Making Of 'Rosso'
Hello, in this Making Of, I will try to explain the pipeline for my scene Rosso.
The idea for this scene began as a derivative of a former scene. I decided to make a study room where there are darker colors and wooden furniture. I wanted to create a realistic library bookshelf, with a study desk and some lounge chairs for resting or reading books.
When starting a new scene, my first step is always searching for reference images. This is a vital step for me at the beginning of a project. I try to collect as many reference images as I can for the following:
- General concept and ambiance
- Different examples of the space I am creating
- Objects I will be modeling
- Different materials and shaders I will be creating
This step always inspires me with different ideas and enhances the details I have in my mind. In my experience it helps me to build a significantly better foundation for my scenes. Collecting reference images is highly-dependant on what you are planning to create and model and it is unique for every scene and concept (Fig.01).
Setting the correct units for the scene is very important too. Whichever units you use, it is important to keep all the elements scaled and proportional to each other. Without correct scaling, individual elements (from models to light intensity and to textures) will not unite as expected. I use CM as my system units and display units (Fig.02).
In 3ds Max, the default gamma space is 1. But our monitors are calibrated to gamma space 2.2. So we need to adjust our software and render engine to work in the same gamma space with our monitor and this is referred to as LWF (Linear Workflow ).This may sound a complicated thing to understand at the beginning, but in fact it is simple. In theory, it is just about adjusting the transition curve of midtones from black to white or, in other words, the transition of grays from black to white.
All of us are familiar with falloff maps and fresnel curves and we all adjust the falloff curves to create different effects or use the Curves tool to adjust the histogram of our images in different software. These are each different transition curves controlling different settings, parameters and the transition from white to black, or transition from yes to no. Just like this, LWF helps us adjust the gamma space, which actually controls the midtones curve in transition from black to white.
So now, we should Enable Gamma/LUT correction settings, as in the Fig.03.
I render to V-Ray Frame Buffer so I enabled the VFB and adjusted the color mapping settings as in Fig.04.
All the elements in the scene were modeled through basic poly modeling tools: connect, extrude, chamfer, move, weld etc., except the floor, ceiling and curtains (Fig.05).
The floor was modeled through a very useful plugin by CG-Source: The Floor Generator. It is a free plugin and you can download it from http://www.cg-source.com/floorgenerator.php and watch the video tutorial about how to use. Actually it is very simple and easy to use. I also used another MultiTexture Map, which is another useful plugin from CG-Source. This plugin randomly assigns different bitmap textures based on Material ID or Object ID. The settings marked in red are important parameters to bring the variance and randomness (Fig.06). I repeated the same procedure for the ceiling wood.
The curtain was modeled by simulating through the MaxCloth. There are in-depth step-by-step tutorials for MaxCloth inside 3ds Max Tutorials so I will not go into details. But here are the settings used for the simulation (Fig.07 - 09).
All the books were modeled, textured one-by-one and placed manually. In fact, this was the most time-consuming modeling stage of the scene although. While it is a very simple task to model a book and texture a book, when there are many, each of them takes some time. And organizing the bookcase takes the longest time, as in real life! All the books were placed one by one and randomly so they look natural. And the funniest part of CG comes at the end: un-organizing what you have organized to make it look more realistic! But it was real fun to see my bookcase getting full with lots of books (Fig.10).
Actually the shaders and materials in this scene are simple and basic as it is a clean interior, so it was enough only to introduce some age to the materials and keep away from dirt.' '
Wood - Floor
As I mentioned explained above, the floor was modeled via the floor generator by CG-Source and I used the sister plugin MultiTexture, which is designed to go together with Floor Generator. After we check the necessary parameters as explained above, MultiTexture Map does the job and brings the randomness based on Object ID or Material ID (Fig.11).
Reflection and ReflectionGlossiness maps were derived from adding a Color Correction map on Diffuse map and setting it monochrome to destaturate the map. I adjusted some parameters as you see in Fig.12.
Each book was textured individually with basic mapping techniques (Fig.13).
The curtain shader is a Vray2Sided material to mimic the translucent look and imitate how light scatters inside the curtain. The Trace Reflections setting is disabled because there is no need for the exact raytrace reflections. There is a Falloff map in the refraction slot, which makes the curtain less transparent on the sides and more transparent on the front.
The bitmap is for the stripe on the curtains. You can have a curtain with lace or leafs or anything.
The settings for the shader can be seen in Fig.14 - 17.
Through the set of images, there are different light rigs and scenarios. I will try to explain how I made the lighting of the dawn time images (Fig.18).
In these hours of the day, sun rays come to us in a very wide angle, almost horizontal, so they create a very soft lighting and soft and long shadows. I used a VraySun and adjusted the amplitude (Z coordinate). I made the size slightly larger in order to create much softer shadows. There is a bitmap texture for the skylight (Fig.19 - 21).
In some detail shots, I used Direct Light instead of the VraySun just to have some more control on the color.
The scene was rendered with V-Ray 2.10.01 and you can see the settings in (Fig.22 - 25).
As explained above, I rendered to VrayFrameBuffer and enabled Gamma Correction, which is known as Linear Workflow. One thing I would like to remind is that you can always disable the Don't Affect Colors-Adaptation Only button to bake the Gamma Correction into your final render without using the sRGB button.
I would also like to remind that render settings are specific to scenes and copying exact settings can cause either excessively high rendering times or poor quality in some scenes, so I would advise everyone to test some parameters in your own scenes and set your settings individually for each scene to have better quality and faster render times.
In Fig.26 you can see some of the adjustments I have on the raw render. These are very basic adjustments on the color and histogram of the image. I don't follow any preset or rule for this step. Every image has different meaning, ambiance, lighting, colors, balance and histogram so I believe it is best to treat every image as unique and let your eye guide you for this step without following any rule.
So these are the major steps of my workflow for the scene Rosso and I tried to explain my pipeline and cover the questions that have been asked on the forums. I hope you find it useful. I would like to thank everyone for commenting on my project, giving feedback to show me my mistakes and encouraging me for new scenes with great inspiration (Fig.27).