Experimental 3D Panorama X Icon

Here is the result of my initial experimentation with a 3D design program (Strata Design 3D SE7 available free from the App Store). I have to say the program is not very intuitive and it took me considerable mucking around to get things close to the way I wanted. I rendered the 3D image and then transported a copy of it into Photoshop were I made the background transparent and adjusted the brightness and contrast to my satisfaction.

These versions are 200 x 200 and 100 x 100 pixels respectively, both with a transparent background:


Note that if you copy these images from here they will lose their transparent background. With that in mind, I have uploaded a zip folder to my web site with three versions of these that include the above two images along with the giant master 500 x 500 image.


Use them any way you like or not at all - up to you. My next chore (if I ever get to it) will be to figure out how to create a 3D animated gif of the icon spinning around. :roll_eyes:


Gary, you might be interested in the apps Logoist 3 and specially Animationist by Synium Software GmbH in the Mac App Store.

Thanks Kurt, if I keep going with the 3D stuff I’ll definitely check them out. I don’t have a lot of money available to spend on this so I’m just playing with the free Strata Design version for the time being.

(unsolicited comments from the VFX guy…)

You might try lighting it a bit- to me the icon is lovely but the bottom is pretty dark and the top is unremarkable… I would try a small planar light below the icon (or turn up the ambient) And maybe try an edge/backlight to give the thing some shape. I don’t know if MacOS does shadows and transparency, or if that needs to be part of the icon art but a colored shadow from the various plastic bits could look cool. I’d render a specular pass* too, to play with the ‘plasticness’ (gloss) of the material.

*all 3d programs let you render the specular component, the diffuse (flat color) component and lighting passes separately. You can then stack em in photoshop (or quartz composer) and twiddle the compositing so it looks perfect. This is much faster and more accurate than trying to do a million lighting versions in 3D.

Here are a couple resources for more on the subject, if ya care…

and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wrsvFKNgxgU
and (this is a clip i rediscovered while looking for the two above, it shows how these concepts are used to make photoreal cg. )

I didn’t work on that movie, though i did work for this company for a bit.


Ok Chris, now you’re starting to scare me. The material you have mentioned is pretty advanced for me at this point in my introduction to the 3D rendering world. I have already been struggling with the lexicon of 3D jargon and trying to familiarize myself with the software. It’s like I’m a kid just starting to play chop sticks on the piano getting advanced fingering techniques from Vladimir Horowitz. My primitive attempt above was done simply by creating the three sets of three rounded semitransparent rectangles with each set rotated 90° from each other on the three axes while using all the default settings. It looked to be a rather simple object to experiment with for my first attempt and I was happy that the rendering looked kind of “cool”. I sure do appreciate the suggestions and encouragement and will further explore it all as I move forward a little at a time. At this stage in the 3D world I feel like the dog in this Far Side cartoon:


Thanks again Chris for the guidance and I’ll try some of your suggestions once I figure out how things work. Hopefully I’ll have more upside potential than Ginger.:dog:

I downloaded the Strata Design 3D SE 7 program and can absolutely confirm that is very complicated. I was hoping to play a bit with what Gary did, but after it took me 20 minutes just to figure out how to rotate the stage, I realized that I wasn’t going to master this in any reasonable amount of time. Chris’s suggestions sound good, but my hat is off to Gary for what he’s done already :slight_smile:

I did a little of what Chris suggested and have a more refined version that could still use further work I’m sure.

image New 3D version

This more closely resembles the current Pan X icon as shown below:

image Original Pan X icon

The existing icon has much more transparency than my version but mine has more brilliance. I have a 250x250 version of this newest attempt at:


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