HOW Do I superimpose an object Into a photo, Including reflections?
Carrie Lamb, Canterbury
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.