Senior visual artist Daniele Boldi Cotti explains how to create a photorealistic car render in less than an hour, using KeyShot and 3ds Max...
Hello guys, just few words about me – I'm a 3D generalist, and over the years I've learned a lot about different software products and met some amazing artists. One of the easiest and quickest softwares I have ever used is, without a doubt, KeyShot. I'm now going to explain you how create a nice photorealistic render within an hour. So, let's go!
I create this scene during my lunch time and there's no time to model anything, so I just import a nice car model into KeyShot. To do this, I just click Import and use the default setting as in the image here.
KeyShot supports a lot of 3D formats, though I prefer to export model files in an FBX or OBJ format, or use the plug-in in 3ds Max
that exports the model straight to KeyShot as a BIP file.
Importing the model file into KeyShot
Before we set up the camera, we have to decide where to place the car and what kind of lighting we're going to use. If you Google HDRI and backplates you can find some really nice images but mostly are pretty expensive, so for this reason I usually go to: https://hdrmaps.com
where they offer a lot of HDR images with backplates completely free. Once I choose and download my HDRI and backplates I'm ready to import them.
Importing specific HDRI and backplates to work with the model
To do that, I just need to select the files from the library and drag them into our scene. Now I have both my backplate and my HDRI in the scene so I can go forward and continue setting the camera and the lighting.
Dragging the files into the scene
Camera and lighting
I move the cursor of my mouse onto the right hand side of the interface. I click on camera, and select camera1 (unsaved). To set up your camera you have two different ways:
You can play with the parameters: Distance, Azimuth, Inclination and Twist.
You can hold down the left mouse button in the viewport to rotate your camera.
When we are satisfied with the camera position we can lock it and go forward to the next step.
We have previously imported the HDR files into our scene by dragging it in, now we have just to play with the values. I focus on Contrast, Brightness, Size, Height and the last, but probably the most important one, the Rotation. With the rotation, we can rotate the HDR in the scene and decide where our lighting source will cast shadows.
Working with the camera and lighting settings