How to add realism to CG renders

Start to add those little distortions, dust and scratches to your CG lens. In your software’s attributes manager, you can then set the camera’s base settings, such as field of view and focal length. There are plug-ins for After Effects and Photoshop that enable you to add the effect, but you can easily do it here by simply increasing the value. The effect is best thought of as being caused by the glass elements being particularly curved and warping the image. This is based on an f/stop or aperture of f/1, which is extreme for a physical camera lens. Load a scene
Begin with a simple sceneTo demonstrate this I’m using a simple scene. This article originally appeared in 3D World issue 182. Notice the Projection menu. The target looks for the object’s axis and you may not want this, or may not want to change the axis. Don’t worry if your preview render goes all blurry, we’ll fix that next; for now, just get the view set up to frame your objects and get things prepped. I’ve used an HDR skydome to light three cubes on an infinite floor, and have also turned on real-time preview rendering, to make it easier to see changes I make on the fly. Lens distortion  
Adding extra lens attributesThere are other lens attributes you can replicate, such as diffusion, dust or finger prints on the glass, and distortion: Cinema 4D has two kinds: quadratic and cubic. Those reasons are the logistical, technology-based aspects, though. This creates a subtle effect that helps to lift the end render. That would be some good old dirt. 02. A good-quality lens with the capability to focus that narrowly could cost many thousands of pounds – but in 3D, we can push even further and stop down to decimal places. CG camera emulating a real-world lens adds realism to work.There was a time, not all that long ago, when it was easy to distinguish between work created in-camera and work that was computer-generated. There were a number of reasons for this, including the fact that technology hadn’t quite reached a point that enabled artists to present their visions as they would like, or that possibilities existed but were too time consuming. But to get the best results, render out a depth or z-depth pass, which will help you map blurs in your compositor of choice. It features in almost all good CG, including much of the stylised, non-photorealistic work we see, both on screen and in print. Take this a step further, and you can start to produce remarkably realistic and believable art. 05. There are many things we can do to make our render lens feel more like its physical counterpart. You can use different methods such as isometric if needed. Set up a basic camera
Adding a camera to the sceneAdd a camera to the scene. Some renderers and their associated effects (in particular lighting) rely on a real-world scale to produce predictable and consistent results. For this example, I will use Maxon’s Cinema 4D and its physical renderer, as well as showing a third-party renderer’s solution: in this case, Maxwell from Next Limit. Words:   Rob Redman
Rob Redman is former technical editor of 3D World, and is a digital artist and designer with over a decade’s experience in the CG industry. Targeting  
Target the model you want to be in focusMost 3D software allows you to target a camera to an object, which can be helpful – but don’t target the model you want to be in focus. What really sells a lot of the 3D work we see now is natural chaos: wear and tear, dust and dirt and all the other minute details that stop everything from looking too crisp and perfect. There is another, more fundamental factor that has now been overcome. 01. Doing this can make the viewport slower as it refreshes, but will save time making test renders. Expert tip: Depth pass
It’s possible to add a lot of lens effects after your render is done. 03.

Updated: 05.11.2014 — 18:40