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R2-D2 Free 3D Blender Model Conversion Ver 1-0

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By PixelOz   |   Watch
Published: February 8, 2014
R2-D2 Free 3D Conversion to Blender Format Version 1-0

Original 3D model created by: InnovationByLayers (Jason McMains) in Autodesk Inventor Assembly (.iam) format.

Conversion of model and new Blender Cycles renderer materials by PixelOz (David Guzmán).

This is an R2-D2 model conversion to Blender 2.6* format from an original model that was created by 3D modeler Jason McMains that he placed in the public domain. It has close to the 1 million triangles mark cause it was originally a parametric solid Autodesk Inventor model and I did a high poly res conversion so the model looked high quality. Still it is not a super detailed, rounded edged model, it is not as efficient as it could be due to the algorithmic tessellation in the conversion from a solid model to a mesh model for Blender but overall it is a very good quality model and it renders fairly fast in Cycles.

Anyway its curved surfaces look very smooth even in close ups due to the high poly mesh conversion. I was looking for a good quality R2-D2 3D model to convert it to Blender format but most of the free ones out there were very loose and had many, many errors like missing parts, many, many things out of the correct proportions and shapes, etc. and the good ones were very expensive. This particular free model created by Jason looked very good to me cause I know how R2-D2 looks pretty well because I have seen hundreds if not thousands of pictures of him in the web and I have the blueprints from the R2-D2 Builders Club which I believe are the best out there on the Internet.

I placed the model against blueprints views from the front, side and the top and the model matches them very closely. I believe that this model is of a quality that is equivalent to some commercial models out there and I decided to use it for the conversion. I spend about a week in the process fixing the triangles and everything (the standard conversion process) and giving it Cycles renderer materials cause it was time for me to start to use the new renderer more fully and in more photo-realistic renderings it is way faster than the older one anyway.

I did a few small improvements to the model in Blender (added a few missing details like the optional restraining bolt, etc.). There is far more information about what I did in the accompanying PDF documents including info on how to easily change the robot to the 2 legs position and there are many more details about the model overall and its Blender materials. I hope that you enjoy this model.

Note: To generate a render that looks exactly like the one I did you need the same environment texture that I used and it is available for free in Deviantart. The accompanying PDF documents say were to get the texture and how to place it again in the file (a very simple process). If you just click render without giving the environment a reflection texture the render will come out looking pinkish cause it is the default color that Blender uses again when it doesn't find the assigned studio033.exr HDRI reflection texture in the textures folder.

To download the 3D Blender conversion file with Cycles renderer materials click on Downloads at the top right of this page (37.9 megabytes .zip file).

Address here in Deviantart to the free texture pack (HDRi Pack 3) that contains the needed studio033.exr environment reflection texture created by Deviantart member zbyg:


Original Inventor Assembly (.iam) format file created by Jason McMains can be downloaded here: www.thingiverse.com/thing:1159… The file is the one named R2D2.zip.
anonymous's avatar
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thowie31's avatar
Very Impressive!  Thank you for sharing.
ZoogieMan's avatar
This looks awesome!
PixelOz's avatar
PixelOzStudent Interface Designer
In case anybody reading this is wondering, that was Jason McMains the creator of the original model that I converted to whom I showed what I did and was asking him permission for it and that was his answer, thanks a lot Jason, and I am sure that anybody that puts this model to good use will appreciate it too.
jmcmains's avatar
That looks awesome! Feel free to use my assemblies any time! - Jason McMains