Sneak Peek song cover image

ZooHead

Well-known member
#1
This is an image that will be used as a cover image for a song by a friend of mine.

Created completely within Cheetah 3D.
The song title and singers name was added
in PS but deleted here until it goes live. (look on the jawbreakers)

The original is 4k pixels square so it's possible to "zoom in"
on fine details like the custom Patek Philippe watch I made.

Fine Time Sneak.jpg
 

ZooHead

Well-known member
#4
I value your opinion however humble it is. Is it just the background from the hdr or the both.
The background that shows is behind the title text sort of back lighting it.
 
#6
Thanks, ZooHead.

It's the visible light and the grey part from the hdr. If I understand you right, then that will be photoshopped away? Or do you put just the text over it? If the latter, it's in my opinion not fitting the rest of the picture, not quality wise (resolution) nor "in content" (i. e. the light seems very studioish, while the modeled part (the table with all the stuff on it) looks as something that could be in a real apartment).

The lighting itself I like. On the balls it looks like a lot of windows as could be in such a room where such a watch is lying around :).
 

ZooHead

Well-known member
#7
Thanks, ZooHead.

It's the visible light and the grey part from the hdr. If I understand you right, then that will be photoshopped away? Or do you put just the text over it? If the latter, it's in my opinion not fitting the rest of the picture, not quality wise (resolution) nor "in content" (i. e. the light seems very studioish, while the modeled part (the table with all the stuff on it) looks as something that could be in a real apartment).

The lighting itself I like. On the balls it looks like a lot of windows as could be in such a room where such a watch is lying around :).
Thanks, I'll have to consider if it's going to be worth the trouble.

The background comes from the hdr, marble floor, bright sunlight, but maybe it's the quality of the blur?

The client has already approved it but I can't help trying a few things if I can make it better.
 
#8
Like I said, it's the quality and the way it looks (like a softbox). The grey part doesn't look like a floor to me, more like a standard grey hdr with a bright light in it (if I didn't know about such stuff it just would look unnatural to me). But if your client is happy with it, everything is fine. It's just that the foreground looks so much better.

But maybe you should ask somebody else's opinion first before you start working on it (people you know that they are honest). Perhaps it's just me :unsure:.
 

ZooHead

Well-known member
#9
Since I'm using Falcon, I can get a lot more from some high quality HDRIs.

It's easy enough to change the hdr and hit render.
It's the waiting that's hard.
I'm trying one now, it's got an incandescent overhead
light and window light, and has got to be my current favorite.
 
#11
Congrats :).

For me this is soooo much better, more natural, more believable. For a cover, though, I'd have a look at that reflection at the bottom margin. It doesn't take away from the realism, but it's probably a little bit distracting and takes away from the important objectives (and while you're at it, maybe a little front light so the detail of the watch get's enhanced ...)

I know, I know ...
 
#12
Is that HDRI from HDR Haven? I think you need a higher resolution map.. check the details on the map and the reflection of the map on the table, it looks pixelated.

BTW, I too like the alternate better. It's nice to see a finished work in the gallery forum for a change, thanks for sharing!
 

ZooHead

Well-known member
#13
Congrats :).

For me this is soooo much better, more natural, more believable. For a cover, though, I'd have a look at that reflection at the bottom margin. It doesn't take away from the realism, but it's probably a little bit distracting and takes away from the important objectives (and while you're at it, maybe a little front light so the detail of the watch get's enhanced ...)

I know, I know ...
Now we're on the same page. That spot on the table is from the ceiling light and I will PS that out.
The watch could use some more light for sure.
 

ZooHead

Well-known member
#14
Is that HDRI from HDR Haven? I think you need a higher resolution map.. check the details on the map and the reflection of the map on the table, it looks pixelated.

BTW, I too like the alternate better. It's nice to see a finished work in the gallery forum for a change, thanks for sharing!
That is from HDRI Haven, and it's 4k, but the last image was rendered at 1000 x 1000 px and maybe that's the problem.
The first image was 4000 x 4000 px and reduced in PS to fit the forum, which sharpens the image.
I rendered a 4k x 4k overnight to see if it helps.

More later when I wake up a bit.
 
#15
For such a picture you should use the 16k hdris (it still will be pixelated because it's just a part of it that's used). With a bit of post everything should be fine in the end (and this is why I like layers in the environment where you could use a jpg as reflection map (and that could be a slightly blurred blown up version of a much smaller hdri)).
 

ZooHead

Well-known member
#16
I'm trying the 8k version of the cayley_interior hdr and it sharpens up the reflection nicely.
But it also sharpens up the background which makes me wonder if it will be affected by dof.

The reflections within the dof area should be sharp, while the background should be blurred.

Probably won't use dof here but I'm going to test it while I'm at it.
 
#17
Like I said. I'd use the 16k version.

If you can live with the render times, dof would be a good solution. Tough, in this case, I'd probably just blur out the background in photoshop (if you don't want to cut it you could render a fast version without hdri (but it has to be sharp) and use that as an alpha in ps (to be honest, I'm a bit spoilt from other software where I just would include another render pass to get the mask). Still another solution would be a z-depth-map, but that's not really necessary here (I really don't know if it would be faster than a render without hdri).
 

ZooHead

Well-known member
#18
I think this is going to work fine with the 8k version re-framed a little bit.
I also added two area lights to illuminate the dark side of the watch.
I may experiment in PS blurring the bg.

Fine Time alt02.jpg
 
#19
Have you tried rendering with the depth-of-field option in CD3?

Looking good.

Overall, it looks a little too perfect.
A few suggestions to push it to be even more realistic ...
  • Offset the stamps slightly (or maybe turn up a corner) and rotate slightly in relation to envelopes (too perfect, right now)
  • Soften, slightly, the shadows from overhead lights.
  • Add some very subtle dust, smudges to surfaces.
 
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ZooHead

Well-known member
#20
Have you tried rendering with the depth-of-field option in CD3?

Looking good.

Overall, it looks a little too perfect.
A few suggestions to push it to be even more realistic ...
  • Offset the stamps slightly (or maybe turn up a corner) and rotate slightly in relation to envelopes (too perfect, right now)
  • Soften, slightly, the shadows from overhead lights.
  • Add some very subtle dust, smudges to surfaces.
Thanks, all good suggestions except maybe the dust, this guy has a
maid and is so anal. Maybe that's why the stamps are so straight.

Seriously though I may look for something I can bend a little.

And dof doesn't work here for what I want. But I would use a tilt lens on a real
camera if I was shooting this, and then I could skew the dof plane at an angle.
 
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