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Making Of 'Karmelion'

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Date Added: 27th October 2010
Software used:

Lighting & Rendering

The thought behind the lighting was to display the details of the automobile as vividly as possible. However, I did not want to stick to a studio lighting setup. The intention was to have the car in an indoor environment but with lighting that suggested penetration of sunlight and natural light.

My initial lighting decision was to have part of the environment being in sunlight and part of it in shade. But I later felt that a lot of details were being blown out by the sun or most of the rear end was being obscured. So I decided to maintain an indoor look to it, whilst still being lit from the outside with daylight.

I used V-Ray 1.5 for the overall process of lighting, along with V-Ray Materials. I have used a total of six lights along with Global Illumination to light the scene. No HDRI was used. The breakdown of the lights along with their description is as follows:

Light 01 - Direct Light with V-Ray Shadows. Set to simulate sunlight with sharp shadows (Fig.12).
Light 02 - V-Ray Plane light with blue color to simulate light entering from outside through the blue glass.
Light 03 - Dome light to fill up the area around the car and to produce curved reflections (Fig.13).
Light 04 - This was added because I felt the wall in front was not receiving enough light and was causing sharp differences of light and dark. So, I added a V-Ray plane light and set it to face the wall and roughly matched its dimensions as well (Fig.14).

Fig. 12

Fig. 13

Fig. 14

Light 05 and 06 were individual lights for the tires and decals, rims etc.

I did not use HDRI lighting, since I already had modeled the background and it was reflecting quite sufficiently in the car.

My rendering setup is displayed in Fig.15.

Fig. 15


The original image was rendered out at 2560x1600 pixels. I had to render these out in separate pieces using 3ds Max's region render feature since I could not render a single pass fully on my computer (memory issues, processing times, etc). I had it set up on a couple of computers and it took about 11 hours or so hours for a single pass.

When I finally had all the pieces I wanted, I took them to Adobe Photoshop and joined them, lining it up at pixel level. I hiked the red channels a bit along with the magenta, and applied a .5 pixel blurring to certain regions that were I felt too sharp and needed to be subdued.

And here's the final piece (Fig.16).


General Responses

Well, the response to this piece was quite good in general. Many felt it to be a good break from the straight, angular concept cars that are on display nowadays while some felt the design to be a bit too strong. Personally, I would like to place this in an outdoor scene, maybe an alien one and see how it goes. Let's watch out for that now, shall we.

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