Making Of 'After The Rain'
The warmth of the sun's rays after the rain inspired me to make this scene. I began to draw and collect references for the scene in my mind, and I came out with this sketch (Fig.01).
As I mentioned above, I collected a lot of reference photos together and started to develop my concept further (Fig.02)
After each stage of modelling, I added more and more details to the scene (Fig.03 - Fig.05).
I prefer to start with lighting before getting into texturing, because some textures will depend on the environment lighting. So I made experiment with lots of different lighting setups until I came up with one that satisfied me.
After I had studied a lot of atmospheres of "after rain" times, I used vraylight (dome) with HDRI in the texture slot to simulate the environment lighting, and used vraylight (sphere) to simulate the sun lighting and to cast very soft shadows (Fig.06 & Fig.07).
This process was the most complex and time consuming part of the project. It took a lot of work and tries to adjust the textures, especially the street texture. Some textures were extracted from high resolution photos of old houses (Fig.08 & Fig.09).
I also made a bump map and normal map for the textures; the normal map was done by using the NVIDIA filter for Photoshop (Fig.10).
For the street texture, after unwrapping the model, I began to collect hi-resolution close-up textures for the street tiles. Here is the diffuse map (Fig.11).
The original map resolution was 3500*4000 pixels (Fig.12).
After that, I came up with the displacement texture by desaturating each layer and adjusting the brightness and contrast (Fig.13).
To simulate the wet look of the street, I had to produce a reflection map and glossiness map, so using the displacement map as a base, I changed the level of some layers and inverted some other layers and so on, until I ended up with the reflection map and glossiness map (Fig.14 & Fig.15).
To apply these maps to the street object, I used vraymtl and plugged these maps into it with some adjustments in the reflection and glossiness maps (Fig.16 & Fig.17).
All of these adjustments came after a long journey of tries and errors.
The render was with normal settings, there was nothing special here (Fig.18 & Fig.19).
And here is the pure render (Fig.20).
I also rendered some passes such as DOF, Object ID, Vray reflection passes and Fog render.
This process was rather an important stage for this work, because it allowed me to fix any rendering mistakes and to add some artistic retouching. First of all I added the background from another image (Fig.21).
After that, I isolated the street by the object ID pass and colour corrected it with some fixing of mistakes, such as hiding some highlights on the pavements (Fig.22).
Then I blended the reflection layer to the street to increase the reflection a bit more (Fig.23).
The same thing goes for the trees; I separated them by using Object ID and desaturated them a little (Fig.24).
Then I corrected the colour balance of the whole image. Firstly I raised the gamma to 1.4 and then adjusted the shadows and midtones colours (Fig.25 & Fig.26).
Adding more dirt to some parts will bring more reality to an image, so I started working on that process and gave the dirt layer "overlay" blending mode, with some transparency (Fig.27 - Fig.31).
After that, I added the fog layer with "Linear dodge" and 53% transparency (Fig.31).
At this point I'd reached the DOF process, so I made Gaussian blur to the DOF pass with a very small value (Fig.32).
To achieve the DOF blur, I used the colour select tool and selected the white parts in DOF pass, copied the selected part from the main image and used Lens Blur with a definite value. I repeated this part for each different area in the DOF pass; the darker the area, the less blur it has (Fig.33).
After that I wanted to add some glow to the sky, so I selected the white parts in the image, copied them to a new layer and give them some Gaussian blur (Fig.34 & Fig.35).
Then I added more dirt to the closer parts of street, to give them more darkness and variation in the texture (Fig.36) .
Then chromatic aberration was added and some parts were retouched (Fig.37).
Finally, I increased the sky glow and added birds and a walking man in the distance. Then I was done (Fig.38)!