author: lon grohs & rodrigo lopezResponsible for some of the most iconic architectural photographs of all time, Julius Shulman once described that in order to teach his photography students to photograph a subject, he asked them to first put their cameras down and learn to "see" the subject first.
Developing an understanding of the subject and discovering how to best portray its character is a crucial step in composing your image. Is the subject contemporary, modern, classic, historic, minimal, and so on? Depending on the design of the structure, different sensibilities may apply. And while we don't have the capability to put down our cameras and walk around the space, we do have an extraordinary freedom to place any number of cameras in our virtual space. Additionally, the new Walk Through Camera is a useful tool for taking a quick, informal virtual walk around the model to discover potential views and photogenic elements.
Using the Walkthrough Camera is a great way to "discover" the virtual space.
Below are the shortcuts for using the Walkthrough Camera.
(Note: the Level Command is very useful, especially for straightening verticals.)
It is also useful to set up a quick Sunlight to light the scene in a quick but realistic way, even if the materials are simple colors and shades. The interaction of the light with the scene is an important aspect of the composition. Sometimes the patterns and dynamic lines created by light and shadow can be more interesting than the structure itself.
Keeping in mind our Rule of Thirds and Diagonal Rule from our earlier tutorial, we see that the same notions apply with exteriors.
Rule of Thirds
Experimenting with various camera lenses and aspect ratios can also create engaging compositions.
Dutch Angle (Rotated Horizon)
modeling (acad/revit/sketchup into max)
1. introductionThere are many different ways of importing files to 3DS Max. Many people have their own methods, but you'll find the best process we've used via
2. acada. Method A
b. Method B
a. in revit
b. In 3DS Max
a. In SketchUp Pro
Prepare the model for exporting to 3DS Max.
b. In 3DS Max
Export as 3DS
Group by texture before exporting
apply the materials
3. Camera View Setup
5. Render Setting For Final Image
Some close-up details:
Rendering and Post
2. Getting Started
a. File format
b. Render Elements
Render elements with VRay
a. Solid self-illuminated white – see fig 02
b. Matte – using the VRayMtlWrapper material – see fig 03
5. Assembly in Photoshop
a. Base render
i. Because our image rendered as a 32-bit EXR there are a limited amount of adjustments that can be made – one of them being tweaking the Exposure. See fig 05 for accessing the Exposure control in Photoshop. We adjust only the Gamma to 1.60 – see fig 06.
ii. Before we can do anything else we have to convert our image to either a 16-bit or 8-bit file – we chose 16-bit so that we could continue working with a maximum amount of color info. See fig 07 for this process. Note that here we can also adjust the Exposure and Gamma like we did in the prior step.
iii. Next we matte out the main render using the main alpha channel.
b. Occlusion/Dirt Map
i. We add the occlusion pass to our scene above the main render pass and use the “Multiply” transfer mode.
ii. You’ll notice that the image turns very dark. This is because the Multiply transfer mode in Photoshop uses the color values to affect the image – the darker the Multiplied layer is the darker the overall image will become. In order to control which parts of the occlusion pass affect our main image we do two things.
1. Levels adjustment layer linked only to the occlusion pass. In the levels control we bring up the brights so that the occlusion image goes almost completely white except for the corners and edges of our scene where the “dirt” lives.
2. We also add a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer linked to the occlusion pass and use the Colorize feature to add color to it – in this case a pale blue.
iii. As you can see in fig 08 our image now has more definition in and around all the nooks and crannies, as well as a bluish cast to begin implementing the bleach bypass look we were striving for.
c. Render Elements – we usually use these elements in an additive fashion so for this the Screen transfer mode works best – in most other compositing applications Add is a blending mode, but not in Photoshop. We usually use the elements below to accentuate things like reflections, specular highlights and control overall lighting.
d. Paint – paintwork is usually reserved to specific elements within a scene that we need to adjust. In this particular case we tweaked the corrugated metal and glass by slightly augmenting the blue cast on both of these objects being that they are both reflective and as such would be affected by the blue environment. We also had to change to color of the metal railings after the fact due to a client request. These changes are often times easily managed in post with the proper preparation.
i. Corrugated metal
1. Using the proper matte for this object we added a Color Balance adjustment layer to enhance the blue reflection on the metal.
2. We also used some dark yellow brush strokes on a Color Dodge transfer mode to add some highlights where the sun would be hitting the metal.
1. Again using the proper mattes we added a Color Balance to give all the glass a bluish cast.
2. We also separately affected the glass facing the sun by increasing the brightness to enhance the effect on the parts that were being hit with direct sunlight.
e. Global Adjustments – in the case of images that are meant to be heavily stylized, we usually do a good amount of global adjustments once we have all the elements reading the way we want with relation to one another. As mentioned before, for this particular project we were going for a “bleach bypass” film look – for more on this visit:
The “bleach bypass” process renders images that have reduced saturation and a high level of contrast. To achieve a similar look in post we did the following:
i. Color balance - first we introduced a good amount of warm tones in the shadow and midtone areas of the image using yet another Color Balance adjustment layer – see fig 09.
ii. Hue/Saturation – using the Colorize feature in the Hue/Saturation adjustment layer we create a duotone version of the image (blues and blacks). By using the Soft Light transfer mode we are able to blend the blue tinted image with the warmer version. Note that Soft Light will tend to not only brighten bright areas, but also darken shadow areas, so by using the Lightness control in the Hue/Saturation settings you can manage this blending – see fig 10.
iii. Overall levels – the image is still a bit dark in fig 11 so we add a Levels adjustment layer to very subtly bring up the light areas of the scene.
iv. Vignetting – this effect is in real life an optical phenomenon attributed to the physical properties of a camera lens as well as the aperture settings used to shoot photographs. In a lot of cases it is an undesired effect, but sometimes it can be used to draw attention by framing the center of the image – this is what we wanted to achieve with this rendering. You can create this effect a couple of different ways.
1. Using a VRay Physical Camera you can check the Vignetting checkbox and achieve the effect in a realistic way by using the right combination of lenses and f-stop settings – see fig 12.
2. In Photoshop you can control this effect in a much more fluid way by simply painting a halo of any given color (usually a dark gray) around the outer edges of your image. In this case we used the Multiply transfer mode to darken the existing colors of the rendering. We then accentuated the effect by using a Curves adjustment layer with a mask affecting the same outer edges of the image.
And voila, we’re done! One of the things you’ll notice is that most of the post work on this image was done using adjustment layers. This method is completely non-destructive allowing you to make adjustments every step of the way while also leaving you with the option to go back to original imagery if necessary. It’s not quite as well implemented as it is in AfterEffects but with some practice it can be almost as efficient. See fig 13 for the before and after.