Wednesday, 19 December 2012

3d images: Correcting the Vray and mental ray self-illumination display in the viewport




The following tutorial assumes that the user has a basic knowledge of 3Ds Max when applying textures to the self-illumination toggle; applying the “UVW map” modifier and assigning material slots to objects/surfaces.

Also, check my New Book: 3D Photorealistic Rendering: Interiors & Exteriors with V-Ray and 3ds Max

When using a bitmap in the “VrayLightMtl” or mental ray “Self Illumination (Glow)” toggle, the texture display is often overridden by its default colour swatch (i.e. white) in the viewport.


or





The viewport artifact occurs even when the “Show Standard Map in Viewport” button is enabled in the “Bitmap” parameters.





It’s also worth mentioning that this problem is only specific to 3Ds Max 2012 and 2013.

This current “bottleneck” is a major setback to users trying to tweak the bitmap to fit a specific area of a surface while using the “UVW map” modifier.





So far, some users resort to numerous unpractical solutions to overcome this hurdle.
The practical approach frequently used by most professionals to correct this viewport artifact, is to simply change the self-Illumination default colour swatch, to 100% black.

This “trick” will enable the self-illumination texture to automatically become visible in the viewport, for both Vray or mental ray.



or








I hope you have found this tutorial useful.

Ta


My 3D Portfolio:

New Book: 3D Photorealistic Rendering: Interiors & Exteriors with V-Ray and 3ds Max


More tips and Tricks:

Post-production techniques

Tips & tricks for architectural Visualisation: Part 1

Essential tips & tricks for VRay & mental ray

Photorealistic Rendering

Creating Customised IES lights

Realistic materials

Creating a velvet/suede material 

FoxRenderfarm

www.arroway-textures.com 

Renderpeople

Gobotree










.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

3d: Creating customised IES web lights for vray or mental ray




The following tutorial assumes that the user has a basic knowledge of creating and using “VRayIES” and “Photometric” lights parameters.

Also, check my New Book: 3D Photorealistic Rendering: Interiors & Exteriors with V-Ray and 3ds Max

While “Photometric” and “VRayIES” lights are used to load the IES web files, the following tutorial will focus mainly in customising IES web files through the use of “Creator IES” software, as opposed to general photometric light functionalities.

This ingenious piece of software was created by Karba, and can easily be found and downloaded by simply googling the following: ies creator download

I personally couldn't find more details about the creator/Author, therefore resorting to google in order to download the software.

The WinRar Zip file shouldn’t be any bigger than 202 kb in size.
Once unzipped and installed, simply place its icon on the desktop, and double click it to open its dialog box.






Professionals frequently choose this software to create unique IES light patterns that differ from the commonly seen/used by most artists/visualisers.

Please note that, in real projects, users are strongly advised to ask for permission from the designated lighting designer before using this artistic approach!

The “Creator IES” dialog provides users with the unsurpassed ability to create IES web files “from scratch”, or by simply editing a loaded one.

Its dialog box consists of two representations of the light pattern:
Curve editor graph, and picture thumbnail.





The Curve editor depicts a graph of the IES light pattern (i.e. red line). The entire length of the curve represents different parts of the light pattern, which can be easily edited by simply clicking and dragging (upwards or downwards) on any part of the curve.

The adjacent picture thumbnail depicts the resulting image from the curve editor shape, in real time.

The “before and after” images below highlight how the “Creator IES” software can easily and intuitively create an IES web file “from scratch”.





Below are some of its core parameters:

Area of editing- This function sets the type of editing by simply dragging its target slider either to the left, or to the right.

The default value is 1.0. Values below 1.0 yield sharp light patterns when the curve graph is edited.

Values above 1.0 yield softer light patterns when the curve graph is edited.




Brightness- This function sets the intensity of the IES light pattern by simply dragging its target slider to the left, or to the right.

The default value is 1.0. It’s worth noting that, this function’s values are for previewing purposes only; therefore will have no impact on the shape or intensity of the relevant light being used in the 3D scene.


In order to physically increase or decrease the brightness/intensity of the IES web file, users are required to do it directly in the 3D scene.







Away from wall- This function depicts the light pattern shape against a surface/wall depending how close/tight the IES light is away from it, by simply dragging its target slider.

Values above 1.0 increase the gap between the IES light patterns while dimming it.

Values below 1.0 yield opposite effects, with brighter results. It’s worth noting that, this function’s values are for previewing purposes only; therefore will have no impact on the shape or intensity of the relevant IES light being used in the 3D scene.

Save- This toggle allows users to save the edited IES file, by simply clicking on its icon.





Load- This toggle allows users to load an IES file from a location, by simply clicking on its icon.

Reset- This button enables users to reset the edited/ loaded IES file, by simply clicking on its icon.

After creating and saving the IES web file, go to the 3D scene and load it in its respective toggle and render the results.
It’s worth mentioning that the IES light object may change its shape depending on the IES light parameters.






Please note that, every time a change is made and the IES file is re-saved, users are required to re-load the file in the 3D scene in order for changes to take effect in the render.

The first 3D render below depicts a space lit with a standard/common IES web file used by most artists.





The second and third 3D render depict a customised IES web file.







P.S: To download specific IES light data for a client, please visit the following websites:


ERCO

Philips 


I hope you have found this article somehow useful!



My 3D Portfolio:

New Book: 3D Photorealistic Rendering: Interiors & Exteriors with V-Ray and 3ds Max


More tips and Tricks:

Post-production techniques

Tips & tricks for architectural Visualisation: Part 1

Essential tips & tricks for VRay & mental ray

Photorealistic Rendering

Realistic materials

Creating a velvet/suede material 

FoxRenderfarm

www.arroway-textures.com 

Renderpeople

Gobotree




.

Sunday, 2 December 2012

3ds max: Creating a “Velvet/Suede” finish with Vray or mental ray






After few requests to post a tutorial about creating a velvet/suede fabric finish, I have managed to put something together.

The following tutorial works for both V-Ray and mental ray.

Also, check my New Book: 3D Photorealistic Rendering: Interiors & Exteriors with V-Ray and 3ds Max

One of the most distinctive characteristics of the velvet/suede finish is its soft textured effect with two contrasts that transcend across the entire surface. This effect is more noticeable on the edges/rim of the surface.

Note: This tutorial assumes that, the user has already applied a base texture to the diffuse toggle.
To source for a good velvet/suede texture, simply Google (image search): velvet texture

Alternatively, to find seamless high resolution textures, simply visit: www.arroway-textures.com 
One should be able to find a nice high resolution texture under, suede category.


To emulate this material, simply do the following:


1- Go into your existing “Diffuse” map toggle first.

Or






2-In the “Diffuse map” parameters, click on its “Bitmap” toggle to access the “Falloff” procedural map from the “Material/Map Browser” dialog. Double click to select it.




3-The “Replace Map” dialog should be prompted. Choose to “Keep old map as sub-map” and “OK” to close the dialog. The “Falloff parameters” should be loaded.




4-With the “Falloff parameters” loaded, one can clearly see its exquisite effects from the material slot thumbnail.
The next phase is to create two variations of the same material in order to emulate the previously described “finish”.
The “Color Correction” procedural map is one of many tools that can help achieve that:

In the “Front: Side” group, click on the “Front” toggle to access its “Bitmap” parameters; followed by clicking on its “Bitmap” toggle to choose the “Color Correction” map from the “Material/Map Browser” dialog. Also, choose to “Keep old map as sub-map” option when the “Replace Map” dialog is prompted.




5- This procedural map offers a number of ways to control the texture. One of the most popular methods used by numerous companies is to scroll down to the “Lightness” rollout and enable the “Advanced” function.
Its parameters should come to life. Reduce its “Gamma/Contrast” “RGB” value to about 0.7 to darken its texture.

It's worth noting that, this value worked well for the desired effect. However, one can try different values, if desired.




6- The next step is to use the same procedural map for the “Side” toggle, with reversed effects (i.e. brighter texture).
To do so, simple go back to the “Falloff Parameters” by clicking on the “Go to Parent” button first. In the “Falloff Parameters”, drag the “Front” toggle contents and drop it onto the “Side” toggle.
The “Copy (instance) Map” dialog should be prompted; choose the “Copy” option and “OK” to close the dialog.
The “Copy” option was chosen because its parameters will be later changed.





7- Next, go inside the “Side” toggle and increase its “Gamma/ Contrast” value to about 2.0.

Please note that this value worked well for the intended results. However, feel free to try different values, if desired.




8-Finally, to ensure that the falloff is visible on the edges /rim of the surface, simply change its “Falloff Type” to “Fresnel” and render the results.




The two 3D renders below depict the “Before” and “After” effects  using the “Falloff” procedural map on the diffuse toggle.

I hope you have found this tutorial helpful!



  
                                NO "Falloff" procedural map being used





                                With "Falloff" procedural map being used




I hope you have found this article somehow useful!



My 3D Portfolio:

New Book: 3D Photorealistic Rendering: Interiors & Exteriors with V-Ray and 3ds Max


More tips and Tricks:

Post-production techniques

Tips & tricks for architectural Visualisation: Part 1

Essential tips & tricks for VRay & mental ray

Photorealistic Rendering

Creating Customised IES lights

Realistic materials

FoxRenderfarm

www.arroway-textures.com 

Renderpeople

Gobotree







.

Saturday, 11 August 2012

3ds max: Retail Project_with VRay...and mental ray


























Photo Reference supplied by the client















My Final 3D Render





Hi All,

The above 3D visual is part of a project I have finished recently for a client.

Pre-Production: I was initially supplied with series of 2D drawings to build the model from (i.e. plans; sections and elevations).

Upon finishing the modelling, I have quickly begun taking screen grabs and greyscale renders to help the client sign off the model and decide on the camera view to go with.

Following that, I have asked the client to provide me photo/s of a similar retail space they have built in the past, in order for me to use as the basis of the art direction (i.e. photo reference).


Also, check my New Book: 3D Photorealistic Rendering: Interiors & Exteriors with V-Ray and 3ds Max


Production: The photo reference/s played an important role throughout the process of creating shaders, textures, lighting and rendering.

Shading: I have used the photos supplied by the client to create shaders with specific properties (highlights, bevel, reflection, etc.).

Texturing: The texturing was quite straight forward as I have used a number of the material samples supplied by the client.

Lighting: In order to achieve depth in the scene, I have test rendered each light created and ensured they were reasonably distant from one another, to prevent “scorching” the scene.

The final result was a nice and balanced scene with clear definitions of bright and dark areas (i.e. Depth).

Rendering: I have carried out a number of high resolution region renders to ensure the final render was acceptable.
In addition, I have also enabled key render passes such as “VRayRawrefraction”, “VRayRawreflection”, “VRaySpecular”, “VRayExtraText” in conjunction with “VRayDirt”, “VRayWireColor”, etc.


I have chosen Vray as the main rendering engine because the client has asked me to.
However, I have also got the same 3D scene in mental ray.


Post-Production: This final stage consisted of blending all the elements previously rendered, and applying key adjustment layers such as: levels, curves, selective color, hue/saturation, etc.

To add the people, I have started by first incorporating a screen grab of the main camera view into my PSD file.

The screen grab had boxes in its camera viewport.
The boxes had the average height of most people; and they were to be used as references, for heights only.

The subsequent step was to begin adding real photos of people with diffused shadows, followed by scaling and correcting them while using some of the adjustment layers mentioned earlier.

Finally, I have used a bit of vignette and chromatic aberration to make the overall image more appealing.

Note: As with most clients, they wanted they design to be nice and bright; so I had to increase some of the curves and levels slightly.

This is one of numerous reasons a personally choose to have most effects in PSD layers.

The entire project took between two to three days to finish.

I would like to personally thank Scott, for helping me liaise with the main client about the overall colour, art direction, approving the 3d model, textures, shaders, etc.

The first image is the photo reference, and the second is the final 3D Render. I hope you like the final result as much as the client did.

For more step-by-step information about this workflow please check the following articles in this Blog:


Office Reception Rendering with VRay...and mental ray



I hope you have found this article somehow useful!


My 3D Portfolio:

New Book: 3D Photorealistic Rendering: Interiors & Exteriors with V-Ray and 3ds Max



More tips and Tricks:

Post-production techniques

Tips & tricks for architectural Visualisation: Part 1

Essential tips & tricks for VRay & mental ray

Photorealistic Rendering

Creating Customised IES lights

Realistic materials

Creating a velvet/suede material 

FoxRenderfarm

www.arroway-textures.com 

Renderpeople

Gobotree











.

Sunday, 27 May 2012

My Whereabouts

Hi All,

It has been a while since my last post. My sincere apologies for that!

It's mainly due to the fact that I am currently working on a very exciting new book entitled:


Also, check my New Book: 3D Photorealistic Rendering: Interiors & Exteriors with V-Ray and 3ds Max


Furthermore, I am also taking this opportunity to share with you the news that Premium 3D models have launched a new "ArchViz Mega Bundle", which consists of more than 1000 3d architectural visualisation models...for an absolute bargain!

I have personally found it a complete "GEM" for my day-to-day work: Do check it out whenever time allows you!


I'll be keeping you posted!

TA

Jamie

Tips and Tricks:





Wednesday, 15 February 2012

3d images: Office Reception Rendering with Vray...and mental ray


The above image is part of a project I have finished recently.

It was produced with 3Ds Max and V-Ray. However, I have also got the same version in mental ray.

The real focus was mainly on the workflow…as opposed to the rendering engine or platform used.

In fact please click this link HERE to see some of my most recent renders produced while using a variety of rendering engines and platforms.

Most Projects should start from the pre-production phase. However, this specific project took little or no time for me to jump right into the production phase, followed by Post-Production process.

The Pre-Production process was fairly quick due to the fact that, the client had already supplied me with a photo reference and all the necessary information to achieve acceptable results.


Had I not been given the photo-reference by the client, I would have had to go through the entire process of Pre-Production, which consists of: sourcing for striking photos (Flikr, books, Google, etc) and help the client choose (i.e. liaise) the best photo/s to be used as reference for lighting, cameras, colors, etc.

This vital Pre-Production stage often takes from one hour, to few days, depending on the project.
Please check my latest book HERE entitled to see the entire in-depth process of Pre-Production, Production and Post-Production.


The Project

The initial brief was to incorporate the client’s bespoke design and lighting in a completely new office space. For that, I had first "pleaded" with the client to provide me with a photo reference/s of one of their existing office design to be used as a reference.
As expected with most clients, they had several photos of some of their previous projects, which resembled this new proposed space.





From that point it was pretty straight forward:
In fact they were so cooperative that they started supplying me with physical and photo references of specific surfaces while I was also using their main photo reference to create other materials.






Once finished, the following stage was to begin matching the overall lighting based on the main photo reference.

Nevertheless, I have used the usual technique of enabling a basic non reflective override material as the basis to light the entire scene.



While lighting, I had also ensured that there was a clear definition between bright and dark areas in order to achieve Depth in the scene.
The habit of test rendering each new light added in the scene is one of key techniques to achieve the perfect depth.





The IES light pattern chosen may not be coherent with the ceiling light model. However, it was specifically chosen by the client to make the overall image more appealing and “sellable”.

Furthermore, in order to achieve soft shadows with V-Ray IES lights, I have opened and edited the numerical values of the IES web file.
Also, this new edited file was saved under a different name.



Once satisfied with the overall lighting, I have disabled the override material and began fine-tuning the materials to react realistically with lights.





The subsequent stage was to tweak the global V-Ray settings and render the final shot with key render elements.



Finally, I have used key Post-Production techniques such as “Curves”; “Levels”; “Vignetting” and many more effects to match the render closely to the main photo reference supplied.




All Post-Production effects were kept in layers with their respective masks in order to have the ultimate flexibility to edit them when faced with eminent changes from the client.





The above described process allowed me to finish the project within the allocated time and budget…with little or no production “bottlenecks”.
I hope you liked the final result as much as the client did!!

Please check the entire step-by-step process with the 3Ds Max scene included at CgtutsPlus.com.

The entire tutorial consists of a whopping 11.235 words and 238 screen captures( very in-depth indeed).

I would like to take this opportunity to give Chris Tate one big Kudos for editing and posting it in such an eloquent manner HERE!



I hope you have found this article somehow useful!



My 3D Portfolio:

New Book: 3D Photorealistic Rendering: Interiors & Exteriors with V-Ray and 3ds Max



More tips and Tricks:

Post-production techniques

Tips & tricks for architectural Visualisation: Part 1

Essential tips & tricks for VRay & mental ray

Photorealistic Rendering

Creating Customised IES lights

Realistic materials


.