Free Adobe XD Icon Sets Made By Legendary Designers

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(This is a sponsored article.) Our friends at Adobe unveiled a very special goodie at the Awwwards Conference in Berlin today. A goodie which is too good to miss: They asked three renowned designers to create exclusive free icon sets to use in Adobe XD. And, well, we are very happy to feature them here on Smashing Magazine, too.
The icon kits were created by design legend Lance Wyman, award-winning design studio Anton & Irene, and the Swiss design group Büro Destruct.

Stop Billing By the Hour, Right Now

Original Source:

If you are a web designer/developer who currently bills per hour, I hope I can persuade you to change your pricing method to value-based pricing. In this article, I will discuss both methods in detail and without the fluff so you can get to the nuggets and make an informed decision from there.

If you apply the value-based pricing method correctly, you really can earn more, work less, and be a happier freelancer.

Billing by the Hour

Billing by the hour is the most popular pricing method across the world in most industries. Of course, there are many web designers/developers out there who make a great living by using the hourly billing method, but in my opinion, value-based billing is far better than hourly billing.

Here are some home truths about hourly billing:

There are times when you argue over invoices and timesheets which wastes time for both parties (yes, there are software programs to track this, but you’ll still find clients who dispute it).
Feeling like you should be “micro-managed” by the hour. Clients would often want an estimate of the total hours before the project starts. They would then decide to go ahead with the project based on the estimate and not the final cost.
There’s no incentive to stay up to date with the latest technologies and tools available to make your job easier and faster to complete because if you do, you get paid less.
The longer the project is, the better it is for you (more income) and the worse it is for the client (more expenses).

Billing Hourly Is Harmful to Your Relationship With Clients

To illustrate this point, let’s say you wanted to build an additional room on to your house: The builder tells you it will cost $75k based on his best estimates and you go ahead with the agreement. After completing 80% of the project, the builder says it’s going to cost another $15k to complete the remainder of it. How would you feel in this scenario? Would you work with them again? Would you refer them to friends? Probably not. And it’s the same thing with web design/development projects.

Put yourself in the client’s shoes for a second and think if you were hiring a freelance web designer, you would want to know an estimate of how much the project will cost you. If you answer with, “100 hours at my hourly rate of $45,” the client will only budget $4,500 for the project. Where the problem comes in is the interpretation of the word “estimate.” In the client’s mind, they basically understand it as the final price. In a web designer’s mind, they basically understand it as a ‘plus-minus’ total that could potentially be higher if necessary.

The issue comes in when you realize you are not going to complete the project within the estimated timeframe you provided the client and you will lose money because it’s going to take you longer to complete. You then either just absorb the extra hours and not bill the client for it, or you tell the client it’s going to cost 30% more because of ‘XYZ’ and then risk harming your relationship in the future.

Hourly Billing Discourages Efficiency and Innovation

Let’s say that the same web design project comes to you and 9 other web designers. You each have different hourly rates that you decided would be fair for your expertise. “John” charges $45 per hour and others charge $75 per hour. There’s also someone else (who I’ll name Bob) who charges $150 per hour. Bob, with his experience in finding better ways to complete projects, can code the website in 3 hours = total fee of $450. John, with his lack of experience, knowledge and efficiency, can code the website in 16 hours = total fee of $720.

Takeaway: Hourly billing encourages you to not work smart and to drag the hours so you get paid more.

The truth is that some websites can be created in less than a day – even a few hours if you have all the info ready and you know exactly what needs to be done. If you are charging by the hour, why would you rush to get this website done as soon as possible when you could delay it by a few days and get paid more for it?

Maybe there’s a snippet of code you can buy for $100 that can save you 3 days of coding time, but if you purchase it, you lose out on getting paid more. In other words, the client is paying you for 3 days extra because you don’t want to use a $100 code snippet as this means you lose out on 3 days’ worth of paid work.

Can you see why this is harmful to your client?

Here’s another practical example:

If you are working on 3 client projects (retainer or one-off) at the same time and it takes you up to 2 hours per week to track your hours, prepare invoices, process payments, organize the accounting/tax side, etc. this can take almost a full working day each week just to handle this boring administrative task. This is crazy. You are not hired as an Administrator or Debtors Clerk – don’t fall into this pit. On top of that, you’ll deal with one or two clients who always question everything and this takes even more of your time. This leads to a lack of trust down the line and nobody wants to work like that.

I know these are very simple examples, but it still holds true in more complex projects as well.

Your Income Is Capped

One often overlooked aspect of hourly billing is that your income is capped because there are only so many hours you can work in a year.

Let’s say your annual salary is $60,000. If we work on roughly 250 working days, this is $240 per day and $30 per hour (8 working hours each day).

Firstly, not many web developers/designers are booked every hour for the whole year, but let’s say this is the case. What if you wanted to earn $100k next year? That would mean you need to increase your hourly billing to $50. Simple, right? Although it’s only $20 extra per hour, that’s $160 extra per day, $800 per week and over $3k per month extra for a client to consider. It can often be a deal breaker in keeping retainer clients or signing up new clients for weekly/monthly projects.

Unless your existing clients really value your services, they will not understand why you now all of a sudden value your services at almost twice the price for the same amount of work. It’s very likely that they will start looking for other freelance web designers with a lower hourly rate and new clients or prospective clients may not sign up with your premium service as you are almost double the “going rate” for other freelancers with similar expertise.

Conclusion: Increasing your income is not easy. Although you want a higher income, the clients you work with really don’t care about your income desires and they don’t want a higher expense. The conclusion of the conclusion: Guess who really makes the final decision at the end? (it’s not you)

It’s in the client’s best interests that you don’t bill by the hour. You just need to educate them on this. It’s important that your clients know why this pricing method is harmful to them and to you.

Value-Based Pricing

To avoid any misconceptions about this pricing method, it’s not a fixed amount that is calculated by your cost + your desired profit.

Here are some home truths about value-based pricing:

You don’t sell hours – you sell results (or the potential results).
There’s an incentive to stay up to date with the latest technologies and tools to make your job easier and to become more efficient.
It allows you to really create something amazing and not to worry about going over the client’s desired budget or an estimate you provide for hourly billing.
There are no hidden financial surprises to clients. You take all the risk in delivering the project within the total cost you’ve informed the client about.
You can work with fewer clients and provide a better service because you are often earning significantly more.
You are essentially providing a fixed amount based on the projected return or outcome of the project.

How Do You Apply Value-Based Pricing?

Find out the potential value of the project to the client over a year. In other words, find out the potential increase in sales that the business could be making after you create the website. Then base your price off of this potential return.

Example #1 – The Existing Business Website:

A business sells agricultural drones via their website. They ask you to create a website focused on getting more sales. After you ask a few basic questions, your 2 main questions should be:

How many sales do you currently get each month?
What is the average sales value of a drone?

They answer with: 10 sales per month and $8,500 each.

You then do simple math to figure out how much income they generate each month ($8,500 x 10 = $85,000).

You look at their current site and see how they can improve their sales and you work on a low estimate of what you expect sales could increase by after you make a conversion-centered website. In this scenario, let’s say you are confident it would at least be 2 sales extra per month. This would mean the business would make an additional $16,000 per month and almost $200,000 in one year. After informing the client of this in the proposal and why you feel this is a low and realistic estimate, you then give your website cost based on the potential annual return. For this example, your price could be $10,000 – $15,000.

Would you, ‘as the business owner’ be willing to pay around 5% of what you could potentially make after one year?

Of course.

Example #2 – The New Business Website:

A business sells agricultural drones and they want a new website. They ask you to create a website focused on getting sales. After you ask a few basic questions, your main question should be: What is the average sales value of a drone?

They answer with: $8,500 each.

After doing further research about the market and their marketing plans, you are confident that you can create a conversion-centered website that can convert into at least 4 sales each month (or one sale per week). This equals $34,000 per month and over $400,000 in a year. Your price could easily be $10,000 – $15,000 and it would make sense to the prospective client after you have explained the value of the potential return.

It’s important to realize at this point that your responsibility is to make the business see this as a necessary investment and not a cost. You need to explain why you are the right person for the project.

By breaking it down like this and being practical about it, you instantly stand out from the crowd of other freelancers who say things like, “I estimate that this project will take about 120 hours X my hourly rate of $45 = $5,400.”

How Do You Compete With Competitors Offering (Low) Hourly Rates?

We all know that there are thousands of web designers on Fiverr and Upwork that charge $100 for a 5-page website, and the truth is, how do you compete with that?

The answer is to stand out from the crowd. How do you stand out from the crowd? By not thinking and doing things the way they do things. How do you do that? By viewing a website as an effective marketing tool that can drastically improve the sales of a business (if it’s done correctly) and not as an ‘off-the-shelf product’. If you and your prospective clients understand this, then everything else will fall into perspective.

Think of luxury watches for example. These are commodities, but why do people still buy the $10,000 branded watches over the $100 watches that basically look the same and have the same features? It’s no different with websites. There are many that sell $10,000+ websites, and there are many that would sell the same website for $1,000. I’d be surprised if you wouldn’t want to be the one charging more in this case.

Here’s a brief overview of what you should do that prevents you being seen as a commodity which will help you stand out from your competitors:

Choose a niche.
Position yourself as an authority and become an expert in that niche.
Educate your potential clients on your blog and various marketing methods.
Offer services to your potential clients that can help their business grow.

By doing this, potential clients wouldn’t consider you as a ‘commodity’ and would happily pay you more as you understand their needs and you are focused on the outcome and not the hours worked to complete a project.

The key here is how you are perceived by the potential client. It’s either as an expert or ‘commodity.’

How Do Use Value-Based Pricing for a Non-Sales-Based Business?

Let’s say you were creating a website for a political party or charity, how would you use value-based pricing for this? It may sound a bit tricky at first, but if you just give it some thought, it can be simple to do.

For these examples, you need to do this:

Find out how they generate an income.
Find out how much a potential member/donor is worth to them.
Educate them by using ‘their language’ on why a professional website is key to generating more income.
Base your value-price for the project on their potential income from an increase in more members/donors over 12 months.

How they generate income:

A political party generates income from members.
A charity generates income from donors.

It may almost sound a bit rude at first, but you basically need to figure out how much a member/donor is worth to the client and then to ask the question: What would an extra 100 members/donors in a year mean for your organization?

Your objective is simply to help them understand that a professional website focused on getting new members/donors and keeping existing members/donors satisfied should be their main goal and to help them see the potential of receiving an additional 8-9 members/donors per month.

Side note: I always recommend that you provide digital marketing services alongside with the website to improve the chances of overall success with the project.

Remember that your price is based on what the potential income return is for the client, so if you are dealing with small organizations, the price you can charge is relative to their potential success. If their potential income equates to $50,000 over a year from 100 members/donors, you could easily charge $5,000 – $8,000 and it would be a win-win for both of you.

The key here is to speak ‘their language’ and to understand what their needs are. If you deal with a doctor, use the word ‘patients’. If you deal with a charity, use the word ‘donors’.

Obviously, you can’t make any guarantees with the results they might receive, but as long as you can prove that you have experience in helping businesses increase their sales and you make sure you understand their needs, this is all you need to overcome their doubts.

The Bottomline

By thinking about outcomes, it shows you understand the project as the business/organization does. You are not thinking about hours like your competitors do which helps you stand out from the ‘commodity market’. I understand that this is a very simplified summary. You would have to deal with the objections clients or potential clients may have like:

100% payment upfront
Questions about pricing
Doubts and objections of the client

The truth is that this model is simple in theory, but in practice, you might make a lot of mistakes. That’s OK. You are running a marathon and not a sprint. It takes a lot of trial and error and you will learn by experience about what, how and when to say the right things that will get you higher paying clients.

The point is to do it and then to learn from your mistakes and see where you can improve so that you become better and more confident in charging more for your projects and being more efficient along the way.

I hope this article has helped you to rethink this topic.

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Illustration: Space Park: Cosmic Canyon by Brian Miller

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Illustration: Space Park: Cosmic Canyon by Brian Miller

Illustration: Space Park: Cosmic Canyon by Brian Miller

Feb 07, 2018

We love the work of Brian Miller on ABDZ. He is an illustrator based in Erie, Colorado, USA; living in a beautiful landscape as a background like Colorado. It must have been really inspiring! We are taking a look at his piece entitled: Space Park: Cosmic Canyon and it’s always a pleasure to take a look at his process and some close-up shots.

For those who may not know, Space Park is a board game designed by Henry Audubon and the fine folks at Keymaster Games which will be launching through kickstarter soon. Players ride rockets to extraordinary realms throughout the galaxy collecting exotic crystals and badges as they set out to become the next great space explorer!

More Links
Learn more about Brian Miller at
Follow Brian Miller on Behance
Previous Feature on ABDZ
Illustration: Space Park: Cosmic Canyon by Brian MillerIllustration: Space Park: Cosmic Canyon by Brian MillerIllustration: Space Park: Cosmic Canyon by Brian MillerIllustration: Space Park: Cosmic Canyon by Brian MillerIllustration: Space Park: Cosmic Canyon by Brian MillerIllustration: Space Park: Cosmic Canyon by Brian MillerIllustration: Space Park: Cosmic Canyon by Brian MillerIllustration: Space Park: Cosmic Canyon by Brian Miller


brian miller

Web Design Inspiration – Work of Adrián Somoza

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Web Design Inspiration – Work of Adrián Somoza

Web Design Inspiration - Work of Adrián Somoza

Feb 07, 2018

I have been posting more often about web design. There reason is, of course, I am in the process of redesigning the blog and I need some web design inspiration. For this post I’d love to feature the work of  Adrián Somoza, a senior designer @MediaMonks, based in Buenos Aires, Argentina. 

The work has a lot of style and some patterns that I’ve been noticing more often on sites like Dribbble and Behance that is the use of some modular design with clear blocks of colors. The motion design is another important feature of these designs. They tend to take advantage of the modular approach to create some subtle but yet beautiful transitions. Below I selected a few pieces to share with you

Web design

FreebieSenhoma prototype 3Senhoma prototypeSenhoma© - WIPSenhoma© - WIPSenhoma© - 04Mondriantastic motion 1Something new 2Nature encyclopedia wipNature encyclopedia wip octopusNature encyclopedia wip peonyNature encyclopedia wip auroraSomethingSomething newAnnouncing Design Consulting SessionsWeberbriquettes fivereasonsSpotify realpixelsBont styl landinganimationStrategery landing

web design

Slice Revealer

Original Source:

Today we’d like to share a simple reveal animation with you that is mainly inspired by Zhenya Rynzhuk’s transition experiments and Gil Huybrecht’s “Boardathon” Dribbble shot.


The idea is to cover and uncover an image with slices to either hide or show it. The slices can be vertical or horizontal and can come from different directions. Playing with the number of slices, delays and colors, creates a plethora of possible looks for this effect.

We are using anime.js for the animations and in the third demo we are making use of the Intersection Observer API for triggering the effects on scroll.

The demo is kindly sponsored by Be Theme: 300+ pre-built websites with a 1 click installation.

If you would like to sponsor one of our demos, find out more here.

Attention: Modern CSS properties in use, so please view in a modern browser.


We hope you enjoy this effect and find it useful!

References and Credits

Images by
anime.js by Julian Garnier
imagesLoaded by Dave DeSandro

Slice Revealer was written by Mary Lou and published on Codrops.

The Art of Building Better Websites

Original Source:

Inspired Magazine
Inspired Magazine – creativity & inspiration daily

Creating websites has become almost a commonplace skill these days, and there’s such an overabundance of sites out there competing against yours that anything you can do to stand out from the crowd is going to be a huge help.

What can we do to get our sites noticed, admired, and paid attention to? It requires a certain adjustment of the way we think about site design. In this short article, we’ll take a look at some of the key things that are necessary to creating better websites.

Content must take priority

As designers we’re always going to be really keen to create amazing designs. Of course this doesn’t apply to those who merely call themselves designers, because they do not allow their very souls to weep onto the page, enshrining a moment of inspiration eternally in electronic glory.

What site owners want, of course, is for people to read their content, engage with it, and perhaps even buy something because of it. Pretty pictures are wonderful to have, but not if they’re getting in the way of the user being able to experience the content.

As this is the case, what we might regard as “stylistic enhancements” must certainly take a backseat to the main presentation. If you need to drop something, it should always be the stylistic element.

image courtesy of Studio–JQ

Responsive design is essential (except when it’s not)

Responsive design is so important these days because of the massive numbers of people using their phones for web browsing, and the fact that most phone browsers still do a lousy job of rendering web pages.

There are a few notable exceptions, but they are very rare. Such exceptions would be when something needs to be displayed on the page in order for the content to make sense, and where it needs to be of a set size. Some things simply wouldn’t work if scaled down too much.

Cases like this need to be handled carefully. How you would do it is to use a special responsive column that is displayed only when a screen size is detected which is too small to display the content, with a message instructing the user to view the content on a larger monitor.

This will generally be something you should avoid doing, but in exceptional circumstances it is acceptable as long as it is handled with tact.

illustration courtesy of sarika

Important content needs to be obvious

While it should be obvious, so frequently it doesn’t seem to be. Design should not make important things subtle. It must make what is important stand out and be seen by the viewer first, and yet so many designers try to be “creative” and subdue those important items.

Do not make this mistake. Users may not stay on the site for long, so getting the brand in front of their eyes is crucial. Even if they leave quickly, you’ve at least made an impression. Later when they encounter the brand, they’ll recognize it as familiar, and will be more likely to purchase from a familiar (i.e. “trusted”) brand.

What happens is a kind of cognitive self-trickery, where the conscious mind says “If I have heard of this, it must be good.” This is why companies are willing to spend millions of dollars just to get their logo on a sign at a sports event.

What else is important though? Well, the answer to that question depends on the kind of site you’re building. What you need to do is think about what you would be looking for if you were to visit this site. It’s usually very different to what a corporate honcho will say they want to show. The things people are going to be looking for are the important things to include and feature prominently.

Stylistic elements should blend in easily

Your design embellishments should make the viewer astonished in a good way. They should bring delight rather than annoyance. Quite often designers get carried away and add things to a page to generate the “wow factor” without making sure these things don’t have the potential to be annoying.

You also need to make sure that such embellishments degrade gracefully. When they can’t be displayed properly, they shouldn’t be displayed at all, and it should appear as though they never had been there.

gif courtesy of Tigran Manukyan

Layers to the rescue

You can add these embellishments through the use of layers. People creating responsive designs seem to have forgotten they have a 3D stack to work with, and as a result they’re missing the true potential of responsive design.

An example of how this works… Imagine you have a site where you have a layout with multiple breakpoints. The conventional way of thinking would have you putting everything on one layer, which will lead to crowding on smaller displays, forcing you to drop things, or (as is usually the case), exhibit a hideous design.

Those last two words should never go together when you’re talking about something you created. The good thing is that you actually can avoid the situation through the use of layers.

By stacking stylistic elements on a separate layer, you can hide or show them at your leisure, independently of the content layer, and both layers are fully responsive.

Suppose the user is viewing the site on a monitor with a resolution of 2560 x 1440. Our lower content layer spans the full width of the screen, but we can set margins on it that would place the content inside a decorative border that could be any size we want.

Placing that decorative border on the upper layer without margins, we can just set the width to be equal to the size of the margins on the lower layer.

As the user steps down through different screen breakpoints, the two layers can continue to work together like this, and the upper layer can even display entirely different borders for each breakpoint. Until on the final breakpoint we dismiss the upper layer entirely, just by setting it to be hidden.

The potential here is obvious. Do you have a large number of annoying link ads in the right column? You can hide them from users with small screens, and furthermore you can add them back on demand using jQuery.

Finally a way to properly separate content from design

This is the way web pages are supposed to work. By storing your “extras” on a completely separate layer, you get even greater separation of content from design, because that upper layer can be messed around with at any time without affecting the lower layer, and vice-versa.

Have fun experimenting with the freedom this opens up to you, so you can play around with all kinds of creative ideas while the content itself remains unaffected.

It is exactly the same concept as using virtual machines for sandboxing. No matter what you do, you can’t affect the page content because it is isolated from the decorative layer.

header image courtesy of Matt Carlson

This post The Art of Building Better Websites was written by Inspired Mag Team and first appearedon Inspired Magazine.

How to model concept art in Cinema 4D

Original Source:

In 2015 the art director of UK-based Lucid Games, Chris Davie, contacted me to help them design 10 independent vehicles for a 4×4 ground-based combat game to be published on PlayStation 4. 

The best 3D modelling software 2018

After I made a proof of concept for them, they gave me the go-ahead on nine other cars. In this Cinema 4D tutorial, I'll show you my general approach on one of the vehicles.

01. Make a simple sketch

Making a rough sketch will help you get your proportions right

Before starting to work in 3D, I first make a simple sketch of my idea in Photoshop. This is a good way to begin, as it's nice to have the size and some proportions ready before we start modelling. I suggest that you try to put a good amount of time into this initial step, rather than just starting completely from scratch in 3D.

02. Set up your scene

Working in real-world sizes will make the rendering stage easier

Once I set up the background with my sketch I can go ahead and scale everything to the correct sizes. It's best to work with real-world sizes as this comes in handy when rendering later. 

An easy way to do this is to think of, as an example, how large the wheels should be in real life. Just take a circle spline object and type in the required size (that you considered before). In the viewport preferences you can manually scale up the background image to the preferred size – referring to the circle spline as a reference.

03. Block out geometry

Block out your geometry using whatever method works best for you

As we now have our scene set up nicely, we can go ahead and block everything out. It's basically like laying everything out for the first time in 3D. There's no need for any special techniques here; just do it the way you are most comfortable with. You even can use primitives and stack everything together as you like.

04. Activate shadows

Turn on shadows in your viewport for a better idea of how your model’s progressing

A nice little helper when fiddling out a design is activating visible shadow in your OpenGL viewport. Just use a simple light and activate Shadows in the light source as well as in your viewport. Position it so that the light source casts a nice shadow. It's fast, effective and without rendering you can get some good results in the very first stage of modelling and design.

05. Placeholder objects

Use placeholders for any elements you’d rather work on later

If you are set with your blocked-out design and everything is approved by yourself or by your client you can go ahead with detailing. I leave out the wheels at this stage because I normally do them towards the end. At this stage you can use placeholder wheels from other projects if you like, or just use dummy objects or primitives for this.

06. Model the cockpit

Follow these tips for building a cockpit

Using the reference drawing, I start to create the cockpit. The method described below works best for me, but there may be other alternatives that may be better suited for your way of working, or that may result in cleaner meshes – but as this is just for a design I am satisfied with the result.

The first step is drawing a spline with the shape of the side cockpit. Then draw in the window shapes and merge everything down to one spline object. Next, select the edge points and chamfer them on at a point. When you have done this, duplicate the spline object and put the two splines into a Loft NURBS object. Move one of the splines away from the first spline object to gain thickness. Now you can use Fillet Cap in the attributes of the Loft object.

To make your model look more interesting, you can scale down the window shapes of the second spline object. Simply select the spline points (you must be in point mode) and scale them down a bit.

Next put this side of the cockpit into a symmetry object and you're ready to go for the top section. Repeat these same steps with the top and position it correctly over the sides.

As for the windows, just use simple planes that you place inside the windows. They don't need to be cubic objects as we don't want to make them translucent in the end.

When we're done with this, group everything that belongs to the cockpit together into one Null Object and name it correctly.

07. Main body parts

Make sure you keep your blockout and sketch to use as reference

Now we are heading over to the main body, focusing first on the front fender objects, where the lights will be positioned too. Always keep the blockout and the sketch as a reference.

Drop in a primitive object (cube) and make it relatively flat so that it corresponds with the blockout object. Use the cut tool to make cuts at the position where you want to 'bend' the cube. Select the points and 'bend' down the cubic shape following your blockout template. Make sure to angle the points at the front and where you cut it down a little bit.

Use some polyextrudes to make the fender look more appealing. Bevel the corners of the cube and than afterwards bevel the surrounding edge from the top and bottom surface.

08. Detailing

Use booleans to cut out the headlamp holes

For the holes where the front lights will sit in, I simply used booleans. Just position the negative objects and subtract them with the object. Check 'Create single object' and 'Select intersections'. After converting the boolean with the 'c' hotkey you can double-click the new edge selection icon which appears in the object manager. You can now use this selection to bevel the edge.

Again, group everything together within a null and use a symmetry. Then, simply follow the same technique as described above for the other parts.

09. Model small props

Make your model more interesting by adding assorted props

To make the surface a bit more striking I made a small amount of props which I placed at some significant and interesting points. These are mostly cylindrical objects, on which I used some polyextrudes and bevels.

10. Suspension system

Work out a basic suspension system, then jazz it up a bit

Keeping in mind that the vehicle will be fully movable, I had to figure out a basic suspension system for the wheels.

Therefore, I first made some basic beams out of a cube object. To give it more visual interest I modelled in some holes, in order to make it appear more technical and also lightweight. I used Inner Extrude and the Bridge tool, which works really well in Cinema 4D.

Afterwards I added some more extra details like springs and cables, which can be easily done with Sweep NURBS.

11. Wheel design attempt 1

You want your wheels to look good whether they’re spinning or noit

For the wheels I was aiming for a high-tech pattern. I was also keeping in mind that the wheels will spin when driving, so I had to make a pattern that looks appealing while the wheels are spinning.

As I had to do one wheel design for each vehicle (ten in total) I knew this would be a bit challenging. As I had done some wheels before for other designs, there were two different approaches for modelling the wheels.

The first approach is simply building up one piece of the overall pattern and cloning it with a cloner object or an array – this is a very sleek and fast method.

12. Wheel design attempt 2

Try cutting your wheels from a cylindrical object

The other technique is utilising a cylindrical object and using the sections with the help of Inner Extrude and Extrude to make something like a pattern. You can split up poly selections and use them as new additional pattern objects, for example. 

Alternatively you can use HyperNURBS to smooth everything down. If you do so, you need to set some additional cuts with the knife (Loop Cut), otherwise it will be too rounded.

13. Add interest by filling up the body

Spend extra time on building the bits players will see the most of

As the viewer will see the vehicle from the rear during most of the game, I had to fill in some extra details in order to make it look interesting. As I had done some stuff before, I made use of some of the geometry and just filled in the additional elements.

14. Save time and re-use parts

Always recycle useful parts if you can

Be aware that, even within the existing model you are creating, you can make use of some of the parts again. For example, I used some of the front fenders as mudguards for the wheels.

15. Simple studio setup

It’s not hard to create a basic studio setup for shooting your model

I decided to use two light setups and settings for the final look. For the studio setup I created a standard studio background.

There are many ways to create this. For example, you can draw a spline and rotate it 180 degrees within a Lathe NURBS object. I placed some area lights around the object and used an HDRI to lighten everything a bit. This also gives you some extra nice reflections, instead of merely having the reflections of the area lights.

16. Outdoor scene setup

An outdoor setup is another way to show off your work to best effect

For the other light setup I thought of creating an outside scenery in the desert. Nothing complicated as I had to be fast in this job. I used a simple Octane Daylight object. I added a ground plane and used some real displacement shaders. This gives you really nice results that look fantastic even in close-ups.

17. Add emotional images

Play with background imagery and focus to bring the shot to life

To add some emotion to the scene I played a bit with the sun size and added some volume fog. In combination with long focal length (100-500mm, like a real-world tele) you can get a very pleasant effect.

Be sure to play around with the f-stop as well, but don't exaggerate it. It can look like a miniature if you use the wrong f-stop values!

18. Octane Dirt node

Create a weathering effect using inverse ambient occlusion

Since I did not do any UV Maps, I used inverse ambient occlusion to create a weathering effect on the edges of some parts. This is fully procedural and works great in Octane with the Dirt node.

You can also combine some noises or a grunge texture to break the used edge up a bit more.

19. V-ray Dirt

VRayDirt is another great way to make your model look lived-in

This also works the same way within V-Ray (or any other renderer), although sadly there is no node tree (yet) for setting up shaders like in Octane, but you can get almost the same results. Just use the V-Ray PowerShader and VRayDirt, be sure to check inverse ambient occlusion and you are ready to go.

Like in Octane you can add shaders or textures to bring it a bit more to life.

20. Render settings

Octane’s default path tracing settings should do the job most of the time

For rendering in Octane I used the default path tracing settings – this works for me most of the time.

For post-production I made use of the Octane render layer settings. Be sure to double-check everything you would like to have for your post work, and you're ready to render.

21. Post-production decals

Rather than adding decals to the actual model, fake them in Photoshop

A fast way to apply decals to your render, as long as you have one perspective, is by applying them in Photoshop. It's much faster than dropping them on your model in your 3D app, as you don't have to create a material, alpha, spec map and so on.

So if you have one single shot, this is a real time saver. Just find some decals you like on Google and drag them on your model.

Try out some fill methods and choose the one which looks best. Use the Transform tool in Photoshop to adjust the decals to the correct perspective of the model. You can use some geometry parts as guides for the transform.

Once you have placed it, you can used a grunge brush to make some imperfections. You can also use the layer transparency. 

22. Post-production general

Don’t overdo things with your ambient occlusion map

If you are set with your decals, you can do some adjustments with the help of the material id pass. Normally I just do some levels adjustments on a few parts.

Sometimes an ambient occlusion map can come in handy. But don't exaggerate this either – just use a small amount of transparency on this layer and multiply it. 

This article was originally published in issue 230 of 3D World, the world's best-selling magazine for CG artists – packed with expert tutorials, inspiration and reviews. Buy issue 230 here or subscribe to 3D World here.

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Muse + Mettā Kombucha Brand Identity by Kati Forner

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Muse + Mettā Kombucha Brand Identity by Kati Forner

muse and metta

Feb 06, 2018

It’s no secret we’re big fans of the work coming from Kati Forner Design having showcased some past work of hers here on Abduzeedo. Of late we’re swooning over the most recent work for Kombucha brand Muse + Mettā founded by Trent Brokie . Most definitely the most beautiful Kombucha bottle we ever did see, I can picture myself enjoying the Wild Blueberry and Lavender steep and then repurposing this gorgeous bottle as a home decor piece. The concept behind the work goes something like this: The color of each flavor complements the ingredient profile highlighting Muse + Mettā Kombucha’s identity as more than just a beverage but a culture of health, art, and possibility. While you’re here, be sure to check Muse + Mettā’s Instagram page for a visual schooling on how to launch a product on this social platform in the most beautiful way.  

We believe food can feed us both physically and creatively. Brewed with fruits, flowers and herbs from around the world coupled with a passion for modern design and wellness to create a truly sensory experience



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Top Tools Every SEO Should Be Using in 2018

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As an SEO consultant, you need a particular set of tools to know exactly where your competitors rank in top search engines, how to look for effective keywords and track new opportunities as they…

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The Perfect Office – Ticwatch S&E Android Wear, Google Home Mini Outlet Mount and more

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The Perfect Office – Ticwatch S&E Android Wear, Google Home Mini Outlet Mount and more

The Perfect Office - Ticwatch S&E Android Wear, Google Home Mini Outlet Mount and more

Feb 06, 2018

We are continuing our comeback of the Perfect Office series, we are hearing your feedback. A roundup of cool gadgets and tech for your perfect office; not necessarily for designers explicitly but for all tech-savvy nerds out there. This is an open concept! if you have any suggestions, please let us know! For this week, we have the new Ticwatch S&E who is the best affordable Android watch you can buy on the market right now. We have also the cool idea of a Mini Google Home Mini Outlet Mount that somehow can be down-right useful.

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Ticwatch S&E Android Wear Smartwatches

The Perfect Office - Ticwatch S&E Android Wear, Google Home Mini Outlet Mount and more

Do more right from your wrist with the Ticwatch S&E Android Wear Smartwatches. Using the latest version of Android Wear, this wearable fits in impeccably with your active lifestyle. Both Ticwatch S and the Ticwatch E feature an advanced fitness assistant. There’s an integrated heart rate monitor but it also counts your steps and adds GPS to your workouts for efficient and accurate tracking.

WideWheel Comfortable E-Scooter

The Perfect Office - Ticwatch S&E Android Wear, Google Home Mini Outlet Mount and more

Enjoy the most relaxing ride with the WideWheel Comfortable E-Scooter. This electric vehicle features ultra-wide wheels to keep your journey as smooth as possible. Thanks to the ultra-wide tires and dual suspension, you will experience the ultimate electric scooter ride.

This Mini Google Home Mini Outlet Mount

The Perfect Office - Ticwatch S&E Android Wear, Google Home Mini Outlet Mount and more

Place your Google Home Mini wherever you like with the This Mini Google Home Mini Outlet Mount. With the This Mini Outlet Mount, you can easily keep your Mini out of the way without having to find somewhere to rest it

TBoring Company Handheld Flamethrower

The Perfect Office - Ticwatch S&E Android Wear, Google Home Mini Outlet Mount and more

Turn things up a notch with the Boring Company Handheld Flamethrower. Looking like a water gun, this nifty little device is the real deal. The Flamethrower is complete with everything you need to produce a stunningly vibrant flame. In fact, it can produce flames up multiple feet in length.

Mink Camper Icelandic Mini Trailer

The Perfect Office - Ticwatch S&E Android Wear, Google Home Mini Outlet Mount and more

Enjoy the Northern Lights while camping in style with the Mink Camper Icelandic Mini Trailer. Featuring a tough Webasto heater and thermostat, the Mink Camper will keep you warm during your time in Iceland. It also features skylight and large side windows so you can get the most of our your surroundings. The Icelandic Mini Trailer comes with a queen size mattress and Scandinavian linens to provide comfortable rest whenever you need it.

iPhone 8 Leather Case by Mujjo

The Perfect Office - Ticwatch S&E Android Wear, Google Home Mini Outlet Mount and more

If you wish to make your iPhone 8 experience stand out, this iPhone 8 Leather Case by Mujjo is what you must go for. This phone case uplifts your overall iPhone 8 experience and makes it look one of a kind.

Merge VR 6DoF Blaster Game Controller

The Perfect Office - Ticwatch S&E Android Wear, Google Home Mini Outlet Mount and more

Blast your enemies into oblivion and scratch your itchy trigger finger with the immersive Merge VR 6DoF Blaster Game Controller. This Nerf-style device lets you play mixed reality smartphone games like a real Navy SEAL. You simply clip your phone into the gun, and then watch the screen to spot your foe.

Fujifilm X-A5 Mirrorless Digital Camera

The Perfect Office - Ticwatch S&E Android Wear, Google Home Mini Outlet Mount and more

Effortlessly capture beautiful images with the Fujifilm X-A5 Mirrorless Digital Camera. Featuring a 24.2-megapixel APS-C Bayer sensor, the Fujifilm X-A5 camera comes with numerous features to enhance your photography. Additionally, the camera provides a 180-degree tilting touchscreen so you can always take a great selfie. It can also shoot up to 450 images on a single charge.

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