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Photographic Rendering with V-Ray for SketchUp

Brian Bradley

Turn your 3D modeling into photographic realism with this superb guide for SketchUp users. Through concrete examples, screenshots, and images, you’ll learn the practical side to photographic rendering using V-Ray.
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Book Details

ISBN 139781849693226
Paperback328 pages

About This Book

  • Clear, step-by-step instructions that teach you how to use the most important tools needed to create photographic renders in V-Ray
  • Implement the steps effectively with the help of the SketchUp scene files provided
  • Become a better artist by becoming familiar with important lighting and material backgrounds backed up by theory

Who This Book Is For

If you are a SketchUp user who would love to turn your favourite modelling application into a ‘virtual photography studio’, then this book has been designed and written for you. Existing V-Ray users will also find plenty to enjoy and benefit from in this book.

Some basic experience with SketchUp and familiarity with photography will be helpful, but is not mandatory.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Diving Straight into Photographic Rendering
What this chapter is all about
Good composition is the foundation of photographic rendering
Materials that make us believe!
Render settings for final output
Chapter 2: Lighting an Interior Daytime Scene
Looking at our SketchUp scene
Defining our goals
The lighting workflow
Sunlight is our key light
Skylight is our fill light
Chapter 3: Lighting an Interior Nighttime Scene Using IES Lights
Taking a look at our SketchUp file
Defining our goals
The lighting process
Starting with a blank canvas
Adding some much-needed ambience
Layering up our IES lights
Evaluating the render with all lights enabled
Previsualizing image corrections using V-Ray FrameBuffer
Chapter 4: Lighting an Exterior Daylight Scene
Setting up our SketchUp file
Reference and observation
The lighting process
Sunlight is the key
Filling in with skylight
Tweaking exposure
Chapter 5: Understanding the Principles of Light Behavior
The SketchUp files
Defining our goals
How light behaves
Understanding light decay
Using color temperature
The cause of color bleeding
Chapter 6: Creating Believable Materials
Getting started with our materials
Using a SketchUp material to create our diffuse floor coloring
Using the V-Ray Standard material
Creating the wall paintings using bitmaps
Art sculpts – import vismat
Your challenge
Chapter 7: Important Materials Theory
Defining our goals
Light and material interaction – why objects in the real world have color
How absorption, reflectance, and transmittance work
The importance of R, G, and B in the digital realm
Light and material interaction – what is reflectivity?
Light and material interaction – the transmittance effects
The importance of energy-conserving materials
What we have accomplished?
Chapter 8: Composition and Cameras
Defining our goals
Deciding the shot type
Aspect ratios
The requisite maximum resolution
How focal length affects composition
Setting up scene views for final shot rendering
Chapter 9: Quality Control
Defining our goals
Fine-tuning scene lighting
Cleaning up our GI solution
Working with the Image sampler controls
Improving our materials
Outputting the final renders
Determining the order of quality control steps
Chapter 10: Adding Photographic Touches in Post-production
Defining our goals
Setting up After Effects
Importing our footage
Dealing with the lighting hotspots
Boosting the floor reflections
Adding a subtle DOF to shift focus
Adding subtle relighting
Boosting the glass reflections a little
Final color corrections
Adding a subtle vignette effect

What You Will Learn

  • Create and control interior sunlight using a V-Ray Spotlight light object
  • Discover how to set up Skylight in a variety of ways, including making use of V-Ray's Rectangle and Dome light types
  • Work with interior nighttime lighting and real-world light energy values using V-Ray's IES lights
  • Produce believable surface properties using V-Ray's material and map system
  • Compose and render a shot correctly with V-Ray's camera and output controls
  • How to make use of V-Ray’s camera and output controls to compose and render a shot correctly
  • Become a better lighting artist in V-Ray by understanding some extremely important lighting theory

In Detail

Every Sketch Up user wants to present their designs in the best possible light. What better way to bring them to life than to present them in a genuinely photographic manner? Although the V-Ray render engine has been available to SketchUp users for a good number of years now, the release of the 2.0 Version takes the production of photographic renders in SketchUp to a whole new level.

Using the V-Ray for SketchUp rendering engine through with clear, step-by-step instructions and companion graphics, this guide will give you everything you need to get started. This book has been designed to progressively introduce you to all the V-Ray tools you will need to produce photographic renders using V-Ray.

The journey begins with basics of camera composition, lighting, texturing, and then rendering an interior scene using the V-Ray engine. Using the scene files provided, we will learn how to set up lighting rigs for both daytime and nighttime interior shots, as well as seeing how we can make good use of V-Ray’s procedural day-lighting system on exteriors.

As a render will only be as believable as the component parts, we will learn the texturing system in V-Ray and how to use a variety of materials, maps, and layers to produce realistic surface properties for our geometry.

Before producing our final output, we will want to see how we can use the variety of quality control settings in V-Ray, including the Global Illumination and Image Sampling settings to produce a high level of quality for our project.

Add the finishing touches with some compositing and post-production techniques to bring out the full potential of the work you have done.


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