Still can't figure out how to render properly

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  • Hello all,

    I'm having my next project, and spent a lot of time texturing and stuff. When i check how it goes at rendering, it looks off, not real-like at all, i don't know what to do better.

    All textures have bumps/reflections and so on when relevant. They all are at least 4K. I even draw brick by brick in some area of the building.

    I'm pretty sure it's mainly due to lighting and visual settings, and i'm no expert at all - ok i suck - in that part.

    Here are some closeup of the whole rendered image.

    What do i do wrong ? it's a bit dreadful when you spend hours trying to do something neat.

  • I think there are three main points that can be improved:

    1) HDRIs & Lighting: The Enscape HDRIs are stretched and therefore often do not look up to scratch when You compare them to other HDRIs, either free or paid. There are sites like that offer a wide variety of free HDRIs that will definitely improve your overall rendering.

    2) Surroundings & Entourage: Your model looks rather bare and not very lively. Modeling at least some surroundings will help improve the feel of the renders. If you're lazy like me (like seen here) just throw some hedges in the background to mask the horizont and use Skatter to distribute some trees in the background. Plus consider some set dressing. Try some enviromental storytelling. Imagine the person this building belongs to: What are the they like, what do they like to do? Let your imagination and your knowledge about that person influence your choice of props for this setting. Whenever I prepare presentations for our clients I listen carefully to whatever details they give me about their surroundings and themselves. Do they have kids? Do they have a pet? Do they have a very specific hobby that I'd like to incorporate into the pictures (cycling, swimming, art etc)? Hell, even if I just see them wear brown shoes I might put some of those near the wardrobe.

    3) Grass: Your grass looks rather unrealistic colorwise. Herbo made a great post about grass here and also posted the texture he is using for his grass. This is a great starting point to go from, you might want to check that out.

    Hope this helps. :)

  • [...]

    First of all, thanks for checking it up, I really appreciate that ;)

    HDRi, OK then, imma try some to see if it changes anything :)

    Regarding the grass, i know it looks way off. the design is a WIP, i just added some "ground" in order to sit the house on something rather than flying in the air ;)

    What can you say about the house itself ? :)

  • The modelling looks to be quite good, so thats not the "problem". but rendering is so much more than just modelling.

    I think the issue is, that you expect to see photorealism from a scene that has not:

    A: ... been completed. the thing about rendering is, that if just one thing looks off, the whole illusion falls apart. and in your images a bunch of stuff looks off. mostly the lack of any surroundings and imperfections. try to add some trees, remove the backdrop (replace it with the "Clear" preset), and introduce some "noise" to the building. the thing about the real world is, that it is not perfect, and right now the building looks too clean. try to use much larger textures... not in resolution, but real world scale. the plaster on the wall has a clear repetitiveness, and finding a texture that covers a larger area would help alot.... the same goes for the other textures. and make sure that all your textures work together as well. do they have the same overall colour tone and albedo?.. and that leads to:

    B: ... been colour corrected: the colors and lighting is probably the most important factor in creating moody and believable renderings. as mentioned before, you have to make sure that all the textures are colour corrected, and has a believable albedo. right now that seems to not be the case. you have some very strong colours in the scene, and they are all over the spectrum. great renders have a very limited and well balanced number of colours. i think you could come a long way by simply desaturating your scene a lot.

    the lighting itself is important too. right now it seems like you are using a random sun position and a random exposure. try experimenting with this, and see how big an impact it has on the whole image! a sunset will draw the colours of the scene in completely different ways than a midday shot. you should always be aware of this, and how it plays in with your vision for the scene. and speaking about vision:

    C: ... been shot with purpose: camera angles and compositions are hugely important in making an image pleasing to look at. there are a bunch of theories and rules you could look into, and learning from painters and photographers can be very effective. but just giving some minimal thought to how you present your building will really bring the realism up alot! what is the main focus of the image, and how can you show that best?

    our brains are so used to seeing images shot with real world cameras, and trying to mimic how you would shoot a real high quality photo is a great way to achieve even more realism. I tend to often use a narrow field of view, as I think it calms the image down, and makes it look like it was shot with a dslr with a high end zoom lens. perspective lines are less pronounced and the "fish eye" effect is greatly reduced. So, if possible, try to step back a couple of meters (or more!), and zoom in.

    adding DOF effects for renders where it makes sense (close ups, isolating certain objects), also really helps the realism along.

    I hope this helps a bit :)

  • Woow, quite a help. Thanks a bunch Herbo I think the main problem is i have no "eyes" when it comes to render stuff. I can build anything but i'm sh*t rendring it. I didnt think any minute that i had to get a photo training of any sort, i thought it was more like "draw as much details as you can, then apply real quality textures, shoot up the render engine and voila". i noticed i spend way more time trying to render something than drawing the whole da*n building.

    It's kinda depressing when you spend a lot of time drawing (yes, i say "drawing" in sketchup) and when you render, you see it sh*tty like that.

    I really need to focus on texturing stuff better, setting up the scene, rendering.

    The repetitiveness and imperfections you can see on the red bricks and wall plaster are ok to me because the rendrs aren't meant to be that close to the building, i plan to stay at 5 meters min away from the building. Or maybe I'm wrong, again.

    I'm not a great fan of camera shots as if you were a bird. I prefer as if it were pictures taken from the ground, by a 1.80m tall guy.

    While i won't post in the showcase forum (i'm ashamed), here are some more pics, this is my country house I spend the weekends and holidays at.

  • I really like the level of detail you applied, especially on the roof rafters and beams, they really add a nice touch. I also think there's absolutely nothing to be ashamed of, you're on your journey to becoming better with rendering and modeling - the first step is to get feedback and to incorporate that feedback into your work!

    The next step from here in my opinion would be to build context. Your building would benefit greatly from some added surroundings - some trees, a nice backdrop and also some "noise", as Herbo already mentioned.

  • I'm really impressed with your new images!! they look magnitudes better than the first ones. great job! The new color tone of the renders are MUCH nicer, and much more pleasing to look at. And the fact that you have removed the background all together is a good move. it is not realistic per say, but at least there is not a background element that looks straight up bad now :)

    the camera work seems much more dedicated, and you really show off your model well now. in the first images you had no idea what the house looked like, but now you suddenly see how it all fits together. from here you could easily add some detail shots of certain elements, because the overall scene has been established.

    and again, your modelling is great! fantastic level of detail, and it is consistent throughout.

    so, congrats on the progress! rendering isnt that hard, it just takes some thought and dedication :) And a great model deserves to be showcased with some love :)

    • Official Post

    That's encouraging reading you Herbo , no doubt :)

    Fantastic to see how you've Incorporated the great tips from Herbo, one can really see the improvements in the new renderings!

    Herbo , thanks so much for the tips, something I'll gladly refer to when users struggle with creating realistic renderings themselves. Goes without saying but, your renderings truly show that you know what you're talking about of course.