Blog

A collection of articles and design explorations I’ve created since 2013. Visit the archive for the most popular articles.

In addition to my portfolio and gallery, I sometimes feel inspired to share the process of learning new software or techniques. Here you'll find a combination of tutorials, news and image/scene breakdowns. 

Breakdown: Nail Clippers

A couple weeks ago, I decided to create a quick, simple model and render it in an evening. I chose these great toenail clippers I bought on Amazon recently. They've got a cool satin brushed steel finish with some nice details.

I decided to model them in Fusion 360 as it's my latest 3D package I've been learning. It's like a simple SolidWorks. Read more about it in my articles archive.

The most challenging part to model was the curved, tapered blades. I didn't anticipate this being a challenge, but it proved a bit tricky. This is mainly because I only use Fusion 360 so far for solid modeling, not surfacing. 

The toenail clippers modeled in Autodesk Fusion 360.

After I completed modeling the toenail clippers, I imported the model into KeyShot and applied materials, set my focal length to match the iPhone's (around 29 mm) and positioned the clippers in such a way that they would match my backplate.

This is the background (called backplate in KeyShot) image I used. Shot with my iPhone. 

The image of the wooden table is my nightstand from Ikea. It's near a window, so there's some cool light coming in from the window as well as warm light coming from within my bedroom. In order to match the backplate, I added some warm and cool pin using KeyShot's HDRI editor to simulate the lighting seen in the backplate. 

You can see the pins I used to light these clippers. A bit cluttered, but it worked in my opinion. 

Unfortunately, you can see that the best I could do with positioning the brushed texture isn't really that great. Since I modeled these in CAD, I wasn't able to UV unwrap the item to texture it more seamlessly. I believe this can be done in a program such as MODO, which I have, so I'll need to learn that in the near future. 

The last step was to create a shadow pass and composite the image in Photoshop. Below you can see the shadow pass I created for this rendering. 

Here's the shadow pass I used in the composite of the clippers rendering to strengthen the shadows.

Below is the final composite of the toenail clippers modeled in Fusion 360 and rendered in KeyShot, composited in Photoshop. This was a nice evening project that was both fun and challenging. Click any of the images to view larger!