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Mattheng

Do I need Photoshop?

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Yes I know I am posting quite a bit but I am showing a lot of new renders from 2011 to clients and I am getting quite a bit of flak.

The latest comment from a firm of architects (I am working in landscape design) was that I should have a look at Photoshop in order to improve things. They also said I should look at Artlantis and, judging by some of the comments I have seen on here, that does cast a bit of doubt onto whether they knew what they were talking about.

I have never used Photoshop and am relatively new to the whole world of design and rendering. I was hoping that Renderworks would be all that I needed, how important is Photoshop?

Matt

Edited by Mattheng

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Matt

It would be good to know what settings you are using that are causing you to be disappointed - perhaps a sample render too?

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Try posting some of the renders that were criticized and well have a look. I use Photoshop to 'fix' some renders but generally you shouldn't need to. Depends on how much time you want to put into the VWs side of things.

PS if you do decide to buy Photoshop, Photoshop Elements will do just fine, it's easier to learn than Photoshop CS and much much cheaper.....

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You could also look at something like Pixelmator on the Mac, which has many similar functions to Photoshop, for a fraction of the price. But let's sort the rendering first!

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I use Photoshop Elements to prepare jpgs for Textures and finalise some renderings

(just little colourshifts and so on) .

It has all the functions that I need for these things.

I always have a hard tim using photoshop, for some reason I cant memorise the concepts behinds this pixelacrobatics. (my problem :-) )

But I gave up using free Software like Gimp Inkscape and so on.

I had also invested in Canvax OS X until they stopped to support the Mac branch...

For me it was all wasted time and money.

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You could also look at something like Pixelmator on the Mac, which has many similar functions to Photoshop, for a fraction of the price. But let's sort the rendering first!

I'll second Tamsin's recommendation for Pixalmator.

I used to use photoshop to prepare images to create textures and image props, but Pixelmator does everything I need faster, easier, and cheaper.

mk

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Another quick fix to the render issue, are you useing the HDRI's? They really add a nice filter, and color bath to a render but are somewhat power hungry on the render time.

The real trick with textures, no matter what, is the resolution of the starting texture image. Bigger is better! From a personal standpoint I only use CS5 for between 10-15% of the render, I end-up saving time by belonging to several texture sites, and of course, as a Scenic Designer, I photoshop a ton of my own textures, from pen, pencil, brush, etc. To give you an idea, for walls, I haused images as large as 25MB. My last design is somewhere in the neighborhood 500MB with at least half of that in textures.

There are also a few texture books like, Surfaces ,that come with a texture library on CD for use.

Another huge problem, don't use the 3d People, make your own. I got tons of complaints, when first using them.

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Here is a render using CS5 to add the three people, and the two statues, everything else is VW. Although I did create most of the textures and the floor in CS5 and then imported. The only VW texture is Lead 01 that I used on the stair units and a rusted metal for the Schedule 40 pipe, to me the Lead 01 looks more like rock, but it works for the design. The wall texture in this image, I think was around 10MB. When presenting(11x17), at a small distance, it appears natural and somewhat real.(4') Also, the beach sand mapped really nice to the NURBS(Interpolated) surface, and helped in pulling some detail out of the surface. On a side note, the design is clean and simple, and reflects a bleak existence where escape from Electra's reminders of past treachery is imposible. The cantaleavered steps and the compound raked stage add a sense of precariousness to the action, and water is always an acceptable choice in Greek Tragedy and allowed for a wonderfull way to show an off-stage death, and Electra's re-birth; when she bathes in her mother's blood, that runs freely down the waterfall, at the end of the production.

Edited by Christien

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Pixelmator is a good buy.

But most of the time all you need is to be able to adjust the brightness and contrast of your rendering - a small thing that works wonders and can be done with preview or Iphoto on a Mac or a number of freeware apps.

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Now here is two when I first started out. This is for Music Man, and utilizes nothing but VW textures, and no HDRI background. This was about the best my comp could do at the time, and rendering time was a nightmare! I think this is VW 11 or 12.

The first is the train car wagon unit...... Not bad, not good either! The People really suck and the whole thing feels very SIMS. (to think I was so proud)

The second is the Mayor's door, with part of the Gym on the other side. This one is a little better, but to appear realalistic, I would have a decent amount of shading and 'shmutzing' in PS to get it to look right. Again not bad, but very hard and uninviting.

So in answer to your question, if your clients are complaining, then you have to step-it up! You can trace your drafting and render by hand, or your gonna have to get some sort of image editing program, to take it to the next level. No one program does it all at 100%, so just find out what works for you. (in a pinch, scan it a Kinko's and adjust from the copier)

On a plus note for PS CS5, you can export your design as a 3DS file into Photoshop and paint directly onto the 3D object(s). The really cool thing is that once imported, PS treats each individual object as a seperate design layer! I don't however recommend shipping a large file into PS, unless you have a room full of RAM! It won't work, and you could be faced with several HUNDRED layers! and the disappearing mouse!

Edited by Christien

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Come to think of it, I believe that landscape renderings are actually the toughest of all to get right. The easiest in my experience are objects, then interiors, then exteriors, then landscapes... You will probably need PS or Pixelmator to do photomanipulations.

Every time you can do some of the elements of the rendering from an actual photo, you save a lot of time. If you have Matt Panzers Photomatch, that will help aligning modelled and real objects.

Here is an object modelled in VW2011, which was really easy to render OK with no tweaks in Photoshop or anything and no indirect lighting:

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/_M3rjGHuD-UM/TYyR6FjvMII/AAAAAAAAAD4/IklwcJM8aFU/s640/TermokandeF.jpg

This one is made with VW2008 and looks allright because the foreground object is aligned to a HDRI background. Once the camera angle is alright, I can place anything on that carpet and use it as a photo studio. No post processing was done and no indirect lighting was used:

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/_M3rjGHuD-UM/TYyR5samrUI/AAAAAAAAAD0/NAX3b-bQyqM/s912/Dandy.jpg

Here I had to model the entire interior (in VW2008), which took longer time and provided less realism. Indirect lighting would have helped, if I had the time to wait or a 50Ghz processor:

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/_M3rjGHuD-UM/TYyR4p_iaWI/AAAAAAAAADw/OoLKvlG5TBg/s912/borgerservice.jpg

Objects placed in exteriors with a ground plane and a HDRI background are fairly easy to get OK with no tweaking and no indirect lighting. This is done with VW2008:

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/_M3rjGHuD-UM/TYyR3SdqaXI/AAAAAAAAADo/59N2-EghkMU/s640/boathull.JPG

Building exteriors are fairly easy as long as you go for that clinical look. This one is from before HDRI and just has a regular background. No post adjustments:

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/_M3rjGHuD-UM/TYyR3oxOaoI/AAAAAAAAADs/HYcmjkgMCnQ/s912/buen.jpg

And the last one is very basic modelling and very basic rendering, but it looks OK because it is manipulated into an actual photo:

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/_M3rjGHuD-UM/TYyR6ihSpxI/AAAAAAAAAD8/We8TGfoTyCY/s912/Vorupoer.jpg

There are guys out there, that can do a lot better with Renderworks, so I don't think it is necessary to buy a standalone renderer.

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It's a question of how much you want to invest in the process and how much control you want over the results I think. Renderworks is not a great rendering engine compared to a lot of software out there, but it does the job for a great many people and they don't need to look further, either because they don't want to or their clients have not complained.

My personal opinion regarding image editing software like photoshop is that it is an essential part of "post" production. I would rather spend 10 minutes in photoshop adjusting curves and color than waiting for the render engine to re-render a shot after I had tweaked a light. At the end of the day, you are tweaking pixels and their RGB values. That's it. Image editing programs are specifically designed to do that.

Other rendering engines have many more bells and whistles and are much faster than renderworks. I favor Cinema 4d, for it's improved textures, higher quality, and animation. The downside to using a different renderer is that you have one more program to learn, one more step in your production process, one more license to buy...

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Grant,

I have to disagree with your comment about, "at the end of the day, you are tweeking pixels and their RGB values. That's it."

PS and several other programs allow the user to make visual changes on the fly from a captured VW view and CS5 allows those changes directly in the 3d world. Here's a, for instance, your pitching say a 'kitchen' to a client, but there is nothing on the counter? while your at your'client's' house, you snap a couple of photos of their kitchen, with all their 'stuff'. Now, sure you can add a microwave, coffee maker, blenders, etc. all from VW or a 3rd party site. But,(Trade Secret)does VW's or Maya, or 4D have what this paticular client has? What I mean is, their pot holders, cookie jars, pictures on the wall, mail basket, key holder, etc. So Now you have hybrid PS+VW rendering with their stuff in it. Using this method, you will please the client everytime, as you have made it "theirs". Also, use the image props. they cast shadows, turn to face the camera, if you don't want to invest in 3rd party. VW comes with a pretty good amount.

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I agree with you completely that there is a lot more that can be done with Ps or other image editing software than "tweaking pixels." Matt did not make the distinction as to whether he had received feedback on his color balances and tones or his lack of entourage.

My overall point was that adjusting the rendering can be done so much faster in a photo rendering program than in VW, it should be considered an integral part of the rendering process. I think you and I are in agreement about this, just coming from different sides of the story.

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hi there...

im trying to export renders into photoshop to tweak, i have managed to export two renders fine with no problem atall howeven now everytime i try, after i click where to save it it comes up with:

'could not export image due to lack of memory'

i have tried to save it in different places, like my harddrive/ different folders... and tried to delete a few things but nothing seems to work...

can anyone help me out...?!

thankyou..!!!

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First try restarting your computer and only have VWs running when exporting......

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ok, I did a lot of work on lighting after this and the results seemed to warrant another thread. If you look in "Lighting Quality and Exporting" you can see some results

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