Making your images look like bad photos

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Old 06 June 2013   #1
Making your images look like bad photos

I'd like to see people's methods for making their final renders look like it was a spontaneous vacation photo taken with a cheap camera phone or thereabouts. I've been using tried and true techniques such as applying film grain, motion blur (photos taken with an unsteady hand), depth of field, bokeh, over/under exposure, color fringe, vignetting, and of course the ever popular lens flare. Are there any methods or cool tricks you've learned that you'd like to share?

EDIT 2: The cell phone camera vacation photo scenario was just an example. I'm not looking to duplicate just that situation specifically. Any and all types of cameras can take bad photos.

EDIT: Example:


Last edited by Carltheshivan : 06 June 2013 at 09:48 PM.
 
Old 06 June 2013   #2
Maybe you should share some examples to get the ball rolling.
 
Old 06 June 2013   #3
I'd say that depth of field is probably something you don't want if you're trying to emulate a phone lens, as they're generally not fast enough to have any noticeable DOF.
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Old 06 June 2013   #4
Usually there's lots of distortion with those types of lenses. Open an image up in PS, and try to draw a straight line over something you know should be straight, and you might be surprised at how wobbly it is.
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Old 06 June 2013   #5
Render at 256 pixels and scale up to 4k.
Your done!
 
Old 06 June 2013   #6
There was a thread in the 3D WIP section a while back of a guy with a pig for a head was at a bar having a drink with his friends. It sounds ridiculous, but I though that was a pretty good example of what something like this might look like.
His final render looked like a hasty picture of my buddies drinking at a bar somewhere (sans pighead of course).

Maybe someone knows what I'm referring to as I can't remember the artists name or title.
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Old 06 June 2013   #7
Hey man,

A cheap lens doesn't have much glass in it, so your not going to get a lot of flaring. When you see all the little dots on a lens flare, that's the light bouncing around on each of the elements in the lens. A phone camera isn't going to be very complex.

The image sensor and the glass aren't very wide in a phone camera, so your not going to get much depth of field. Lets say you placed an apple on a table and took 5 photos of it from various spots in your room, each shooting location about a foot apart. If you blended the images together, your apple will be sharp, but everything else would be blurry. If you tighten your image cluster to just a few inches apart, your apple will still be sharp, but your room will be less blurry, as your images varied less.

With a lens, its a similar effect. The larger the lens, the more light it can let in, and thus the faster it is. Since your glass is larger, it captures your subject from more divergent points of view. The fore ground and background will be blurred, with the effect getting worse as you get further away from the focal point. Usually those really blurry and deep images you see were captured with a 35mm SLR lens. A cell phone lens is much smaller, and the images will have less depth of field.

-AJ
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Old 06 June 2013   #8
Take a picture of the picture with your crappy camera phone and see if that get you somewhere.
 
Old 06 June 2013   #9
Dont for get if you want some vacation looking images people tend to use the flash on cameras giving the front lighting given off most camera point and shoot cameras and cell phones.
 
Old 06 June 2013   #10
No DOF, front lighting - like lit from a flash with harsh shadows. If it's a low lighting setting, make sure to add a lot of extra noise to simulate poor ISO capabilities. ISO noise is different than just grain, it's a lot bigger and really muddies up the image. Just in general it's not going to be able to expose all the darks and lights very well, so blow out the highlights, or make the darks completely under exposed.

I always liked this image with the way it simulated a camera flash.
 
Old 06 June 2013   #11
Looking at the example that the OP posted, all I can think now is why would anyone want such an ugly render? Just because you can make an image look like that doesn't mean you should. There's a reason why photos that look like that are considered crap.

I will never understand this desire to create realism purely for realism's sake, as opposed to images which are actually aesthetically pleasing.
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Old 06 June 2013   #12
Originally Posted by leigh: Looking at the example that the OP posted, all I can think now is why would anyone want such an ugly render? Just because you can make an image look like that doesn't mean you should. There's a reason why photos that look like that are considered crap.

I will never understand this desire to create realism purely for realism's sake, as opposed to images which are actually aesthetically pleasing.

It's like cracking hundreds of walnuts with your arse in preparation for an event where you try to crack dozens within a minute:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gjoSeg34860

It doesn't need to make sense, and it's got to be painful, but someone will feel the need to do it and then share it with the public.

Would I do it myself? No. But as someone who enjoys consequence-less suffering in others (clinically proven to be funny) I'll be first in line to watch!
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Old 06 June 2013   #13
If shitty quality is what you desire then try this..

1. Print your 3D rendering
2. Buy a cheap Holga camera
3. Take a picture of your printed 3D rendering with the Holga camera
4. Process the photo
5. Scan it on a cheap lousy scanner and then postprocess it if necessary, but i doubt you will need to as it should look like sh*t now, in plain english.

http://www.holgacamera.com/

/ Magnus
 
Old 06 June 2013   #14
To see aberration for mobile phone photos you should use a spyglass today.
 
Old 06 June 2013   #15
Originally Posted by Magnus3D: If shitty quality is what you desire then try this..

1. Print your 3D rendering
2. Buy a cheap Holga camera
3. Take a picture of your printed 3D rendering with the Holga camera
4. Process the photo
5. Scan it on a cheap lousy scanner and then postprocess it if necessary, but i doubt you will need to as it should look like sh*t now, in plain english.

http://www.holgacamera.com/

/ Magnus


For Peter Jackson's 'Forgotten Silver' they had to create some early 1900s looking film footage. I remember reading somewhere how the film lab damaged the film by throwing it on the floor, using the wrong chemicals, etc. Sounded like a lot of fun.

Taking a photo of your render might get you some really interesting results.
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