photorealism without post-processing?

Started by hexgraphica, July 19, 2022, 05:28:20 AM

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I was wondering: is there a way on keyshot to achieve more photorealism without going through post processing?

An issue I always find is that, even after some image adjustments (less exposure to preserve highlights, -1.5 contrast to soften lighting, and contrasting curves to add back luminance depth), in order to get a picture that looks like taken with a camera I have to post process it on lightroom anyway. To be fair, the original pictures don't look too bad but just like an unedited photo.

However post processing in lightroom can't be done in batch, firstly because Keyshot doesn't have exposure specific to camera or auto exposure compensation, and then lightroom's settings such as lights and shadows will produce different results based on how much white and black is in the image, so there's no consistency

Photographic image styles (low contrast and high contrast) didn't help me because of how awkward the colours look when they get brighter, so linear is my way to go

Also I don't do complex scenes, I do product visualization-style pictures, so they have to be rendered quickly... and since my pc isn't top spec the scene needs to be as simple as it can be without looking plain or dull. I don't need extreme accuracy in lighting but mainly a poised image that looks crisp enough.

An example:


(the edit isn't marvelous but the purpose is to get the idea through)



Linear mode is something I don't use anymore, exactly because of those reasons you mentioned. You have to be very careful with lighting and in the end the results always look like a render. For example, if you download some hdri's from polyhaven, you often have to lower the brightness and dial down the contrast as you mentioned. In photographic mode they're often quite ok (you may even need to boost them a little).

I would try to give photographic mode another try if I were you. Keep in mind that you may have to do the opposite of what you've been doing in linear mode. You can get away with stronger light sources, and often you have to, in order to get proper contrast. Leaving the environment settings for what they are by default, I often start with a black environment and add a few area light pins that can sometimes have a brightness of 20 (depends of course on how many you need) and a small pin light of 100 perhaps (meaning: don't be afraid to boost your lights).
As for color, you will find that if you have a nicely lit scene, your colors will be ok (and rendering white objects becomes much easier, since it's so much harder to blow out highlights).
I agree that with the default scenes they can look quite flat and gray-ish, but that's probably because they're made for linear mode (mods, correct me if I'm wrong).