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TUTORIALS | Automotive renders

Rendering better cars
Master the skills required to turn 3D models into professional-looking automotive renders with this set of expert tips BY STUART BOOTETRADE SECRETS

FOCUS POINTS For the environment, create two spheres and trim the surfaces with a projected curve. Move its CVs to get the highlight shape you want and turn off primary visibility. Try toget the highlight hitting the top of the wheel arches.

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lthough automotive images are a standard component of many aspiring 3D artists’ portfolios, it’s not unusual to see a great bit ofmodelling spoilt by an uninspired render. Yet

often, all that is needed to turn a mediocre image into a great one is attention to a few simple guidelines. Your model is the obvious key to success.Create as much detail as you possibly can – after all, you’re trying to recreate reality and make the viewer believe the car they’re looking at is real. In particular, vehicles are focused aroundtheir surfaces. This may sound obvious, but the quality of your surfacing is so important to show off the all-important highlights. To get this right, you need reference material. A certain amount ofvisual trickery is always required to fool the eye, but when you’re going all-out for reality, the fine details will really show up. Check out as many real images as you can, looking for ones that aresimilar both to the type of car and type of shot you are using. Also pay attention to the scene within which the car is placed. Try to avoid applying stock reflection maps of an industrial scene ordesert, and then showing your car in a studio environment! The annotations on the right show some of the other points to consider when rendering an image of this type. The set-up and rendering of this imagetook about two days using Maya. At a later point, I tweaked a few shaders and played with camera angles and depth of field, and I also used a Global Skylight lighting set-up. The rendering engine...
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