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Andy Broomell

Rendering dark surfaces

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Does anyone have any tips for rendering surfaces that are fairly dark, in such a way that they pick up lighting in a more interesting way? For example, I like the way some of the dark surfaces appear in these photographs:




I know to not use pure black as the Color shader, but beyond that, what specific suggestions do you have?

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6 hours ago, EAlexander said:

Blurry reflections for the win. 


That's what I was kind of feeling... I'm always a bit hesitant since they render so slow!

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I'll usually add in Blur near the end. Once you have some texture definitions you like, this gets easier.


Create a couple of Renderworks styles, at least one that gives you the final look you want and one that sets everything to low and turns off blur, multiple bounces and the like.


Create a series of viewports on sheet layers, or saved views with the details you want to explore. K=Just render those smaller and tight views until you have the desired look and feel, then render the final view, first fast, then in your full fledged Renderworks style.


Once you've set this up, and kept your sales and texture in a template file or a favorited file, the second time will be much faster.


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55 minutes ago, Andy Broomell said:


That's what I was kind of feeling... I'm always a bit hesitant since they render so slow!

This is why you need Cinema.


Corona, Octane, Redshift can chew through those like candy. Model below... Modeled in VW. Rendered with Corona at 1920 px. wide in about 4 minutes.


It gives you the freedom to stop worrying about those time trade offs. 


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plastic reflection at 5%, Blur 5%. Use custom renderworks. as always, create a viewport, set the sheet at a tabloid size and 300dpi for the final 

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