Gameboy Color Renderings

I’ve always wanted to be able to create hyper realisitic renderings. I figured the best way to learn how would be to model and render an existing object.
I picked up a Gameboy Color and tore it apart so I could model the internal components as well. I’ve been trying to model each part with as much detail as I can. It’s been very tedious and slow going but I’m happy with how it’s coming along so far. Here’s the first rendering of the Gameboy’s PCB. Having a photograph to compare against has taught me about how to dial in the material settings in Keyshot.

nice. looks like a fun project

Very cool stuff. I think you did some really nice touches like the blobs of solder and the slightly askew circuits/connectors and screen print marks. The dirt/and grit is always what gets you thinking something isn’t a rendering.

What are you modeling in? I imagine that was a load of hand texture work.

Wow! Great work!

That is otaku level detail. Awesome.

Thanks for the encouraging comments all!
Wow good eye Cyberdemon, I didn’t think anyone would notice the askew components.
The texturing actually wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. I was able to use a top down photo to make labels for the PCB and ICs.
Most of the materials were just made using the Material Graph in Keyshot.
Hahaha Slippyfish I love “otaku level detail” so much! Now I’m feeling inspired to go full otaku mode on the rest of it :slight_smile:

Here’s the first render of the front housing. Adding all the scratches and imperfections would make it more photorealistic but I want to learn how to make the kind of exploded views that are used in marketing shots. Going to use just a little bit of imperfections and try to get the materials and lighting just right.

To create the CAD model I used a technique called photogrammetry. Essentially you take photos of a part from dozens of angles and photogrammetry software can build a detailed 3D model. The technique only works on matte objects with lots of texture for the software to reference, so I sprayed the housing with a washable chalk spray. I was really surprised by how much detail you can get from just photos. The photogrammetry software even picked up the detail in the Nintendo logo. The imperfections in the STL show actual imperfections in the part. The holes in the center of the speaker grille were clogged just like how it looks in the STL. I used Meshroom (free) and Autodesk RePhoto (paid) and got similar results from both. I don’t have a great way of measuring but it looks like the STL is roughly +/-0.2mm accuracy, which is far better than I was expecting (and far better than I could do on my own with calipers).

My goal is to model all the components and then make an exploded view rendering.
I’ve just got to model a dozen more parts haha.

A process for new product development presentation renderings thus could be:

  1. design product in CAD tool of choice
  2. make machined prototype
  3. photogrammetry
  4. combine CAD data and P-G into composite, higher-realism image

Not sure I’m sold on the value of the extra steps, but the results are quite unique and kudos for your diligence.

Very nice process and results here! Trying to build CAD based on real products like this can be really difficult when you can’t measure it with conventional methods and short of 3D scanning (I’d imagine that curved back especially) so your photogrammetry technique sounds like a great alternative. I can’t imagine how long the details and text of that PCB took.

Now, I have to give you a big thank you. I wanted to reverse engineer a part for my car that is no longer available. I was building up the 3D, but this photogrammetry could save me time and make the 3D more accurate. I’ll let you know when I give it a try!

There’s also 3D Scanning for iPad and iPhone - Uses - Structure Sensor. A 3D scanner that works with your ipad.

Curious to see what the built in Lidar capabilities of the new iPhone 12 Pro are when it comes to this stuff. The structure sensor is a bit “old” at this point. I don’t think it’ll work well for small scale stuff, but could be just as handy as the structure for room scale objects.

I can’t get Meshroom to work:/ That’s the downside with open source.

Robbie_roy: Totaly. It’s great for anything with curvature, especialy compound curvature. It even made it easy to see if the draft angle was 2 degrees or 3, if the radius was 4 or 5mm, etc.

Cyberdemon: I’m really curious about that as well. The Face ID sensor could perhaps be better for small obejcts. I can’t wait for the day when my phone becomes a high resolution 3d scanner. Seems like it’s only a few years away.

Mr-914: Awesome. Reverse engineering parts like that is one of the main reasons I wanted to learn photogrametry. I found Meshroom to be really unintuitive, I had to follow a few video tutorials to be able to use it. What part isn’t working for you?

I started a new thread on photogrametry in the Software and Technology section.
I’m certainly no expert but happy to help if I can.

I keep getting the CUDA-something error. I tried to follow the directions to reconnect the nodes to do the draft meshing, but it still gave the same error. Mind you, I spent 30 minutes on this. Maybe if I have an hour or two, I’ll tackle it again.

Also, looking at your comments, I think I probably need to chaulk my part down and change the background.

Do you have an Nvidia GPU?

I tried it on my lap top first that doesn’t have a graphics card. Then I tried on my desktop that does have an Nvidia, although I’m not sure if it’s one of the models with CUDA enabled. Same error on both.

Anything more recent than a Geforce 600 series should be OK. If it’s a very old GPU it looks like it won’t work. But also you probably need to install the latest GPU drivers for the latest CUDA support.

Also if you have a standard GPU as well, in Windows you can right click on the program icon and choose the GPU to run the program with.
Now that I have said that, with the latest update this option seems to have disappeared from the dropdown. But that is sometimes a necessary feature.
Meshroom takes a few tutorials then you should be up and running within an hour.

That sounds great. What is the resolution of photos you are using?
Can you also tell us the brand name of the washable chalk spray? I mean, the #1 alternative I have right now is shoe polish and I am going to have to scan some of my personal electronic devices for a blogging project. That’s a lot of depolishing.