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Making of 'Modified Megane'

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Date Added: 22nd June 2009
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Once finished the entire process of modeling and seeing that I had achieved my main goal, which was modeling a car, I decided to go ahead to make the render. Since the scene hasn't a lot of materials, all the contrary, we'll take a look at the materials from the body and glasses. Almost all materials from the scene of the Megane Modified are Vray Materials, VrayMtl.

For the body I had many doubts, at first it was "tattooed" on the sides and at the front with tribal paintings, an idea I dismissed because being too "tunning" for my taste. The car went through many colors to give the final red: orange, black, gray, blue ... After testing and testing, I found what I was looking for, that red in the final image.

287_tid_image_07a.jpg 287_tid_image_07b.jpg 287_tid_image_07c.jpg 287_tid_image_07d.jpg

It was very important that the car did not look plane all along its surface, so that, after I saw the evidence that a diffuse color was not what I needed, I introduced a gradient ramp in the diffuse channel, a ramp that in the beginning was almost black throughout central cross, and the final one orange red. Thus, depending on the viewing angle of the car, the color varied somewhat, especially in the left corner just in front of the camera, because the angle and reflections, it is tinted orange, which gave it a good color variation , just like I wanted.

From there, I activated the Fresnel reflection type (basic for my taste), I used a value of 20 subdivisions for reflection, I introduced a VrayHDRI on channel environment of VrayMaterial and gave some adjustments at the same hdri, basically Multiplier and Gamma. Also, in Reflect Interpolation I used values of -3, 0, instead of -1, which is default.

Fig. 11

The other interesting material from the scene may be the glass of windows and windshields. This, as the car paint material, is another Vray material. In Diffuse slot a Fallof type Perpendicular / Parallel, from white to gray (94). The channel reflection, has another fallof also Perpendicular / Parallel type, but this one from black to dark gray (60). Finally, the refractive channel has another Fallof also Perpendicular / Parallel, from a very clear gray (218) to white. The Reflect Interpolation, as in the body, is amended to -3, 0. The subdivs both reflection and refraction are uploaded to 50. Lastly, to ensure that the glass is as I had in mind, I had to decrease the default value of the IOR as i wanted a glass with very little refraction so i used value of 1.05.

The remaining materials are already more simple being a diffuse color with some Bumps, material mixed with a variety of masks made in Photoshop, blended colors in the diffuse cannel using noise ...


The lighting was the part of the whole process that gave me more headaches. From the moment I decided to do not only the modeling, but bringing forward a full rendering of the scene, I had an idea of what I wanted to do, so trying to bring up the scene ilumination cost lot of time testing.

The main stumbling block was that I did not want to have a key light as a sun or main light source, wanted a homogeneous light distribution throughout the scene, without causing harsh shadows or anything like that. Given this, I had to go dismissing all the test trying a studio light simulation, with a key light and some other lights as filler. Finally I decided to make it in a easier way , so I created a large box quite high with respect to the car and rotated about 45 degrees so that would not be completely parallel to the car and I applied a self ilumination material with very little value. Between the body and the box, I created a plane vraylight aimed directly at the box, instead of the car, with a multiplier of 15, invisible and affecting the diffuse and specular. That finally got the effect I was looking for, the whole scene was illuminated uniformly without creating harsh shadows or contrast and dark areas.

Fig. 12


Let us move on to the final part of the process of creating the whole scene: the rendering. As I said earlier, for the process of rendering I chose Vray engine as I already have a good knowledge of it, it is an very fast engine and achieved excellent results. For GI, I selected the combination of Irradiance Map to the Primary Bounces and Light Cache for Secondary Bounces, the combination more used to obtain accurate results with Global Illumination. To view the render configuration it is better to show some catches with the Vray modified data. With this configuration, the rendering took 3 hours and 40 minutes to complete a size of 3000 pixels.

Fig. 13

Post Production

The postproduction for the final rendering was done entirely in Photoshop, basically consisted of a small color correction, a little Glow, and add the DOF with the map I had drawn from the Scanline render of max. In the next picture, you can see the difference between 3dsMax image and and Photoshop image.

Fig. 14


Well, so here comes this tutorial in which I have tried to show the most important aspects to be taken into account in the creation of the "Modified Megane" scene from start to finish. As we have seen, the work, rather than technical and software knowledge, requires more patience and know what we want to achieve and move step to step reaching the goal. As I said at the beginning, all born as a challenge to overcome the handicap in modeling cars, and at the end, I was happy with the modeling and the resulting scene, therefore, the effort was worth, what is really important.

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