Apollo Architecture photo match

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Old 02 February 2013   #1
Apollo Architecture photo match

I've always wanted to do an arch vis work. The stuff has always really interested me, however I really have no idea where to start, so I figured the best way to start is to mimic as close as I can a photograph of a scene that I really like. So begins my journey. It's nothing yet, and progress is slow, but I'm excited.

Stage 1. Matching camera attribs. For this I had no camera data at all. And what makes it worse is it is a sinlge point perspective. It took many hours to get it to fit, but I think I finally have a good fit.



Objects are a little off proportionally, and lighting is obviously very off, but it's a good start and I think I've matched the camera well enough for now at least.
Jonathan Beals
Portfolio Website
Old 02 February 2013   #2
Very good start. Its a little hard to add in critique, because obviously most of your objects are just low res proxies, but Ill be keeping an eye on this one!
Old 02 February 2013   #3
Thanks man! I really appreciate it. After some fiddling with the camera and objects, I think I've gotten a fairly accurate representation of the scene. The thing that is most off are the chairs, but I just don't have enough good reference for me to model it anymore accurately without spending tons more time. If any one has any suggestions of how to better get it, that would be awesome. I've also noticed that some things don't line up quite right, and I believe that is due to not accounting for lens distortion completely correctly, since I have no data to go by. I threw in a quick light that is close to the directional source to get a render off. I'm still not sure what render engine I'm going to use. I'd like to try a real time render engine like Octane, Iray, or Vray Rt. If I go that route, I will definitely have to go through and lower the poly count. Onto UV's! errr... maybe a little scene cleanup is in order first.

Jonathan Beals
Portfolio Website
Old 02 February 2013   #4
I think you did very well interpreting the perspective from that photo. That was probably the hard part and you got it nailed. The rest should be fun for you
I like to learn.
Old 02 February 2013   #5
I wouldn't stress too much about getting an EXACT match in terms of the angle-what you have done is pretty damned close!

The single chair on the one side of the table is a little distracting...i think it needs to mirror the 3 on the other side for balance, but that's just a personal thing.

Looking forward to seeing more!
Old 02 February 2013   #6
haha I completely forgot about that chair! How did I miss that? oops haha.

I saw the comment after I rendered this image, so it is still sans chair. I'll be fixing that in the next render.

This is more or less just a lighting wip, making sure light is accurate and coming from the right direction with the right bounce, I quickly textured the table and did quick general mats and colors for everything else to help with gauging light interplay. It's close, but I'm getting some weird double shadowing under the stairs and I'm not quite getting the strong light intensity that is cast along that back wall.

I think my light source is bright enough, but maybe my sky isn't? It could be a material thing, I'm actually not quite sure what I need to tweak to get that closer. This could also be a reason why I'm getting the double shadow under the stairs, because not enough light is being cast to help that area out. It could also have been a post process too from the original photographer.

Any ideas on what I could do? I can always do post, but if this ever became animated, that would become more difficult to do.

Anyways I landed on rendering in iRay, so I'm using it's sun/sky. I'd like to use an hdr, but lining up the sun and getting enough sampling would be impossible.

This is also my first time using iRay and really Max, so progress is very clunky and slow. I just learned how to smoothly scroll in and out and frame in on objects after a few frustrating days of working in Max.

Jonathan Beals
Portfolio Website
Old 02 February 2013   #7
That's looking very nice for a beginner in Max, great work!

Are you using a linear workflow?

If not, you may want to do some reading up on that and apply it to your scene, as it will probably make it immensely easier to light and control.

It's a bit of a "heavier" subject for someone who's new, but it's well worth the time to learn it.


"The best things in life are either illegal, fattening, or take too long to render."
Old 02 February 2013   #8
oops, sorry for the confusion! I've been working in Maya for 6 years, but it didn't have a rendering solution that I really liked for this project, so I switched to Max just for this to try out iRay since it's much more stable there than in Maya.

I am familiar with lwf and luminance/radiance, and I *think* I have it setup correctly. I have it set up as I would with MR. Gamma being 2.2 and input/output gamma being 2.2 as well. Rendering to half float .exrs with a zip compression. For the final render I'll probably go up to 32 with no compression since I'm on ssd and grade in nuke or ae depending on if I need any special plugins. But I doubt I'll need the fidelity of full float, since I don't see myself grading too heavily for this scene.

Can anyone confirm if this is the right way to work in lwf for Iray?

I would prefer to use a LUT, but I don't know if iRay supports that yet, and how accurately that is done in Max.

Thanks for checkin in on the thread!
Jonathan Beals
Portfolio Website
Old 02 February 2013   #9
Derp, sorry about that I was under the impression that you were a beginner. I'm actually glad you're not, that would have been a bit discouraging seeing someone new to 3D making renders like that haha.

I can't say much for iRay being as I've never used it, but the setup you have is what I usually use for Mental Ray and Final Render. I usually set my output to 1 and gamma correct in fusion, but that's just a preference!


"The best things in life are either illegal, fattening, or take too long to render."
Old 06 June 2013   #10
Soo a few months later and a small small update! Work, and a new reel and all of that good stuff got very busy there for a while, and I finally have a free weekend to start working on this again.
A very cool thing that I have found is that the new architectural sampler in iray that's in Max 2014 is amazing!! Check out the below renders. I let each one run for 45 minutes.



Look how much cleaner 2014 is in the same amount of render time! Absolutely stunning.

The reflection in the tv changed, which is a little weird, I'm not sure why. But if that's the only "negative" thing, than that as a-ok with me.
Jonathan Beals
Portfolio Website
Old 06 June 2013   #11
Here is another update with textures all around. Now it's mainly about tweaking color, texture position, and some material properties.

It seems that I may have been let down. While iray 2014 with the architetural sampler is much much better, the below render took 14 hours on a gtx 480 (which granted isnt the fastest gpu), but there are still fireflies everywhere!! Between 10-14 hours, there really wasn't much more cleaning up going on.

edit: It looks like the jpg compression has killed most of the fireflies, but trust me, it is definitely there in the .exr

I want to try it out on a gtx 580 and see if it gets any better results. But definitely a bit of a let down. I wonder if I am doing something completely wrong, and it's giving me such slow results.

Jonathan Beals
Portfolio Website
Old 06 June 2013   #12
I really loved following your thread, tho in the last render you seem to have lost the light burn you had on the floor which I think is very important, but I m sure you know that.

About the rendering time 10-14 hours, seems an awful long to wait especially if you still get artifacts.
I cant really help as I don't use Iray, but with v-ray, I wouldn't think it would take that long to render.
And what s the deal on the top right being so bright (is that a white sky or a wall)?
Old 06 June 2013   #13

So, I made a really bonehead move. When I first started the project, I had to cut down the original image so I could match the perspective. I completely forgot that I had done this, and in a random search through my project directory, I found the original image which looks like this:

As you can see, there is a lot more headroom than there was before.

So I then had to find a script that could change my resolution without altering my perspective. Once I had done that, I rendered it, and the outside was utterly blownout, so I tried to exposure down, but as you correctly noticed, it kills the nice burn on the floor. So what you are seeing that is so white is really this:

So now I need to figure out what I need to do to better balance/match the lighting with the photo because it's obviously not right. I'm hoping it's maybe a matter of glass material or something simple, or this may take a while longer than I was hoping. ugh.

And 14 hours does seem really long, but I don't know much about unbiased renderers. I know V-Ray would be able to chomp through this in most likely less than 4. MRay might get there at less than 5. Corona would be a beast and would be less than 2... which sounds really tempting to switch too... but this was an exercise in a doing my first architectural piece/photo match/ learning iray, so switching renderers would defeat at least 1 of those points I suppose..

Hopefully I will be able to sort out what to do, if I can fix this lighting thing in Max or if I will have to resort to post due to a lack of knowledge and time.
Jonathan Beals
Portfolio Website
Old 06 June 2013   #14
That s great that you found a script to change the camera but not the perspective, I ll have to look into that
Well I totally see your problem, and I think it could be tricky to fix that without post-prod....hmmm
Otherwise you could try to cheat it with some color correction on some of the materials, or maybe change the "base" material (the one that the light will bounce off and make it grey), i know there a shader that can do that it really helps with color bleeding and other similar problem, but I cant remember the name of that shader from the top of my head.
Good luck
Old 07 July 2013   #15
I got a bit further with the materials and textures and rendered out a wip to test some quick curves color correct in photoshop to see where I'm at and what else I need to do. The wood overall is getting in a better place. There's still some material issues on the coffee table, and book shelf. I'm also not getting the richness in the table, but it looks like I can pull that around in post pretty easy, so I may not budge with it. I'm still playing around with texturing the concrete and haven't had much luck yet, so it is still pretty sterile.
Jonathan Beals
Portfolio Website
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