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Little Help in Vray


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So I just upgraded to FormZ 8 so I could start playing around with Vray.

The videos are a bit lacking though in what I want to do. The example of the Barcelona chair is the kind of renderings style I use for retail displays I design... plain white floor and background with soft shadows underneath.  I've attached a sample from Renderzone.  This has been my go to setup for years and want to re-create it in Vray.

Whats the best way to get this look ?

Should I use an infinite ground plane ?

How do I set the background to pure white ? My attempts to change the background to white don't seem to work

Should I set it up as a recreation of a real work photo studio (There seems to be a lot of these demoed using 3DStudio & Vray)

Any input would be greatly appreciated!

Adidas Parley 2a.jpg

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Welcome to the Vray club.  You wont be disappointed.

To your first and easy questions: You can use an infinite ground plane but I have found them to introduce issues in the past

Turn the background to white by going to Vray Settings Palette-Settings-Environment-Background-set to color

Now for some basics to get that look:

Use a V-ray sun light and set it up to the angle you want.  To get soft shadows you now have to double click the light, go to parameters, click over ride environment sky settings, turn the size multiplier up to 5. 

Now under the Vray Settings Palette you need to set your Camera, Render Output and such.  One very useful tool in Vray is the ability to choose Render Elements.  These are the channels that you import into PS to control your image.  This allows for control everything from color, gloss and diffuse light.  The most important ones I choose are Reflection, Raw Reflection, Depth of Field, and Material ID.   For final renders I just turn all of them on. 


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Thanks again for the input.  I have played around with it since I made that post and ended up just setting up a virtual studio and was pretty happy with the results so far.  Here's a few examples... you seem to know a thing or 2 about things so any feedback is welcome.



Grow Cupboard.jpg

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The problem with having the background though is when I lay them up in a presentation sheet I have to do some cropping whereas when I have a pure white background with Renderzone I could just use the render on a Multiply layer in Photoshop.

I'm happy with the early results though, I flipped that Blundstone render to the client I originally did it for and he was pretty impressed!

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Your studio scene looks pretty good.  I just see some slightly blown out white areas, which is pretty common with a studio scene like that.  If I were you, I would buy a high resolution studio scene pack to use as a Vray Dome light and see if it's not easier than trying to create a virtual studio.  Dome lights can be tricky to get right in VRay since the Sun will no longer work correctly without adding portal lights.  But for your type of product scenes, I think a Dome light makes more sense.

If you render to an Alpha channel background, you can then make it pure white in Photoshop.  Just a thought if you are having trouble with the Pure white background.  I use a black background a lot with good success, but it's much easier than white because it doesn't affect the lighting like a white background can.  You could use a pure white background image you create in Photoshop too.

You can also create a ground plane with a 'shadow catcher' material by using the Material Options Overrides.  It's important to note that the Diffuse Color of this 'shadow catcher' map will greatly affect the lighting in the scene.  I've used this with good success as a basic plane under the scenes objects, extending just beyond where shadows will fall, without resorting to the Infinite ground plane, which gives less than desirable results for my scenes.  Here's some basic settings for creating the 'shadow catcher' material for the ground plane.


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Back on the forum again and I have a couple of suggestions. 

Getting the lighting and textures perfect in any 3d software is very time consuming and I have found that the most cost effective method is to just get it close enough, then take all your output layers and set them up in PS.  First make sure that you have unique material ID's for all your materials and then turn on the Material ID switch in Render Elements.  Then turn on the switches I mentioned above.  On the lower menu bar on your render output turn on the tiny little icon on the far left for color and exposure corrections.  This allows you to adjust the lighting and burned out areas after the render is done.  Very helpful.  Now In your render output make sure to go to the top menu and select Separate all channels to Separate files.  This helps me keep things organized.  You will find a new channel called Render Effects which has your corrected lighting channel along with an Alpha background which you can fill with White if you like.  How you layer things and their blending modes in PS is a discussion best left out here.  There are countless videos on how to do that.

From a philosophy standpoint it is important to keep in mind that V-ray's great strength aside from speed is the ability to manipulate the image in post production in ways that Renderzone never allowed.  Once you get a handle on that you will find it extremely useful and faster than fussing with constant test renders and lighting adjustments.

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