Make Your Most Realistic Renders – Ever!

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  • GrokDDGrokDD Posts: 59
    edited December 1969

    PhilW

    Bravo on the Raven Lobby scene. Thank you for setting a standard to strive for!

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 21,250
    edited December 1969

    GrokDD said:
    PhilW

    Bravo on the Raven Lobby scene. Thank you for setting a standard to strive for!

    Wow, both of those renders are incredibly superb! Yeah... Superb.
  • PhilWPhilW Posts: 5,140
    edited December 1969

    NVM

    What's NVM?

    Nevermind (I think). Or non-volatile memory.

  • FractalDimensiaFractalDimensia Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    PhilW said:
    NVM

    What's NVM?

    Nevermind (I think). Or non-volatile memory.

    Sorry, yes, "Never mind." Was going to ask Phil for model details and noticed he'd already posted some. :)

  • HeadwaxHeadwax Posts: 9,930
    edited September 2013

    oh I thought NVM was no violence or moodity, in honour of Socratease

    PhilW you are sneaking up on that Uncanny Valley - I mean that in the best sense

    Post edited by Headwax on
  • PhilWPhilW Posts: 5,140
    edited December 1969

    head wax said:
    oh I thought NVM was no violence or moodity, in honour of Socratease

    PhilW you are sneaking up on that Uncanny Valley - I mean that in the best sense

    It is strange that as you approach photorealism, you become hyper-critical about every aspect of an image. And you almost start attributing some dignity to the character - which is not evident in most 3D art! Or maybe that's just me...

  • HeadwaxHeadwax Posts: 9,930
    edited September 2013

    ah yes, we pick out the points which are alien rather than the 99 percent which is all too human.
    wiki tells me it's something to do with picking a mate interestingly enough

    your render is amazing.

    I looked at it for a while and tried to guess what gives it away that she is not human:

    maybe the corneas appear too flat - you can pick it up in the reflections , there's something odd about the pupils as well as we cant' see their depth- because of the corneal reflections most probably. The conjunctive are too purely white. The inner canthus look superb but maybe there could be tear pooling at the bottom lid margin?

    The reflection on the top lid looks a little glossy and maybe could do with a texture map in the reflection channel to vary the reflection.?
    The nose looks like it is rubber probably because the flesh is usually warmer and more translucent at the tip or at the nostrils???, The ear lobes could be pinker and more translucent.. I guess the hair looks a little sewn on where it meets the skull. The top teeth are very uniform in colour and show no real shadows from the top lip.

    I'm a crappy portrait painter but I believe that the skin across the middle band of a face is slightly pinker courtesy of the Blood vessles closer to the skin? or similar. The forehead is a different colour again as is the chin (especially in men)

    it gets explained here http://karinwells.blogspot.com.au/2008/10/old-master-color-banding-in-portraiture.html

    but Gurney does it better I think http://gurneyjourney.blogspot.com.au/2008/05/color-zones-of-face.html

    So maybe the render suffers because of the face texture being all the same colour?

    these aren't criticism of your image at all!

    just reflections on what seems to make her a part of the Uncanny Gap.

    I guess the most telling things are the things that are subconscious rather than what is in the list.

    Post edited by Headwax on
  • Philemo_CarraraPhilemo_Carrara Posts: 1,175
    edited December 1969

    head wax said:

    I'm a crappy portrait painter but I believe that the skin across the middle band of a face is slightly pinker courtesy of the Blood vessles closer to the skin? or similar. The forehead is a different colour again as is the chin (especially in men)

    it gets explained here http://karinwells.blogspot.com.au/2008/10/old-master-color-banding-in-portraiture.html

    but Gurney does it better I think http://gurneyjourney.blogspot.com.au/2008/05/color-zones-of-face.html

    I guess the most telling things are the things that are subconscious rather than what is in the list.

    Yes!!!

    Thank you Andrew. It gives me more understanding of what I'm doing. I don't have an artistic training and I know it shows. ;-)

  • HeadwaxHeadwax Posts: 9,930
    edited December 1969

    Just the opposite! You're doing wonderful stuff. ! Sometimes artistic training is the worst thing. It makes us overthink :)

  • Philemo_CarraraPhilemo_Carrara Posts: 1,175
    edited September 2013

    head wax said:
    Just the opposite! You're doing wonderful stuff. ! Sometimes artistic training is the worst thing. It makes us overthink :)

    I wasn't fishing for an compliment, but thank you anyway ;-)

    I will soon post my version of photo-realistic including colour banding if the ongoing renders are still going the way I want.

    Post edited by Philemo_Carrara on
  • PhilWPhilW Posts: 5,140
    edited December 1969

    head wax said:
    ah yes, we pick out the points which are alien rather than the 99 percent which is all too human.
    wiki tells me it's something to do with picking a mate interestingly enough

    your render is amazing.

    I looked at it for a while and tried to guess what gives it away that she is not human:

    maybe the corneas appear too flat - you can pick it up in the reflections , there's something odd about the pupils as well as we cant' see their depth- because of the corneal reflections most probably. The conjunctive are too purely white. The inner canthus look superb but maybe there could be tear pooling at the bottom lid margin?

    The reflection on the top lid looks a little glossy and maybe could do with a texture map in the reflection channel to vary the reflection.?
    The nose looks like it is rubber probably because the flesh is usually warmer and more translucent at the tip or at the nostrils???, The ear lobes could be pinker and more translucent.. I guess the hair looks a little sewn on where it meets the skull. The top teeth are very uniform in colour and show no real shadows from the top lip.

    I'm a crappy portrait painter but I believe that the skin across the middle band of a face is slightly pinker courtesy of the Blood vessles closer to the skin? or similar. The forehead is a different colour again as is the chin (especially in men)

    it gets explained here http://karinwells.blogspot.com.au/2008/10/old-master-color-banding-in-portraiture.html

    but Gurney does it better I think http://gurneyjourney.blogspot.com.au/2008/05/color-zones-of-face.html

    So maybe the render suffers because of the face texture being all the same colour?

    these aren't criticism of your image at all!

    just reflections on what seems to make her a part of the Uncanny Gap.

    I guess the most telling things are the things that are subconscious rather than what is in the list.

    Interesting stuff! In addition to the capillary explanation, I think there is a lighting factor too - the lower face and neck are going to be more in shadow and pick up environmental light, which outside at least is going to be bluish. And the forehead is going to catch more direct light, which again if sunlight would be more yellowish. Of course the lighting in my image is pure HDRI and so reflects a more uniform indoor lighting. And quite right about the corneas, I sometimes forget to increase the corneal bulge and that is the case this time - well spotted!

  • GrimmvaldGrimmvald Posts: 65
    edited December 1969

    Very nice renders. Love the lobby scene. How did you create the depth of field effect?

    I'm hesitant to comment because the renders are so much better than I can do. I've started working on a Twilight Zone project so I realize how rusty and far behind I am.

    Since there is interest in photorealism, here are a couple of things I've noticed. People are asymmetric. If a straight-on photo is split in half and then the remaining half is reflected, the person may not be recognizable. Things that contribute to asymmetry are wrinkles, some off-set to the nose, small blemishes or scars, some off-set of the mouth corners for a smile. I think wrinkles really help. Anyway, all of these things give the brain some other things to focus on and will direct attention away from the things that can't be totally reproduced in a 3d model.

    Also, most photographs have some grain in them. We expect to see it and portraits can look better with a little film grain in them. Film grain can be added in as part of post-processing.

    Last night we went to a small Classic car show here. There was even a Corvair :gulp: I'm not a portrait photographer, but I took the opportunity to take a few candid pics. Maybe I can try to illustrate with a couple of samples. Mostly ... younger people are not that interesting. I did find a young couple that looked good together ... and that's what made the composition I liked. But I don't think either would have been that interesting by him/ herself.

    Far more interesting to me was the older gentleman. The wrinkles, creases, shadows that they cause, long beard etc all gave character to the photo ... or at least I think so. Pretty .... no. Interesting ... yes.

    Oh yeah .... since it was a car show, here is a heavily post worked photo of a true classic that I liked.

    Feel free to critique the photos ... I don't have any renders to show right now. Hope the photos have illustrated some ideas I've tried to describe. Mostly my wife doesn't like the stylized photos I do, but she did like the car one.

    You guys are doing some very nice models/ renders.

    DSC_0221_tonemapped_new_sky_Simplify_3_red.jpg
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    DSC_0290_BW_frame_red.jpg
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    DSC_0272_sharp_Denoise_pencil_frame_red.jpg
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  • PhilWPhilW Posts: 5,140
    edited December 1969

    Grimmvald - thanks for sharing your thoughts. Regarding the actual face, I just used the character "as was", but maybe I could have introduced some asymmetry in the expression. I know what you mean about the interest factor in older faces!

    On the depth effect in the lobby image, it is just the HDRI background, and as the resolution is not enough to give a sharp image, there is some blurring, so it just comes out like this. I did also duplicate the image and added a slight blur and then used a layer mask to add back the sharper version on the face and parts of the clothing, to add to the depth feel, this is very subtle but I think it helps.

  • kunterbuntkunterbunt Posts: 0
    edited December 1969


    All you have to do is – turn on Gamma Correction in render properties and set it to 2.2.

    I found this out just 3 weeks ago while trying to render a new character "London". Never could get the same look as the promotion images that where rendered using Poser. I thought that this should be possible with Carrara, as I believe that the Carrara render engine is better than the Poser one. Only after looking into the readme text of the London character I noticed that the promotion images where using gamma correction. I actually use 2.6 and it looks great. Like a new render engine I agree.

  • PhilWPhilW Posts: 5,140
    edited December 1969

    I believe that most modern renderers are either using Linear Workflow intrinsically (including physically based unbiased renderers like Luxrender and Octane) or it is available as an option, as people have cottoned on to how important it is in getting realistic results. I have ordered a copy of the new edition of Jeremy Birn's classic Digital Lighting and Rendering book (3rd edition due out in November) and I note that it has a new section on Linear Workflow - and he works for Pixar.

    Would you care to share your results with "London"?

  • kunterbuntkunterbunt Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    PhilW said:
    Just an extra thought for those who are finding the render times a bit long - try using a Carrara dynamic hair rather than a traditional transmapped hair. Not only will it look better (IMHO) but it renders faster, as it is the transparency which is slow to render, and dynamic hair doesn't use transparency. Just watch out for it rendering too light as stated earlier. Here's another example.

    I had the same problems with dynamic hair and gamma correction. Hair would always render white, no matter what I did. However, I really use very high HDRI intensity. How did you fix yours?

  • kunterbuntkunterbunt Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    A render to show what gamma correction can do. This is London character and texture rendered with Carrara.

    london_portrate.png
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  • SpacelandSpaceland Posts: 132
    edited December 1969

    A render to show what gamma correction can do. This is London character and texture rendered with Carrara.

    Simply Amazing.

  • PhilWPhilW Posts: 5,140
    edited December 1969

    PhilW said:
    Just an extra thought for those who are finding the render times a bit long - try using a Carrara dynamic hair rather than a traditional transmapped hair. Not only will it look better (IMHO) but it renders faster, as it is the transparency which is slow to render, and dynamic hair doesn't use transparency. Just watch out for it rendering too light as stated earlier. Here's another example.

    I had the same problems with dynamic hair and gamma correction. Hair would always render white, no matter what I did. However, I really use very high HDRI intensity. How did you fix yours?

    I use a Multiply operator on the color values and set that to maybe 20%, give or take. It is useful to do small scale test renders to get the right value.

    Thanks for sharing your image of London, she looks great! The only thing missing is some sort of reflection/highlight in her eyes. You could of course add this in postwork, add a low powered "normal" light (and maybe limit it to just her eyes) with a high value for highlight on the eye surface, or set a low level of reflection on the eye surface (or you could fake it with a product like Bright Eyes).

  • Philemo_CarraraPhilemo_Carrara Posts: 1,175
    edited December 1969

    PhilW said:
    (or you could fake it with a product like Bright Eyes).

    Did you choose this one at random ? ;-)

  • FirstBastionFirstBastion Posts: 7,569
    edited December 1969

    A render to show what gamma correction can do. This is London character and texture rendered with Carrara.

    This is probably the most realistic portrait Carrara render posted, very nice. The eyes would sell it even better, with a bit of reflection.

  • PhilWPhilW Posts: 5,140
    edited December 1969

    Philemo said:
    PhilW said:
    (or you could fake it with a product like Bright Eyes).

    Did you choose this one at random ? ;-)

    It was the first one that came to mind! :lol:

  • edited December 1969

    I don't know if anyone mentioned this yet, I'm still going through this thread. But If you have Photoshop try this. Take your gamma 2.2 corrected image to Photoshop. Duplicate the layer. Desaturate the duplicate layer. Change the mode to overlay. Set its opacity at 50% IMO it increases the realism even more.

    Just want to say great thread. I don't have Carrara, but it works just the same in Daz Studio 4.6

  • edited December 1969

    PhilW said:
    Regarding your Daz Studio observation, the revelation for me in Carrara was that Gamma correction was doing far more than simply applying a gamma curve to the final output. I am not sure if this is true in Daz Studio, but I am guessing not from your posts.

    Actually it does work in daz stuudio. But there's seems to be some quirks. One seems to be not to have any surfaces selected when setting gamma correction in the render settings. It also works much better with some type of ambient light like Uber environment2.

    I use a 3 point light set up ( key, fill, rim ) of distant lights and a Uber Environment set to about 40% intensity with indirect lighting and directional shadows. It works fine, and the renders look much like the ones I've seen here. I do a little post work as I explained in the above comment the give it a little more punch.

  • kunterbuntkunterbunt Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    PhilW said:

    I use a Multiply operator on the color values and set that to maybe 20%, give or take. It is useful to do small scale test renders to get the right value.

    Thanks for sharing your image of London, she looks great! The only thing missing is some sort of reflection/highlight in her eyes. You could of course add this in postwork, add a low powered "normal" light (and maybe limit it to just her eyes) with a high value for highlight on the eye surface, or set a low level of reflection on the eye surface (or you could fake it with a product like Bright Eyes).

    I will try that, although I'm not sure I understood how.
    I tried a lot with the eyes. Only thing that would work would be to limit the light to the eyes. Otherwise the face color would go too light. Unfortunately Carrara does not support that.

  • ncampncamp Posts: 345
    edited December 1969

    PhilW said:

    I use a Multiply operator on the color values and set that to maybe 20%, give or take. It is useful to do small scale test renders to get the right value.

    Thanks for sharing your image of London, she looks great! The only thing missing is some sort of reflection/highlight in her eyes. You could of course add this in postwork, add a low powered "normal" light (and maybe limit it to just her eyes) with a high value for highlight on the eye surface, or set a low level of reflection on the eye surface (or you could fake it with a product like Bright Eyes).

    I will try that, although I'm not sure I understood how.
    I tried a lot with the eyes. Only thing that would work would be to limit the light to the eyes. Otherwise the face color would go too light. Unfortunately Carrara does not support that.

    Guys,

    This one is not supposed to be realistic, but I was playing around in Carrara with the Teen Josie shaders for Carrara. There is an Eye Reflection shader in the product that fakes the eye reflection.

    I thought that might help.

    ncamp

    EyeReflection.png
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    JosieTest2a.png
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  • PhilWPhilW Posts: 5,140
    edited December 1969

    PhilW said:

    I use a Multiply operator on the color values and set that to maybe 20%, give or take. It is useful to do small scale test renders to get the right value.

    Thanks for sharing your image of London, she looks great! The only thing missing is some sort of reflection/highlight in her eyes. You could of course add this in postwork, add a low powered "normal" light (and maybe limit it to just her eyes) with a high value for highlight on the eye surface, or set a low level of reflection on the eye surface (or you could fake it with a product like Bright Eyes).

    I will try that, although I'm not sure I understood how.
    I tried a lot with the eyes. Only thing that would work would be to limit the light to the eyes. Otherwise the face color would go too light. Unfortunately Carrara does not support that.

    I was thinking you could limit the light to only the eyes with the "Only" selection, but it only appears to work with whole objects, not body parts. You could try having a very low powered light that adds only a slight amount of illumination, and crank up the highlight value very high so that you still get the highlights effect without the illumination. Some programs support Specular only lights and this would be ideal for this, but unfortunately Carrara does not have these. Maybe in the next version...

  • ringo monfortringo monfort Posts: 945
    edited December 1969

    One of my old Victoria 4 render in Carrara 7.

    Victoria_4_Lips_Close_up.jpg
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    Victoria4_Carrara_7.jpg
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  • kunterbuntkunterbunt Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    One of my old Victoria 4 render in Carrara 7.

    Very nice. What light did you use? Are these the Carrara materials, or did you create them? I get this is without SSS? I never got the skin looking realistic with SSS.
  • evilproducerevilproducer Posts: 9,040
    edited December 1969

    One of my old Victoria 4 render in Carrara 7.

    Very nice. What light did you use? Are these the Carrara materials, or did you create them? I get this is without SSS? I never got the skin looking realistic with SSS.

    Have you tried the included Carrara skin shaders? The ones with GI in the name utilize SSS and can look really nice.

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