Make Your Most Realistic Renders – Ever!

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  • Chris Fox ArtChris Fox Art Posts: 330
    edited December 1969

    not sure if this picture is right in this thread as i used photoshop a bit after using gamma correction (it still seem a bit too dark at all after just render it with gamma correction) but i can also add the original carrara picture without lightening it up on photoshop (when i'm back home today) but this one looks a bit more realistic for me now.

    btw. Phil, when do you release your Photo Studio Software?

    944244_10151797061670996_323458901_n.jpg
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  • PhilWPhilW Posts: 5,064
    edited December 1969

    chiisuchianu - mice images, I particularly like the eyes in the top one.

    I am hoping to submit the Portrait Studio product this week for approval, it will then be down to Daz and their approval process.

  • PhilWPhilW Posts: 5,064
    edited December 1969

    I came across this blog about photoreal renders - have a look at these examples, a real standard to aim for in your renders!
    http://www.cgtrader.com/blog/2013/07/16/welcome-to-the-mind-trap-35-most-photorealistic-3d-renderings/?goback=.gde_1194447_member_259509154

  • Chris Fox ArtChris Fox Art Posts: 330
    edited July 2013

    PhilW said:
    I came across this blog about photoreal renders - have a look at these examples, a real standard to aim for in your renders!
    http://www.cgtrader.com/blog/2013/07/16/welcome-to-the-mind-trap-35-most-photorealistic-3d-renderings/?goback=.gde_1194447_member_259509154

    This is just awesome!
    How to get this kind of realism out of Carrara? Is it about the textures/shaders?
    This would be the goal at the end :D

    thanks a lot for sharing this site to us! :)

    Post edited by Chris Fox Art on
  • PhilWPhilW Posts: 5,064
    edited December 1969

    PhilW said:
    I came across this blog about photoreal renders - have a look at these examples, a real standard to aim for in your renders!
    http://www.cgtrader.com/blog/2013/07/16/welcome-to-the-mind-trap-35-most-photorealistic-3d-renderings/?goback=.gde_1194447_member_259509154

    This is just awesome!
    How to get this kind of realism out of Carrara? Is it about the textures/shaders?
    This would be the goal at the end :D

    thanks a lot for sharing this site to us! :)

    It is about a lot of things! The thing about true photorealism is that it only takes one element to be "wrong" to give away that it is not real. And the human eye/brain is very adept at spotting anything fake, after all, we have a lifetime's experience of knowing what real life looks like. This is particularly true of human faces, it is the most difficult thing to make look real, because we are so attuned to looking at faces - we can easily tell people apart and detect the subtlest expression.

    What the gamma thing does is to ensure that Carrara at least handles light correctly - without it, we now know that it is being handled incorrectly, or at least it looks incorrect on a monitor. There are lots of render settings which need to be enabled for realism, and as you say, the textures/shaders need to be great too. I feel that it is possible to get close to some of these results with Carrara, but keep in mind that it is not only the software but some supremely gifted (and hard working and patient!) 3d artists behind these images.

    As I say - a standard to aim for!

  • Chris Fox ArtChris Fox Art Posts: 330
    edited December 1969

    it's still a very long way for me to get to that point but it's something i will do in the future and i'm sure if i'll go on with all that i can made it! :)

    btw. here is the picture from carrara just with gamma correction and no other adjustment on photoshop

    so it was way too dark for me.

    and here are the other pictures i've used the eyes from (all just with gamma correction)

    Kaelyn_old_textures_a.jpg
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    Daiana_close_a.jpg
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    Cara_Joy_Portrait_a.jpg
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    Eyes.jpg
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  • Chris Fox ArtChris Fox Art Posts: 330
    edited December 1969

    i've also found out that there is a gamma correction on DAZ Studio so i also tryed out there instead of carrara but without any special lightning or HDRI

    I wanted to make an extra post for this to see what's made with carrara and whats made with DS4.6

    the darker one is with gamma correction 2.2

    DS46WGC.jpg
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    DS46GC.jpg
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  • PhilWPhilW Posts: 5,064
    edited December 1969

    At the risk of stating the obvious, if an image comes out too dark (even with gamma correction) then increase the light! I wish there was a camera exposure control in Carrara but there isn't (there is in Luxrender), so you have to increase light intensity. You can do this for Sky Lighting in two different ways (each in a different place!). Where you select which background to use for your environment, you can also set the intensity. This brightens any map that you are using, so both the visible background and the illumination are increased. Or you can change the Sky Light parameter from 100% in the GI panel in the render room, this produces more (or less) light from your Sky Light source but does not change the appearance of the visible background image. You should have a balance between direct and indirect light in your scene, doing small test renders can be very useful for tweaking the light balance.

  • PhilWPhilW Posts: 5,064
    edited December 1969

    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.

  • Chris Fox ArtChris Fox Art Posts: 330
    edited December 1969

    i will try that out :)

    btw. i have LuxRender and also tryed this but it seem a bit too difficult for me right now as there are so many options for LuxRender, not only in the render room, also in the shader room and so.. So a tutorial for that would also be very interesting :)

  • DBuchterDBuchter Posts: 68
    edited December 1969

    This is a great tip. Thank you.

    I want to show my before and after renders. Something noteworthy here, is that I spent a LOT of time trying to get the original lighting to look good, so I think the Gamma corrected image is a little light and washed out, but I look forward to working on the lighting some more and take the gamma into account.

    Notable specs:
    These are rendered with Ambilent Occlusion (so you don't have to use Radiosity engine in Indirect Lighting) THese renders took about 3 minutes - it was actually faster with the gamma - but that might be from other things I was doing on the computer.

    I am currently attempting a low res render with full IR - it took 30 min just to calculate the lighting, so this is going to go for a while... on my quad xenon mac pro with 32G of ram - sheesh.

    02_Bed_test_AO_Gamma22.png
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    01_Bed_test_AO.png
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  • PhilWPhilW Posts: 5,064
    edited December 1969

    dbuchter - thanks for posting these, interesting (and great scene by the way!). I noticed on one outside scene I did (using Dartanbeck's Woodlands set) that having gamma on seemed to accentuate the haze quite a bit, and this could be why your scene looks so light. In addition to reducing lights, try backing off the fog effect a little, this may help get the balance you need. If you have set up a scene for non-gamma then you will probably need to adjust lighting etc, but I think the realism that you can get is worth it.

    It is probably the fog that is causing your long calc times too - I'm currently rendering a set of 400x500 images with full GI and it's taking around 15-20 mins in total per image.

  • DBuchterDBuchter Posts: 68
    edited December 1969

    PhilW said:
    dbuchter - thanks for posting these, interesting (and great scene by the way!). I noticed on one outside scene I did (using Dartanbeck's Woodlands set) that having gamma on seemed to accentuate the haze quite a bit, and this could be why your scene looks so light. In addition to reducing lights, try backing off the fog effect a little, this may help get the balance you need. If you have set up a scene for non-gamma then you will probably need to adjust lighting etc, but I think the realism that you can get is worth it.

    It is probably the fog that is causing your long calc times too - I'm currently rendering a set of 400x500 images with full GI and it's taking around 15-20 mins in total per image.

    Hmm - I'll check that. I know there is haze in the Realistic Sky, and I have one spot specific for the light rays through the windows. I'll have to go fiddle with it for a while.

  • PhilWPhilW Posts: 5,064
    edited December 1969

    dbuchter said:
    PhilW said:
    dbuchter - thanks for posting these, interesting (and great scene by the way!). I noticed on one outside scene I did (using Dartanbeck's Woodlands set) that having gamma on seemed to accentuate the haze quite a bit, and this could be why your scene looks so light. In addition to reducing lights, try backing off the fog effect a little, this may help get the balance you need. If you have set up a scene for non-gamma then you will probably need to adjust lighting etc, but I think the realism that you can get is worth it.

    It is probably the fog that is causing your long calc times too - I'm currently rendering a set of 400x500 images with full GI and it's taking around 15-20 mins in total per image.

    Hmm - I'll check that. I know there is haze in the Realistic Sky, and I have one spot specific for the light rays through the windows. I'll have to go fiddle with it for a while.

    Yeah, I probably meant the light rays rather than anything else! It's been a long day...

  • edited December 1969

    Hey all,
    I had a quick go at this the other day but alas no pic to load up.

    One problem i have noticed is if you load up an image / video in the 'Backdrop'
    it also washes out the backdrop which is not so good.

    Any thaughts on this or is there a way of stopping C from applying the gamma
    to the backdrop........PhilW ????

    Great thread by the way

    :cheese:

  • PhilWPhilW Posts: 5,064
    edited December 1969

    pscammp said:
    Hey all,
    I had a quick go at this the other day but alas no pic to load up.

    One problem i have noticed is if you load up an image / video in the 'Backdrop'
    it also washes out the backdrop which is not so good.

    Any thaughts on this or is there a way of stopping C from applying the gamma
    to the backdrop........PhilW ????

    Great thread by the way

    :cheese:

    Hmmm... one good reason to use an HDRI is that they look good in the background with the gamma, and the lighting looks very realistic. Using "normal" maps produces a flatter light with much less contrast. But you could try applying a reverse gamma in Photoshop under Adjustments/Exposure. It seems you can just use the 2.2 value to make it darker (NOT 0.45 which is 1 over 2.2) which should then compensate when Carrara applies its value.

  • araneldonaraneldon Posts: 709
    edited December 1969

    Carrara should have reverse gamma controls where image maps are used (backgrounds and in shader room). Also would be nice to be able to specify gamma for the preview renderers.

  • PhilWPhilW Posts: 5,064
    edited December 1969

    I believe that Carrara is applying reverse gamma to material textures when using a gamma setting, but maybe that doesn't extend to background maps.

  • evilproducerevilproducer Posts: 9,021
    edited December 1969

    araneldon said:
    Carrara should have reverse gamma controls where image maps are used (backgrounds and in shader room). Also would be nice to be able to specify gamma for the preview renderers.

    Do you mean the preview renders when using the spot render tool in the Assembly room?


    If so, are you sure it's not? If you have Indirect Light or Skylight enabled those calculate for the spot render. In my experience, whatever bells and whistles you have enabled (or disabled) are rendered in the spot render. I would assume the gamma would be as well.

  • PhilWPhilW Posts: 5,064
    edited December 1969

    araneldon said:
    Carrara should have reverse gamma controls where image maps are used (backgrounds and in shader room). Also would be nice to be able to specify gamma for the preview renderers.

    Do you mean the preview renders when using the spot render tool in the Assembly room?


    If so, are you sure it's not? If you have Indirect Light or Skylight enabled those calculate for the spot render. In my experience, whatever bells and whistles you have enabled (or disabled) are rendered in the spot render. I would assume the gamma would be as well.

    That is also my understanding.

  • araneldonaraneldon Posts: 709
    edited December 1969

    Do you mean the preview renders when using the spot render tool in the Assembly room?

    No, I mean the little previews for realistic skies and such.
  • PhilWPhilW Posts: 5,064
    edited December 1969

    In that case, maybe not.

    Here is my latest example, using another one of the 16 included light sets and one of the Bokeh backgrounds, there will be a very large number of backgrounds, ranging from simple colours and gradients to pseudo-painted backcloth looks, bokeh and other effects. I hope you like this one.

    NightlifeFinal.jpg
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  • HeadwaxHeadwax Posts: 8,312
    edited December 1969

    Beautiful work PhilW. I like the small touches, really adds realism

  • Chris Fox ArtChris Fox Art Posts: 330
    edited December 1969

    PhilW said:
    In that case, maybe not.

    Here is my latest example, using another one of the 16 included light sets and one of the Bokeh backgrounds, there will be a very large number of backgrounds, ranging from simple colours and gradients to pseudo-painted backcloth looks, bokeh and other effects. I hope you like this one.

    Is that one of Ron's Bokeh?

    i've also got those and was thinking about a background for Portrait pictures and when i look at your's they seem to be very nice for that, so i think i should give it a try :)

    btw. your renders are just awesome!

  • PhilWPhilW Posts: 5,064
    edited July 2013

    Yes, I used Ron's Bokeh brushes in doing the background for this. And thanks for your kind comments. The aim of my Portrait Studio is to make it easy for people to produce renders of their own characters to this standard.

    Post edited by PhilW on
  • PhilWPhilW Posts: 5,064
    edited December 1969

    Another example of my forthcoming Carrara Portrait Studio, this time a full length image with a fantasy outfit (mainly VaL's Arkangel with a couple of items borrowed from Fae Realm). I think this is the first time I have ever used blurred reflections in Carrara, always been put off by the thought of long render times, but this still rendered in less than an hour at 1600 x 2000. This pose will also be included.

    Let me know when you start to get bored of these...

    ArchangelFinal.jpg
    1600 x 2000 - 304K
  • scottidog2scottidog2 Posts: 314
    edited December 1969

    PhilW, this might give you some ideas.

    http://www.motionsquared.net/cinema-4d-light-kit/

  • PhilWPhilW Posts: 5,064
    edited December 1969

    PhilW, this might give you some ideas.

    http://www.motionsquared.net/cinema-4d-light-kit/

    What, you mean I should charge that much?! Just joking, thanks for the link.

  • evilproducerevilproducer Posts: 9,021
    edited December 1969

    araneldon said:
    Do you mean the preview renders when using the spot render tool in the Assembly room?

    No, I mean the little previews for realistic skies and such.

    I think most of the effects windows that have previews have a checkbox to enable a full render, rather than the stripped down preview render. It's much slower, but as you suggest, it can be important to set up your effect.

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 16,502
    edited December 1969

    Stonework is going to kill me one day - I just know it. If not the shear weight of the whole process - the heat generated from it... Unnnngh!
    Okay Beck Boy... Man up, eh!
    At least I love doing it. I feel fortunate that way.

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