Making Of 'Rear Window'
Hello everybody! First of all I would like to thank the 3DTotal team for asking me to write this tutorial for the 3DTotal website. This is an honor and also a great pleasure for me! I hope you will enjoy this tutorial.
The main objective was to create a portfolio scene for my website. This was also a real study of textures and lighting.
I started as I guess we all do, by searching on the web for reference images. I think this is a very important part of the project because it defines what the scene will look like. I also had to constrain myself to 5-10 images and no more because it could overload the scene of if I had too many ideas/atmospheres etc.
I've also always been inspired by the work of different 3D artists such as Ramon Zancanaro, Pixela, BBB3VIZ and Guillaume Favre. I've learned a lot from their tutorials and would like to thank them for sharing their knowledge and creations.
Here is a sample of the different images I used (Fig.01).
There wasn't any complex modeling in this project. All the models were pretty simple to create so this is why I won't really speak about the modeling; I'll just leave you with some wireframe views. I just want to add that I modeled the main body of the scene (walls, windows, doors, etc.,) first to be sure that my objects would fit in it. When this was done I modeled all my objects by small groups. It allowed me to render them separately in small studio scenes while working on my shaders (Fig.02- 08).
Here are a few more details of my modeling workflow (Fig.09).
I modeled the floor plank by plank. This is because I wanted to give each plank a different height from the others and put them in place separately. I think this is more realistic than using a simple bump map or the well-known Floor Generator script (Fig.10 - 11).
Three main lights were used in this scene. There are two lights coming through the window: a V-Ray light and also a V-Ray sun. Another V-Ray light was added right behind the camera and, finally, I used a V-Ray light material for the picture I used as the environment (with Multiplier set to 12)(Fig.12 - 15). You can see that I used a wide size for my sun. This is because I wanted smooth shadows and light coming from the window.
Here I want to share my test render presets, which I used to set up the lights in my scene correctly and as quickly fast as possible (Fig.16 - 20).
I won't show you all my shaders because some are pretty simple and some others may be too long to explain with pictures. Most of them use a V-Ray Dirt map, but I think many tutorials already exist with good shaders settings, so I'm only going to show you the lampshade material because I've already had questions about it. I used three layers in a V-Ray blend material to achieve the final material (Fig.21 - 24).
I used a V-Ray physical camera (as I always do) and the general settings can be seen in Fig.25. The only thing that I ever change is the shutter speed and the f-number. I lower both of them when the scene seems to be too dark. But I never change the Film ISO (this is a personal preference).
Here is a trick to get my custom "white balance color" in my camera settings. I do a test render with my final shaders and lighting, and pick on it a color that should be the whitest color in the scene. If my lights are correctly set then this should be a different color from the standard 255,255,255 in the RGB values. I generally pick from the color on the walls or the floor, where the lights are reflected the most. Here is the color I used (Fig.26).
I used a mix between Brute Force and Light Cache for this scene. I prefer this combo over Irradiance map w/Light Cache for final renders because Brute Force is very simple to set up, but I assume it is also very slow to render (Fig.27 - 29).
Post production was done in Photoshop and this is a very general workflow that I used because the renders became almost the final results that you're seeing. I will show you the way I did adjust one render, but this is almost the same settings I used for the other renders (Fig.30 - 39).
And here's the final image (Fig.40 - 42).
That is it for my tutorial! I really hope you enjoyed reading this one and learned something about my workflow. I will appreciate any comments and criticism, so do not hesitate to send me your opinion on my scene or simply rate it.
Again, thanks to all the 3DTotal team - your website brings me so much and it has become one of my favorite references!