Mica Cruz is no stranger to the blog with the remarkable Making of Matelasse Film published back in 2013. The scene and visuals he’ll cover in this article were created for a BECG Course called BePro Black Chair – CGI Photography some time ago, specifically aimed towards those who want to learn how to correctly set the V-Ray physical camera like a real DSLR camera and understand the V-Ray lights to simulate any kind of light situation. It is a simple, but a very detailed scene that great lighting. And you know what else? It is going to be open for you for free!
Stay tuned for more information about when and how to get access to this scene and course for free! Till then… check out what it is all about.
I like to thank Ronen for the opportunity to show my work on his blog. Thank you very much, Ronen!
About the project
This project was created for a BECG Course called BePro Black Chair – CGI Photography. A complete course made for those who want to learn how to correctly set the V-Ray physical camera like a real DSLR camera and understand the V-Ray lights to simulate any lighting situation.
Expect the unexpected
The briefing is (almost) always the starting point, but sometimes things go south from that pretty quickly. I remember many cases where the initial demand was stated as a “small project” and then ended up being printed in large formats, such as catalogs and posters for the company.
This represents a huge problem if you take only into consideration the initial proposition. If you can, always create your models with medium to high poly density, because you never know if somewhere down the road, you will need a close-up of a particular spot on your scene.
It takes longer to do that, but in my experience being prepared for the unexpected is a must this day. The best part about it is that you are always ready to deliver high quality results, no matter the changes they ask you to do.
You need to have a set of skills beyond the 3D world, and photography is essential.
We are not creating only a “visual piece,” it’s a complete message to be created using polygons. To have the ability to imagine and create any environment and then add your client product or service to it, is something that the traditional photography cannot reach with flexibility and timesaving skills of a CGI Photo.
With traditional photography, even using the best equipment, the results will always be limited. The set eventually will be dismantled, the actors and crew will be off, and everything will be left to the post-production. There’s no possibility to change the point of view, to add or subtract a light source, to focus or refocus the elements on the scene.
But to take advantage of the digital tools, we must face this type of job as if we were the actual photographer. The importance of framing the scene with good composition, of getting the correct image with the exposure triangle carefully set on manual mode, the focus where it needs to be, etc., gives us a huge advantage to set our Vray camera on the scene.
Light and presence
One thing must be very clear from now on: the most important element on your render, it’s not your client’s product, the set, or the camera position; it’s light.
Light is the king of any great image. Without this awareness, you’ll end up rendering a “plain” image, with no depth or photographic characteristic to your scene.
Mastering light is far more important than mastering a particular render or program; it’s an essential skill that will be used throughout your career.
On this scene, there’s only one light source, a window on the left. Our subject is the black chair, but it cannot define the whole scene. Light is all that matters.
3D models for high-resolution images
Aware of all this it’s time to create. The attention to details will always be important and by creating models with that in mind, will always make your job in the long run easier. For a high-resolution render, that’s the only way to go. Sure you can set your camera to a wider aperture value to get that background out of focus, eliminating the need for a higher level of detail on the area, but that is not the best route to follow. On interior scenes like this, everything must be in focus. All the elements are important, they create together the overall “look” and if blurred or distorted would lose its CGI photography quality.
These close-up shots are ready to be made, at any time, because everything was created with max quality in mind. Even the finest textures will be visible once that camera gets closer, or set to a higher f-stop value.
Use all the available time to create the best scene you can make, shortcuts can make your journey faster, but you may never know how is the road ahead.
Thank you for the attention!
With more than twelve years experience in the digital industry, Mica Cruz is a freelancer CG/Concept Artist. He is also a CG instructor at BECG Workshop.
About Mica Cruz
Mica is specialized in computer-generated imagery (CGI) for film, animation, interactive websites and advertising images.
About BECG Workshop
A Brazilian Online school created in 2014 by Mica Cruz, to teach students how to become CG artists, and for those already on the market, to learn new techniques to boost careers around the globe.
All the courses are focused on work routines with practical content. The school also provides a certification program to its students.
Currently, the available lessons are presented in English and also Brazillian Portuguese.