a transparent PNG and extract the mask from there, or make a black environment and add white emitter material on the cubes. Now you have a mask. (You probably need to adjust the levels to have pure white and pure black)

enter image description here

You can use that mask to cut the rendered cubes and put the new raster image on top of the original design.

You could move some vector elements, like the text over the raster images. (But with your specific design, you will probably have issues using vector elements over the ice. The mixing could look artificial. In some other designs, try to keep the text as a vector).

If you need shadows interacting with the background image, I would also make them on a different pass. Mask and merge them using the multiply blending mode. Play with the levels to make shadows stronger or weaker.

enter image description here


With your 3D elements now as layers, you could rasterize the original background poster at 300PPI and then the rasterized cubes as a new layer. That way the original background design is only "rasterized" once, not having the additional blurriness of the render.


One additional important thing to do is change the Filmic color profile to Standard. That way the RGB original tones of the poster will be preserved.

enter image description here


P.S.

But also, a faster method would be that you export your original design at 2x, and apply some sharpening to the Blender render. (Just change the color profile as mentioned) But only if the original design is also in RGB mode. If the original design is on CMYK mode you need to composite.

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  • Amazing! Thank you
    – user176780
    Commented Feb 12, 2023 at 9:04
  • ...oh that's not my design lol, it is from a YouTube tutorial, however that is geared around C4D rather than Blender
    – user176780
    Commented Feb 12, 2023 at 9:05
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I do believe there is a way to import 2D elements into blender for this exact sort of effect. Give me one moment...

Here is the Tut. i found

Go to Edit→Preferences and find the Add-on section.

Search for “images as planes”.

Now go to file→Import→Import images as planes and browse for your image file.

The image then gets imported into the scene as a plane with the correct dimensions.

This will not have any effect on the quality of the image.

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  • depends if it started life as a vector then yes it will have an impact
    – joojaa
    Commented Feb 12, 2023 at 6:22
  • you can retain the vectors if you layer things. For readability of text this is a big issue as the edges dont fuzz out.
    – joojaa
    Commented Feb 12, 2023 at 10:52

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