Fold it


I seem to be seeing a lot of foldable chairs these days. Not sure why. They pop up in cool places around me and land in my inspiration folder on a near-daily basis.

So here is my take on it: Two new chairs in the warehouse.

The SE-18, above, is cheap and ubiquitous in architect and designer Egon Eiermann’s native Germany. I really like this two-tone version, though it also comes in other versions, including a nice, Scandinavian-looking wood-only treatment.

The Plia Chair below, by Giancarlo Piretti, is an instantly recognisable classic the world over and has the merit of being both foldable and stackable.

Both models have custom materials the lean heavily towards the vintage, grimy end of the spectrum. The transparent ABS plastic of the Plia chair was particularly tricky to get right. In the end it mixes two different plastics in a VrayBlended material and some noise maps. I may write a bit more about it as I’ve been toying with such complex plastics for the past few weeks. Not quite sure I got the perfect recipe yet.

12 Responses

  1. BBB3VIZ says:

    Thanks for the comments.

    Federico: You’re right about 32 bits, but it only matters if you intend to do a lof of postwork. 32 bits means, in essence, that there is a lot more to the image than you can see on the screen (more details in the light and shadowy areas). But on most screens, you can only see 8 bits, so for the web I just collapse to 8 bit and publish jpegs.

    Ambiente: The first step is to get really good references. Ideally blueprints or at least exact dimensions. Then I use poly modelling, splines and subdiv surfaces depending on the particular part.

    Leandro: I rarely texture in ZBrush because it only allows polypainting. I try to get clean UVs and texture in Photoshop. Sometimes I use the viewport canvas in Max to clone out texture seams. On soft furniture, I use ZBrush a lot, but not for diffuse texturing.

    exwhyzee: Good idea. Vintage wood is more complicated than it seems and there are a few tricks I keep using over and over again. Vintage surfaces in general are an endless source of fascination.

    Manu: You may be right. Though I could never really find out what these were. Are they bolts or wood plugs embedded in the seat to hide the holes? Not sure, they seem very flush with the seat’s surface on my reference photos.

    Redzev: from memory I think 1200 x 900.

  2. Federico says:

    Hi Bertrand, fantastic images and materials!
    just a curiosity, i read that you work with 32bit images, can i ask you how you save images for the web to not lose quality? Thanks

  3. ambiente says:

    Sick work as usual!

    Your texturing is fantastic!

    I’ve seen the chairs with a coloured plastic which also looks cool.

    Just a quick question about your modelling of furniture how do you normally model?
    Where do you start? ie your process ….spline ,turbosmooth etc..


  4. Leandro says:

    Awesome work, I have a question about your texturing workflow, specially on SE 18, after making the UVs, you usually texture it in Photoshop or in Zbrush?


  5. exwhyzee says:

    Fantastic work B! I love the vintage wood look. We waiting for Materialism pt 2, any chance for it in few weeks? You can share some tips how to achieve these vintage wood look. Again ,great work!

  6. manu says:

    Lovely, I absolutely adore the two-tone SE-18. I know you are a detail freak so here goes a little comment: you are missing some bolts on the seat piece I think?

    Perhaps you could share some tips on vintage woods when posting your Materialism Part 2?


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