Making Of 'Ornaments'
First of all, let me say thank you for giving me the chance to write this tutorial for your great community!
I produced this image after a long stressful job, when I needed to do something nice for a break. I saw an illustration on purerender.com "-The Chesterfield Project-" and I was blown away by the level of detail! When I looked closer at the details, I saw some glasses on the table and I thought, "I want to try it by myself, to create such realism in a 3D rendering".
So that was my inspiration!
I started with the modeling of the glasses! That was not too difficult. I found some glasses on the internet via Google. I saved the images and put them in the background to have as references (Fig.01).
I drew the glasses with splines and tried to match the references exactly (Fig.02).
It was important that the glass had a shell or wall, in case I wanted to fill it with some liquid. I used the Lathe mod. in Max to achieve this (Fig.03).
I created some other glasses and shapes in the same way to have some variation in the image (Fig.04 & Fig.05).
I did not want to model the ornaments directly on the glasses to have more control and also to have the chance to try out different ornaments.
I used a standard glass VRay material for the shader, so nothing special there. Even the IOR of the material was not specific for glass. This was so I could have a fast rendering time (Fig.06)!
Now I came to the ornament part. I did some research on the internet for ornaments and floral shapes and I found this image (Fig.07).
There was no need to do any color corrections or b/w image changes because I did not want sharp edges. I thought it would look much better to have some softer edges that mixed together. So I put the image in the bump slot of my glass material and set the amount to 10. That gave me the best result for the ornaments (Fig.08).
For the glasses I just used a simple cylindrical UVW map (Fig.09).
Now that the glasses were done and the material, as simple as it was, was done too, I was able to start on the lighting. I wanted a photo-real lighting setup so I decided to use an HDR image for the reflection and lighting. I used a free HDRI map that I'd found somewhere on the internet (Fig.10).
I rotated the map about 355 degrees horizontal to get the light from the best location. Here I tried some different rotations with test renderings so that I could get the perfect result. There was no need to put the map in a VRay environment slot, because I wanted to render everything in one pass. I did not any extra lighting or highlights in the scene.
Next I set the depth of field for the camera. I used a standard Max camera and the DoF of the VRay render dialog. I set the aperture to .012m and got the rest from the camera. To get the typical product shot settings I used an almost telephoto lens of 180 mm (Fig.11).
The render settings are nothing special. You can check them out in Fig.12.
It saves the rendering with 32 bit because I work with the linear work flow to get the full light information in the image for the post work.
I did some strong post work on this image one, which mostly consisted of color correction in Photoshop. The steps that I followed can be seen in Fig.13.
First I checked the levels and corrected the white, black and middle values until I was happy with the result. The next step was to correct the contrast and the color; I did it in the green blue values to get the result I wanted. The selective colors are a strong tool in Photoshop as they allow you to adjust single colors and correct them.
Finally I added some chromatic aberration and a vignette to the final image to get the last photo-real look (Fig.14).
So, that was all for that image. Thanks you very much for reading my tutorial!
All the best
Jan K. Vollmer