16 CREATE GRASS WITH FOREST PACK
itoosoft training manager Paul roberts walks us through creating believable grass and ground cover
01Add noise to surfaces There’s no clearer sign that grass is CG than a perfectly flat lawn, so always add a noise modifier to your terrain to make sure there’s some gentle undulation. Add a high quality map to the ground too and don’t be afraid to let it show through the grass in places. A perfectly even density of grass is seldom seen in reality.
02Create clumps of grass In order to cover large areas with grass, it’s inefficient to scatter hundreds of thousands of individual blades. Instead create 25-30cm radius circular patches using Forest Pack. You can get away with one patch, but several with different grass lengths and densities creates more realistic results.
03Scatter the patches Nest the patches in another Forest Pack object and scatter them. Use the full distribution map to create even coverage, then hide visible repetition by randomising the rotation, scale and translation. If you used patches with different densities, you can edit the probability value to control the look of the lawn.
04randomise the grass maps Create two or more maps, one green and healthy, another brown and parched. Add them to a Forest Colour map. Randomise the bitmaps for each individual blade by enabling Get ID by Element. To add colour variation, wire a photo to the Colour Tint map slot and change the mode to As Texture on Surface.
05Add more plants as separate layers Now that you have a a good base layer, add more Forest objects to scatter weeds, flowers, leaves and other elements. By adding these as a separate layer you have complete control of their distribution maps and density. Controllable chaos is an oxymoron, but it’s the key to believable ground cover!
17 SCATTER ON OBJECTS TO CREATE HEDGES
Use Surfaces and UV mode to scatter on vertical walls or nearly any geometry. For example, you can create realistic hedges and topiary in any shape by distributing individual branch models onto a mesh. Paul roberts
18 FOREST PACK ISN’T JUST FOR TREES
Despite its name, Forest Pack can be used for much more than trees and plants. Scatter on floor plates to quickly populate the insides of tall buildings with people and furniture, use spline modes for parked cars or traffic and use animated particles to open up the plugin to a huge range of alternative uses. Paul roberts
19 OPTIMISE SCENES FOR RENDERING
Don’t forget to optimise your scenes! Use Limit By Visibility to automatically remove objects that aren’t seen in the current render, and thin out their density based on distance from the camera. For further refinement, use Forestlod to swap in faster rendering geometry and materials further from the camera. Paul roberts
20 MOTION BLUR FOR MOVING CAMERAS
Always, always, always use motion blur for shots with moving cameras or animated objects. Ideally, this is rendered ‘in camera’, but applying in post is also an option. If rendering in camera and you are using a physically-based setup, make sure your shutter speed is set appropriately. Matt richardson
21 BE PLAYFUL WITH YOUR CAMERA SETTINGS
Don’t forget to add a sense of motion or shallow depth to your work by using motion blur, depth of field or even a beautiful bokeh effect in the background of your image. Fredy Castellanos
22 PERFECTING FOCAL LENGTH
Different focal lengths can work well in different situations for architecture and interior design. Wide values such as 15-35 are great for expansive commercial architecture as they accentuate structural lines, which can be used to an image’s compositional advantage. Narrower focal lengths such as 50-135 are great for interior details when you may need to isolate furniture pieces, or to show how a set of finishes of fabrics work together. Adam Woodward
23 CAMERA SETTINGS FOR PHOTOREALISM
Use physically-based cameras lenses such as a 24mm, a 28mm, a 35mm or a 50mm lens as well as a Dslr-type aspect ratio such as 3:2, 4:3, 16:9 or their inverse to get your image over the initial hump of ‘is it real?’. Corey Beaulieu
24 LIGHT SETTINGS FOR PHOTOREALISM
Expose your camera to the environment light alone before adding artificial lights (at least in most instances). Remember that artificial lights will not be as strong as your environment and should not overpower the image brightness. Photoshop can brighten a balanced image all at once while an imbalanced image will require many masks that add to the over-processed look of renderings. Corey Beaulieu
25 DON’T BE AFRAID TO MAKE MANUAL ADJUSTMENTS
Sometimes, in the final render a tree might not quite be in the right place, or be too big, or the wrong species. Use Item Editor mode to refine your composition by adding, deleting and editing individual objects without losing instancing. Paul roberts
26 HAVE MORE CONTROL DURING POST-PROCESS WITH VRAYBUMPNORMALS
The main benefit of using Vraybumpnormals over the typical Vraynormals render element is the inclusion of Bump map from your shaders. It’s worth it to include this pass to adjust, relight, or enhance directionality of any objects in post-production. For example, those working in 3D may integrate better with a slight lighting enhancement based on your scene. Jerry Chen
27 SET THE BACKGROUND TO BLACK
When rendering with an alpha channel, always set the background to black, otherwise you will get undesired fringing when compositing. An example of this is rendering a sky in the environment slot. Unless you ignore the alpha channel completely, if you try to replace the background in post, you will notice fringing around the edges of objects.
Trouble in paradiso by Kilograph
Mayfair hotel by SHH
Dei Fiori Camping Village by State of Art Studio
Cabin lodges by State of Art Studio
Athlone House by SHH