Are you ready ? Let’s GO!
Step 8: Here we are the most tasty part of this project “Lighting“. On this stage you want to get your renders really fast in order to get a quick feedback and move on, so use rendering paramenters a low as possible, while adjusting the lights. (I’m using GI with Irradiance map and Light Cache with really low parameters).
I like to start from applying 3 fundamental lights:
VraySun + VraySky
VrayLight as a Sky Portal-at the openings, to get bluish fill light coming from the sky.
VrayLight as Key light, just behind the camera, with a bit yellowish saturation.
After a quick render I saw that some far places got really dark areas, so I’ve added some more VrayLights just to get enough illumination in those dark places.
Make some quick preview renders, just to see how the textures and the lighting behaves. Better to use “Region” option on you renders, while working with textures, so you will not have to render each time the whole image.
Final tweak goes for the VrayPhysicalCam f/number just to get the right exposure, the white balance just to nail the temperature of the scene, and here you go! you’re ready to do the high quality render, with passes of course.
Step 9: Rending with passes is a really simple function but very useful for post production stage, as you see I’m rendering almost all the available passes in Vray while using 3Dsmax.
So in order to render your passes you have to enable the “Split separate render channels” on your Vray frame buffer, and save a path to your images.
Most of the time I’m rendering really big resolution, 3500 pixels, or even 4500 pixels and saving it with PNG or TIFF.
PNG works for really good, it got 16 bit channel pixel depth, and for me it is just good enough to work with in Photoshop.
TIFF will give you much bigger range, 32 bit, and you’ll be able to recover all over-exposed areas, but in my previews I didn’t over exposed or under darkened my image, so I went on PNG, saved me a lot of space on my hard disk.
Another really useful pass is an Ambient Occlusion (AO), this you must render separately from all the other passes. The procedure of creating this pass can be adjusted manually by 2 light maps or just by using this free plugin from“Lele’s” wonderful Blog.
I’ve used this plugin, just to go really quickly on that one. It’s a simple drag and drop plugin, and after installing it, you’ll find it under Tools->ml_plugins->Vray Ambient Occlusion. You’ll probably have to adjust your camera exposure (f/number) just to get bright image, I’m working with gamma 2.2 on my Gamma/LUT in 3Dsmax, so most of the time i get really dark AO pass, but no worries, just lower you f/number and you’ll get it bright.
Step 10: Post production! Yeah baby! I really love that part! Here you get really artistic and give your style and personal look to the image.
The very first thing that I do after opening my render in Photoshop is to make a very simple and basic color correction. The really interesting part starts when you get to open all you passes in Photoshop and apply them to your render, while using different modes. It is really fun you can experiment and find lots of different variations in adding your passes to the final image.
The AO pass goes with “multiply” mode, and after lowering down the opacity you can get really nice details and soft shadows in your image.
Volume light was added in Photoshop, this is really nice Light effect that I use a lot in order to simulate the sun volume light. The method is really simple, just create yellow and while gradient add a mask to with clouds filter and then add wind filter in order to get nice long lines.
You can add some levels to it in order to make stronger lines.
Lower the opacity and you’re good to go! Try also to experiment with the Photoshop modes, most of the time you’ll get nice overlay results, if it is too weak you can always duplicate the layer in order to make stronger appliance.
Just to make some additional photorealistic look, I’m using a “PT Lens” for chromatic aberration, that a really nice plugin and ads lens destorsions, in my image i’ve used Nikon D80 and Zeiss Jena Flektogon 20mm f/2.8 lens.
Hurray! Congratulations! The image is done!
Now it can be adjusted with people and logos’ and everything you like. This was Alex, your Vray Guide
Making of Scene Francaise
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