HOW Do I su­per­im­pose an ob­ject Into a photo, In­clud­ing re­flec­tions?

Car­rie Lamb, Can­ter­bury

3D World - - ARTIST Q & A - Si­mon Ed­wards replies

You may have a pho­to­graph into which you would like to su­per­im­pose an ob­ject. This could have many ap­pli­ca­tions such as demon­strat­ing the im­pact of a new struc­ture in a real en­vi­ron­ment, or dis­play­ing prod­uct pack­ag­ing in a stu­dio set­ting.

Any new item would ob­vi­ously cast shad­ows and re­flec­tions onto its sur­round­ing en­vi­ron­ment and in this case, would be seen cast onto ob­jects and floors in­side the back­ground pho­tog­ra­phy.

Once you have your back­ground pho­to­graph the first step would be to match the vir­tual en­vi­ron­ment to that in the pho­to­graph. That means match­ing the cam­era view and set­ting up en­vi­ron­men­tal and di­rect light sources. To help with the cam­era setup, de­tails con­cern­ing the pho­to­graph can be found by right-click­ing it in Win­dows Ex­plorer and se­lect­ing De­tails. You will find the fo­cal length, lens size and ex­po­sure de­tails there. The photo may also con­tain GPS po­si­tion­ing de­tails which can be ac­cessed in Pho­to­shop un­der File>file info. All of this in­for­ma­tion can be recorded to help with the cre­ation of your own vir­tual cam­era later in­side 3ds Max.

Not only must the re­sult­ing re­flec­tions and shad­ows ap­pear con­vinc­ing, but so must also the en­vi­ron­ment ap­plied onto the scene ob­ject it­self. I used a V-ray Dome light. This has a VRAYHDRI ma­te­rial added into the Tex­ture slot. The orig­i­nal back­ground photo is dropped in as a source bitmap and out­put as a spher­i­cal map with an in­creased ‘Over­all mul­ti­ply’ pro­cess­ing out­put.

To match the di­rect light sources I added two V-ray Disc lights po­si­tioned above the scene ob­ject with a yel­low­ish tinge to rep­re­sent the two brass ceil­ing lights. For the sun­light com­ing in through the win­dows, I used one long V-ray Plane light. All lights are set to in­vis­i­ble and are not vis­i­ble to re­flec­tions.

So now we are ready to set up the cam­era and then fi­nally cre­ate the re­sult­ing re­flec­tions and shadow cast­ing tex­ture. This is done with a tex­ture ap­pli­ca­tion known as Matte Shad­ows.

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