Author Topic: Struggling with hitting photorealism on this simple shot. Any tips?  (Read 1655 times)

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Offline RTK

As a personal practice, I'm trying to recreate this photo of some debossed paper stock. I've attached the reference, my render, and my scene file. Now, I think the render itself is *pretty good*, but I'm really trying to hit photorealism on this and to match the reference as much as possible.

Some notes:

* I'm using a Overhead Panel 4K HDRI with a low brightness, and a basic area light which is contributing most of the light.
* My render settings are up pretty high, with a shadow quality of 5, 24 ray bounces, etc.

Here are the things I'm really struggling with that jump out to me:

* The lighting just feels so "hot" and overexposed in my render, rather than feeling well distributed and more natural. I've tried manipulating my area light constantly: position, size, lumens. I just can't seem to get a nice uniform light quality that also creates shadows in the right way.

* No matter what I can't get a good bump mapping on the paper. Look at the reference photo: the edges of the paper have smooth and bumped distortion, and the texture on the paper feels smooth yet very pronounced. In contrast, my bump just feels like noise, and it certainly doesn't impact the edges of the paper (which are cubic forms) at all.

* I'm actually using a paper sample texture that I downloaded from a famous paper source (GF Smith), and even though the size of the material matches the paper geometry, you can't even tell the material is there at all. There is no paper like detailing in the render.

* It's so, so sharp. I've turned on rounded edges for all objects. I also have depth of field enabled. But look at the sides of the paper in my scene.. they're razor sharp, it feels incredibly unnatural. I'm really at a loss as to how to create a softened, smoother, and more "paper" like quality to them.

* This is a minor one, but my binder texture is of course transparent which I need to fix on my own.

I'm really trying to nail the little details here, but the lighting, the paper texture/quality, and the paper dimensionality really feel like the biggest problems and all of my tinkering isn't really getting me anywhere.

Any insight/tips for me here?


Offline Eugen Fetsch

Re: Struggling with hitting photorealism on this simple shot. Any tips?
« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2020, 02:04:34 am »
- Put an inner layer into the binder to block the light.
- Use physical lights instead of HDRi
- Use smaller lights for harder shadows.
- Use Photography mode in the image settings, with higher exposure and contrast levels.
- Wait for KS10 to get real fibers in the Real Cloth Material :)
- Use higher bump values and mix multiple textures.
- Improve your binder model

I played for 15 minutes with your file and could get this result. Still not the best version, but it might help to get in the right direction.

« Last Edit: November 13, 2020, 02:07:32 am by Eugen Fetsch »

Offline INNEO_MWo

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Re: Struggling with hitting photorealism on this simple shot. Any tips?
« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2020, 06:08:33 am »
Nice solution Eugen!

Offline RTK

Re: Struggling with hitting photorealism on this simple shot. Any tips?
« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2020, 06:10:36 pm »
- Put an inner layer into the binder to block the light.
- Use physical lights instead of HDRi
- Use smaller lights for harder shadows.
- Use Photography mode in the image settings, with higher exposure and contrast levels.
- Wait for KS10 to get real fibers in the Real Cloth Material :)
- Use higher bump values and mix multiple textures.
- Improve your binder model

I played for 15 minutes with your file and could get this result. Still not the best version, but it might help to get in the right direction.

Thank you so much, this really helped in so many ways.

Offline Eugen Fetsch

Re: Struggling with hitting photorealism on this simple shot. Any tips?
« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2020, 12:32:37 am »
Nice solution Eugen!

Thanks Marco  ;)

Thank you so much, this really helped in so many ways.

Great. Glad it was helpful.