Bertrand Benoit Bertrand Benoit, not only an inspiring artist but as we learned also a great persona...
Bertrand BenoitBertrand Benoit, not only an inspiring artist but as we learned also a great personality, talks about his work steps by step, almost no one dares to breathe not to miss a thing! This review covers only some parts of his presentation, while his presentation was quite indepth. While we were listening to his presentation we realized his attention to detail and indepth knowledge of photography and how it can affect the outcome. Non photorealistic Rendering have different approaches. His guide comes from nature, photographers, and stylists, not other 3d artists
ModellingHis approach is Modelling for photorealism. Starting with the model creation, to have a sense of scale while eyeballing, he uses a chair for the interior scenes and a 1x1m cube for the exteriors. Scene organization is a necessity to a fast workflow, He keeps all the layers from the beginning including
He also keeps a color code from the beginning, before applying textures it gives a clear readability of future materials with quick clay renders. He uses a good mixture of sizes and realistic species, sharp transitions will look CG so he creates them to softly merge into each other. The vegetation used in this projects are Pine trees from R&D group, The Birch trees by Krzysztof Czerwinski
The rest are personal GrowFX creations. As for the grass he modelled himself and the colour variation comes from a large landscape texture that he used as a tint in Forest Pro. See a similar tutorial here
Then he talks about the interior scene in detail, for the maximum accuracy he collects many reference images to study each model as well as in real life to understand how they behave in different lights and how their texture and shaders changes in different angles. in all stages( Modelling, texturing, materials) he creates natural irregularities which exist in real life. He uses mighty tiles & multitexture for the wooden planks on the walls and floor generator to model the floor, which you can find some similar tutorials here, and here. However Mighty tiles and multitexture are not enough, they are seamless but monotonous. You should add wear and tears to go beyond individual planks. Work with different UV sets: tiling plugins+ layer of dirt/scratches and he uses composite map to blend them all. To avoid sharp angles, He uses Quad Chamfer which is a 3Ds Max script that produces all quad chamfers, unlike the normal 3ds Max chamfer which produces a lot of triangles.
He tend to store the very complex models which can be used frequently then merge them into a new scene as proxies, suggesting it is best to store both editable version(Grow fx) or editable poly as well as proxy in the same file with the same material assigned to both
He avoids hard vertical direct sun, Using HDRI and V-Ray sun for the exterior shot and only HDRI map for the interiors, The HDRI map is from Peter Guthrie’s library. He uses high resolution textures and high resolution HDR maps in order to get the sharp realistic reflections which happens in real life and is accurate. These extreme settings are necessary in order to get the accurate results, therefore higher render times are taken into account.
In order to get the textures wrap around edges realistically he always unwrap the textures( xrayunrap), using reflections & glossiness on almost everything because nearly every surface in real life has a degree of reflectivity & it can effect how the object will look in different angles. He also uses custom fresnel curves via falloff maps.
Most of his materials are topology dependent since he uses unwrapped uv’s, dirt maps, etc. To get a photo realistic glass reflection on the windows he models two panes with different bump maps so
that the reflections do not perfectly allign.
He uses BlurScripts written by Neil Blevins. One is corner edge to vetex map: which selects edges of a mesh based on the angle between the adjacent faces & then converts them to a vertex map, for example you can select all the corner edges of a mesh and then convert them to a vertex map for use with a bump map or a mask to blend between textures. You realize it is all about the fine details when he points out to such: for weakly reflective or very glossy materials with a fresnel effect, using too high of a cut off value will result in the reflection abruptly disappearing. when a surface becomes perpendicular to the camera, raising the cut off value will make it reappear and softly fade as dictated by the fresnel effect. For very reflective materials, whose reflections do not vary much depending on the orientation of the surface (no fresnel), a very low cut-off would neither hurt nor add anything.Normal maps allow a more defined, stronger effect than bump maps, especially when the bump map is quite faint and/or tiled many times across the surface. Also, most normal-map creation software and plugins add a number of options that allow you to add extra effects, such as noise, when creating your normal map, or to accentuate certain frequencies in the map, which may be exactly what you are looking for. He explains the importance of fall off map and color corrections for the fabric material simulation and fabric’s behaviour in real life. Seeing his material editor: materials are quite complicated with lots of composite maps and color correction maps, he frequently plays with fall of curves and cut-off values and percentage of the reflections and glossiness as well as the subdivisions which goes up to 64.
For more on materials see:
Rendering and Post Process
Testing V-Ray 3.0, he is quite happy with progressive image sampler as it is quite fast. And he uses brute force and light cache for this particular scene. Bertrand have used a number of render engines but has been always gravitated back towards V-Ray. The Anti-aliasing filter he uses is Area with a blur amount of “2” pixel which normally is assumed to be quite blurry compare to sharper filters which exist but rendering a very high resolution images once you down size the image looks quite crisp preserving all the nice details.
Peter GuthriePeter Guthrie, another inspiring artist which his Hyper Photo Realistic Renderings as well as generous contributions to the community via tutorials and other materials shared (PG HDRI Skies) on his blog is quite well-known. He was amongst the speakers in SOA Academy Day#4 discussing his latest project. A new museum building by Thomas Phifer & Partners for the Glenstone Foundation near Washington D.C., Which also features a landscape design by PWP Landscape Architecture. Peter studied architecture in Edinburgh, Scotland and worked as an architect for several years before making the switch to visualisation. He has a broad and varied client base and enjoys sharing his findings via his blog.
RESEARCH& MEETING THE ARCHITECTS INNYC
MODELLINGand how he uses sketchup. Remind us of his famous quote in 2010: ” Don’t let anyone tell you sketchup is not a ‘serious’ modelling program, It has it’s limits of course, but for Architectural visualisation it is the perfect tool for modelling.” See here
He started working on materials, while making hundreds of test renders and exploring potential views indirectly.
Peter is also an “everything 3d Person”, he uses Itoosoft Forest Pack, and in this project he shares some very interesting memory saving tips along the way: Making use of density fall off so that you aren’t rendering more grass than is necessary. He likes to use the environment range here so that it is linked to each camera you use (on some views you can get away with smaller values).
Itoo SoftwarePaul Roberts unveil the new features of Foret Pack and Railclone.
Forest Pack is a plugin for Autodesk 3ds Max, and 3ds Max Design, designed to give a complete solution for creation of vast surfaces of trees and plants. Forest Pack enables you to scatter millions of proxies, high-poly meshes or billboards, and using custom geometry shaders, create scenes with virtually unlimited number of objects and polygons.
RailClone is a 3DS Max plugin for parametric modeling based on custom geometry parts, definable by the user, and a set of construction rules. This new concept of modeling lets you to build complex and realistic structures for Architectural Visualization, Civil Engineering, Industrial and Interior Design. The software includes a full library of predefined styles, but it is not limited to a fixed set of primitives, you can use any geometry from the scene and define your own parametric models.
Founded in 1999 Forest pack and Railclone have been tremendously successful to the point that all professionals nowadays use it on a daily basis, Both Bertrand and Peter use Forest Pack pro and Railclone. Besides the usefullness of the plugin, it is easy to work with, quite fast, has excellent compatibility with V-Ray, consistent support from the developer with many available online resources and Roberto no longer has to suffer from 3dsmax crashes caused by Multiscatter.
The demo was very promsinig and we were quite excited to see the interesting features that Paul was explaining. We loved the demo of the stadium
and animating the crowd, the Football field tutorial,the point cloud display
Real-time camera clipping
which is a feature Bertrand also used in his scene. Check out both RailClone & Forestpack
Download the lite version and you will realize: with the recent V-Ray speed optimization and its compatibility with Itoo Software “thats the way to the future.” We would like to thank Paul Roberts & Daniel for their presentation and their whole team at ItooSoftware for bringing us the best parametric modeling tool that 3dsmax has ever seen.
SOA Academy Day#4SOA Academy Day#4 is a yearly Event focused on Architectural Visualization, organized by State of Art Academy. The SOA team are very efficient, friendly, and professional and if you are coming from middle east or other parts of the world who needs visa for Italy, you should know they can provide you with an invitaion letter to ease your visa process. You get to meet Professionals from all around the world, network with them and learn from the best in the industry, Day#4 has been two days of inspiration, networking, meeting awesome people and eventually professional development.
Our special thanks with positive vibies go to Gianpiero Monopoli, Roberto De Rose, Manuela and the other team at State of Art Academy for all their efforts to keep SOA Academy Day#4 such an inspirational, informative, professional and organized event.
If you love what you do then Professional Development is the key to your success, we sincerely suggest you to join the next year SOA Academy Day#5 and you will thank us later.
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