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A few days ago, I talked about a new project that I’m currently working with the abstract painter Cali Rezo: the showcasing of her paintings using CG renders. Our goal with this new collaboration is to create photorealistic images thanks to 3d software (Blender) that exhibit Cali’s work in virtual but lifelike locations. The previous render was set in a living room with a soothing afternoon light…
This time, we went for quite a majestic but still minimalist entrance, in the same tones as the first image; we wanted to explore a more open space and play around with lighting. We were still aiming for a mid-to-late afternoon light but we had to manage a much wider area.
The render features two diptychs by Cali (80 cm x 160 cm): “T-037-19” and “T-038-19”.
About this realization…
Compared to the first image, where we had a window on the left that directly “constrained” the light, this second production was a bit more tricky lighting-wise. I used an HDRI map to get a global illumination all over the scene but since we wanted to have some sun directly on the paintings to focus the viewer’s eye on them, I also added a directional light. Then began the whole process of adjusting your lamp and shadows to make for a nice final effect…
In particular, since the shadows of a directional light don’t depend on its position but only on its rotation, we had to tweak quite a lot the geometry in the scene to make it visually appealing. For example, by adding a crude and exaggerated window frame just behind the camera, we got these very delicate but really convincing shadows in the foreground, on the stairs and the right side of the image.
Here is a small timelapse of some intermediary steps for this image (you’ll see props come and go as we were trying things out… 😉 ):
Once again, subtle details like the direction of the wooden floor, the depth of field effect or the little bumps in the baseboards are the necessary final touch for a more realistic render.
This project is an incredible way to improve my knowledge in CG rendering and in 3d modelling: since we model the space entirely and then re-mix various references together to get a unique ambiance that we really like, I’m really brushing up my skills – and I get to work on really sweet paintings, so that’s just a win-win!