With some progress made it’s time to compare the renders and try to identify what qualities of reality have been achieved and what is still missing.
The first image shows above (top left) is the original photograph that is acting as a point of reference for trying to emulate reality. Rather than concentrating on making an identical copy of the photograph, the intention was instead to emulate the elements of the photograph that make it look real.
The second image (top middle) is the background image that I am using in my 3D renders. A decision was made to use a background in this way in order to give the experiment a more narrow focus. As my understanding of what is happening improves, I will later attempt to create an entire scene from scratch.
The initial test render (top right) was the initial result of the experiment, seen for the first time, without any adjustments.
Interestingly, when showed this image, I was asked why I had taken a photograph of three balls. Haha, already I had fooled somebody! Admittedly though, this person had been shown the image on the small screen of my mobile phone, but this did prove that something in this image makes it begin to appear ‘real’. it doesn’t take a genius to work out that it is the reflections in the balls. This coincides with my initial theories relating to achieving photorealism by studying light.
The biggest failing in this image is the lack of shadow below the balls which is causing them to look like they are floating. Again, a product of light, or lack thereof.
Some time was spent producing an improved render (bottom left). The shadows below the balls definitely help to sell the image. Indeed, whilst sat in my office at work my colleagues found it difficult to believe that this is a computer generated image. Yet still, it lacks something, there is still something about it that doesn’t seem quite right. Firstly, the green filing cabinet seems to be very desaturated compared to the rest of the environment and the balls seem to be in a darker environment than they are supposed to be. In addition, after giving some thought to fresnel reflectivity, I realised that the reflections are still wrong.
In the further improved render (bottom middle) the shadows seem more natural now that the artificial software lights created in the 3D environment have been turned off, and whilst there is some odd striping at the front of the cabinet, it has at least got its’ colour back.What’s lacking in this image is that whilst the fresnel reflectivity around the edge of the spheres is better, the centre of the spheres need to be more reflective. The reflections are also far too blurry for such a polished surface and in comparison to the original photograph, they still seem a bit too dark. Time for one more render I think…