Books on Photorealism in 3D and CGI

If you’ve been following my blog and would like to know more about creating photorealistic 3D CGI renders, you can go straight to the source with these books from Amazon:


Crafting 3D Photorealism: Lighting Workflows In 3ds Max, Mental Ray and V-Ray

Light for Visual Artists: Understanding & Using Light in Art & Design

Color and Light: A Guide for the Realist Painter

Digital Lighting and Rendering

Photorealism: You Can Do It

Digital Texturing and Painting

Elemental Magic, Volume II: The Technique of Special Effects Animation: 2 (Animation Masters Title)

The HDRI Handbook 2.0: High Dynamic Range Imaging for Photographers and CG Artists

Physically Based Rendering: From Theory To Implementation

What does it take to make a 3D / CGI Object look Photorealistic?

Through my own experiments I have observed that the understanding of light is fundamental to achieving photorealism and it seems that many other 3D practitioners share this opinion.

Within the 3D environment, three aspects of light need to closely replicate their real-world counterparts:

  1. Light needs to illuminate the surface of a 3D object in a realistic way.
  2. The 3D object needs to prevent light from hitting other objects in the scene and create shadows.
  3. Light needs bounce off the 3D models in the form of reflections.

1. Light needs to illuminate the surface of a 3D object in a realistic way

HDRI

High Dynamic Range Images are a useful tool for creating photorealstic 3D renders as they create a natural light source and can also be used as an environment that appears within reflections. When using HDR Images, it’s useful to first light a scene by applying textures that have a solid colour of 50% grey to the 3D models. This allows the observer to adjust the exposure of the surrounding environment, replicating the light that was present when the HDRI was captured, before creating other textures.

Warm / Cold Lighting

When creating artificial lights, one should observe the colour temperature of those lights. Quite often, a warm (orange/yellow) light is used as a key light, and a cold (blue) light is used as a fill light. This is because our eyes are familiar with seeing the sun cast shadows whilst the blue sky casts soft light over the shadowed areas.

Colour Temperature

A 3D artist in search of photorealism should create lights that have the same colour temperature as their real world counterparts. The following is a small selection of real world lights and their colour temperature.

  • Candle flame: 1900°Kelvin
  • 100‐watt household bulb: 2865°Kelvin
  • Daylight: 5600°Kelvin

If a 3D artist in pursuit of photorealism was creating a directional light that was intended to emulate a sun, then the virtual light’s colour temperate should match that of its real world counterpart, i.e. approximately 5,600°Kelvin (depending on the time of day etc).

Volumetric Light

Any visible light within a 3D scene is created using volumetric lighting. A common use of volumetric lighting is to replicate a key light penetrating a dusty environment (More on dusty environments later).

IES Lighting

Even better than trying to match the correct colour temperature, an architectural 3D artist in search of photorealism should almost certainly make use of IES (Illuminating Engineering Society of North America) lights wherever possible. The IES have created a standard that allows manufacturers to record characteristics for the lights they make, such as colour temperature, falloff and visible light etc. These measurements are saved in a text file and made publicly available. 3D software (such as Cinema 4D) can then use these files to replicate a real world light exactly.

2. The 3D object needs to prevent light from hitting other objects in the scene and create shadows

Define Spatial Relationships

“When asking the audience to accept a scene that would otherwise strain its credibility, convincing shadow interaction can add an important piece of reality to help sell the illusion. If a production is supposed to be completely photorealistic, a single element such as a missing shadow could be all it takes to make your work look ‘wrong’ to the audience. Shadows serve the interest of adding realism and believability, even if there is no other reason for them in the composition” (Birn, )

Hard/Soft Shadows

When creating shadows, it is important to think about the source of light creating those shadows. A large light source that encompasses the entire scene would create a soft and even shadow, whereas a small distant source of light would create hard shadows. In nature, the sun casts hard shadows whereas the sky casts soft shadows.

Shadow Cookies

A cookie is used in the cinema to cast a shadow with a predefined shape. For example, if you wanted an actor to look like he was in a forest, you might cut the shapes of tree branches out of cardboard and place them between the key light and the actor. This would cast shadows that look like tress into the scene.

In 3D, if an artist is trying to composite a 3D object into a live scene, such as a photograph or video, shadow cookies cast over both the 3D model and the original scene can help to behind the two media together making it difficult for the audience to distinguish between them.

3. Light needs bounce off the 3D models in the form of reflections

Surface Texture

Although this project hasn’t gone into great depth in regard to surface textures, they are however extremely important when trying to achieve photorealism. All objects, except perhaps a black hole, have some amount of reflection, however, all have differing reflection properties. For example, a chrome lamp will have a very hard reflection, whereas a wooden picture frame will have a much softer reflection.

Fresnel

In addition to how hard or soft a reflection is, the amount of reflection on most objects will change depending on the angle you look at it. This is achieved in the 3D environment with the use of a Fresnel layer applied to the texture.

4. Other things to Consider

Colour

When creating textures for 3D models that will appear within a HDRI environment, it is helpful to use colours that match the hue and saturation of the HDR environment. Once a 3D image has been rendered, Hue and Saturation adjustments applied to the entire image help to blend the two media together.

Camera Artefacts

One problem with 3D renders is that everything produced is beautifully clean and sharp, as if it had been photographed with an extremely superior lens and sensor. In order to fool the human eye into believing something was captured with a camera, some of the unwanted by-products of cheaper lenses need to be replicated. This includes over/under exposure, chromatic aberration, noise and grain, vignetting and silvering. Stylistic choices such as depth of field should also be observed. And when shooting film or animation, other artefacts such as motion blur should also be added.

Edges

It has also been observed that in the 3D environment it is possible to create perfectly square edges which, if magnified an infinite number of times, would remain perfectly square. In the real world this is less often the case as edges tend to be worn and/or rounded. To make 3D objects appear real, hard/square edges should be avoided.

Randomness / Chaos

In addition to avoiding square edges, and perfectly clean/crisp renders, some of the random chaos of the real world should also be introduced. For example, rather than using an algorithm too create a brick wall that is perfectly straight and where every brick is exactly the same shape and size, there should be some variation. In addition to this, dirt should be added into a scene.

Dirt

When creating dirt with a photorealistc effect, you should paint dirt onto a model by hand. Burns (p229) correctly states that you should“choose dirt maps that add specific, motivated detail to your objects. Think through the story behind all of the stains and imperfections on a surface – something has to cause any dirt, scratches, or stains that you would see”. 

Dirt should only be present on the surface of models, but should also be present floating in the environment in the form of dust, steam, or similar. Volumetric lighting is a good way to achieve this.

Perception

The final thing to consider is human perception.

Scale

It’s possible, although I haven’t as yet been able to prove or disprove this theory, that scale plays an important role in creating an illusion of photorealism. We know that if we see a 60 foot gorilla on the screen, it is most likely computer generated rather than a real photograph.

Unreal

It appears that it is easier to fool the human brain into believing something is real if the brain has fewer points of reference. Take for example a human hand, creating a 3D hand that an audience believes is real is extremely difficult as it is something we spend a great deal of time looking at and accordingly we have extensive points of reference. If, on the other hand, I was to create 3D model and said it was a newly discovered creature that was found deep in the ocean, it would be easier to fool the mind into believing it was real as the brain has fewer points of reference.

That said though, it is still important to look to the real world for influence and reference when creating something that is fictional.

Improving on this Research

It’s difficult to find a way to improve upon this research, as has already been said, it appears that many other practitioners already share my view and any experiments that I have conducted myself are simply reinventing the wheel. Is it possible that all of the problems have already been overcome?

At present, I don’t feel I have explored the subject deeply enough to be able to offer any new insight that hasn’t already been discussed elsewhere.

What I propose to do now is produced some 3D renders that illustrate all of the points that I have made above. These renders will then be presented for assessment as a ‘body of work’. It is hoped that whilst creating some new renders, problems might arrise that haven’t already been tackled. However, I expect that this is more likely to happen if I approach a novel situation that other practitioners haven’t yet tried to create in 3D. This could be fun 😀

To try and streamline this process, I find that although I can build 3D models, it takes me a great deal of time. In light of this, I might try and create some scenes with simple geometry, such as a piece of jewellery, a planet, or perhaps to take a scene that I have created previously and try to make it more photorealistic.

Dirt

I’d hoped to gain more insight from reading Jeremy Burns chapter on Decals and Dirt, but found that I had already been using what he refers to as Decals in my projects. In the example robot image below, I had already applied decals (stickers) to my robot, however, what I hadn’t done was added dirt.

In this example I’ve probably gone a little over the top with the dirt but it helps to illustrate the point I’m making.

When I showed the animated version of this robot to a fellow artist, he immediately noticed the lack of movement in the robot’s hands and how clean the robot looked in comparison to the background. Although the film noise/grain and motion blur that had been added were helping to blend the two media together, it seemed the texture on the surface of the robot’s skin, was too clean and shiny to begin with.

In the example above, I’ve used Ambient Occlusion (a tool for finding edges between two surfaces and is often used to emphasize shadows) to create the dirt which in my opinion is a inaccurate way to achieve the effect. When creating dirt with a photorealistc effect, you should paint dirt onto a model by hand. Burns (p229) correctly states that you should “choose dirt maps that add specific, motivated detail to your objects. Think through the story behind all of the stains and imperfections on a surface – something has to cause any dirt, scratches, or stains that you would see”. 

In the example above, dust would have fallen and settled onto the robot from above, this would mean that the robot’s shoulders, head, bridge of it’s nose and chest would probably have accumulated the most dust. Similarly, water dripping from the ceiling would have created vertical streaks running down the robot’s body.

Painting in these extra details will require considerable time but it’s this attention to details that will eventually sell the illusion of photorealism.

Shadow Cookies

In his book (Digital) Lighting & Rendering, Jeremy Birn (2000, p63) states that “shadows serve a practical purpose in most scenes by showing the spatial relationship between objects. They show where an object is planted on the ground or how far an object is located above the ground”. Without shadows it is difficult to interpret the spatial relationship between objects in a scene. Looking at the image below, it is difficult to tell if the balls are floating in space or resting on the cabinet.

First Render

First Render

Birn (p66) goes on to say that “when asking the audience to accept a scene that would otherwise strain its credibility, convincing shadow interaction can add an important piece of reality to help sell the illusion. If a production is supposed to be completely photorealistic, a single element such as a missing shadow could be all it takes to make your work look ‘wrong’ to the audience. Shadows serve the interest of adding realism and believability, even if there is no other reason for them in the composition”.

In the image below, although the lighting on the spider matches the rest of the scene, the absence of a shadow being cast onto the ground spoils the illusion.

Without Shadow

Without Shadow

In the following image, the ground shadow below the spider helps cement the relationship between the environment and the 3D model.

With Shadow

With Shadow

The practice of adding a shadow to support the illusion is something I had commented on previously through my own observations, however, something that I hadn’t previously considered but is demonstrated by Birn is the use of casting shadows by objects not visible on-screen. In the following image, a cookie has been created to cast shadows over both the spider and the environment thus cementing the real and virtual elements together even further.

With Cookie Shadow

With Cookie Shadow

Lessons on Photorealism from 3D Artist Magazine

…and lots of other sources.

Dmitry Denisov’s Photoreal 3D Tutorial

I’d previously suggested that I’d be spending a few days following a tutorial in issue 48 of 3D Artist magazine on Photrealism in 3D.

3D Artist Magazine

3D Artist Magazine

I found that 15 hours dedicated to the tutorial would not be well spent, however, simply reading through Dmitry Denisov’s instructions has highlighted some interesting thoughts. Firstly, I was pleased to see that in the same vein as my own research, Denisov is attempting to replicate the unwanted by-products of real world cameras in his 3D visualisations. This close up image shows how Denisov creates chromatic aberration in the water drops.

Chromatic Abberation

Chromatic Aberration

Currently absent from my own images is Denisov’s use of air particles. Quite often (always?) there are particles of dust and the like floating in the air, although they are not always visible to the naked eye. In the ladybug picture, Denisov generates 3D particles in the scene to represent the presence of dust. This effect would have been extremely useful to the robot animation I had produced when studying animation artefacts as this animation was staged in a very dusty environment.

Denisov goes even further to develop this effect by adding bokeh (lens blur) to the dust particles. Combined with his use of volumetric (visible) lighting a very effective and realistic light setup occurs. The image below shows the combination of volumetric lighting, air particles and bokeh in Denisov’s work.

Light Particles

Light Particles

If you look closely in the image, you can see that Denisov also has a layer in his file for vignetting, another unwanted artefact of real cameras that has previously been discussed.

Whilst giving some more thought to real camera artefacts it occurred to me that I hadn’t yet considered exposure. Quite often it is difficult to photograph a landscape scene and acquire correct exposure for both land and sky. It is quite common for the sky to become overexposed and the highlights clipped. To overcome this problem Nikon DSLR cameras use a feature called Active D-Lighting. For a 3D artist trying to achieve photorealism, I wander if these unwanted exposure problems should be artificially introduced?

As had expected, only limited learning could come from reading a magazine and so I resigned myself to obtaining some research materials that I could really sink my teeth into.

Research Papers on Photorealism

Many of the sources I’ve already consulted give confirmation to the observations I have made previously. In fact, one of the opening statements in Rackwitz and Sterner’s research paper  (2007, p11) states that “To achieve photorealism with a computer is a challenging task and requires understanding of the fundamental physics and psychophysics of light. How does light interact with materials and surfaces in the real world? What happens when light rays enter the human eye?”. It seems that when I wrote my hypothesis I was barking up the right tree!

In the same paper Rackwitz and Sterner (p26) give praise to the pursuit of replicating unwanted artefacts of real world cameras. They state that “Producing a photo with a digital camera includes minor noise, while rendering generates totally ‘crispy’ and clean images”.

They also confirm that hard/square edges should be avoided. They state that “Real objects can hardly be as hard‐edged as they are in 3D” “The modeller has to be aware of those problems and correct them, at least for photorealistic rendering” (p26).

Volumetric Lighting

In his tutorial, Dmitry Denisov uses Directional Lights to achieve a volumetric (visible) lighting effect. When reading Antione Bishc’s research paper for his Msc in Media Production entitled ‘Photorealism in 3D Images’ (2007), I had noticed that he too discusses the use of directional lighting.

I was a little puzzled as to what a directional light was until I came across this video on Real World Lighting in Cinema 4D by Nick Campbell. In the video, Nick explains the difference between the hard shadows created by a distant light, such as the sun, compared to the soft shadows created by a large and up-close source of light such as a studio soft box.

I’d already come to understand that an infinite (directional) light should be used to emulate the sun but hadn’t understood why. I’d highly recommend that anybody interested in lighting watch this video, however, more research is needed on my part to understand the volumetric/visible lighting effect.

Warm and Cold Lighting

Although not necessarily related to photorealism, something else that I hadn’t been able to resolve had been bugging me for some time. Unexpectedly this week, I found the solution in two separate locations. I wanted to know why films use so much blue and orange lighting. Martin Scorsese’s film Hugo (2011) is a paradigm example of this as its colour palate uses almost nothing but blue and orange.

Hugo

Hugo

In their research paper ‘Photorealistic Rendering with V‐ray’ (2007, p23) Rackwitz and Sterner explain that a balance of warm and cold light will “generate a feeling of depth and spatiality”.

In his video on real world lighting, Nick Campbell says that a warm light is often used for the key light and a cold light is used as a fill light. He speculates that this might be because our eyes are used to seeing the sky act as a fill light whilst the sun acts as a key light.

Rackwitz and Sterner (p48) go on to say that One simple rule of thumb is daylight or lights that come from an outside environment should be cold and kind of blue with a high color temperature, while indoor lamps have a low color temperature, a yellow touch, a bit dim light and not that intensity as the bright cold light”.

Colour Temperature

Whilst on the subject of warm and cold lighting, I’ve found that a 3D artist in search of photorealism should create lights that have the same colour temperature as their real world counterparts. The following is a small selection of real world lights and their colour temperature.

  • Candle flame: 1900°Kelvin
  • 100‐watt household bulb: 2865°Kelvin
  • Daylight: 5600°Kelvin

If a 3D artist in pursuit of photorealism was creating a directional light that was intended to emulate a sun, then the virtual light’s colour temperate should match that of its real world counterpart, i.e. approximately 5,600°Kelvin (depending on the time of day etc).

IES Lighting

Even better than trying to match the correct colour temperature, an architectural 3D artist in search of photorealism should almost certainly make use of IES (Illuminating Engineering Society of North America) lights wherever possible. The IES have created a standard that allows manufacturers to record characteristics for the lights they make, such as colour temperature, falloff and visible light etc. These measurements are saved in a text file and made publicly available. 3D software (such as Cinema 4D) can then use these files to replicate a real world light.

Todd Dave has a useful video that demonstrates IES lighting properties in this video.

Random Chaos

One of the biggest insights I have been able to obtain whilst conducting this research has been the generation of randomness or chaos. This is something that all sources seem to agree on; a 3D artist in search of realism should note that in real life, there is chaos.

In his tutorial, Dmitry Denisov uses 3D software to place water drops randomly into the scene.

Random Effector

Random Effector

Using software to do this is a very good idea as I believe (albeit without having conducted any research) it is difficult for a human mind to conceive randomness. For example, if a human was asked to randomly draw some dots on a piece of paper, it’s unlikely that they would produce something that looks like this:

Random Dots

Random Dots

Of course, in the infinite number of ways that the dots could have been drawn, a match to my example would be unlikely. Although having said that, it depends on how you look at it, the opposite is also true; in the infinite number of ways that the dots could have been drawn, eventually, an exact match could be found. Anyway, the argument I’m trying to make is that the human mind is fantastic at recognising patterns and is instinctively programmed to seek harmony. I’d guess that most people would try to fill the page with dots that were somewhat evenly spaced and would try to avoid leaving large areas of empty space. I’d guess that the human brain would generate a (simple) formula in an attempt to create something that is random, the result being something that is far from random.

This is all speculation of course, but as matter of fact, the computer is most certainly not confined by the same instinctive limitations as the human mind and is thus far more adept at creating randomness (despite requiring a human programmer to explain how to go about it). Without digressing (too much), software generated randomness is a tool that 3D designers should put to good use wherever possible.

I’ll try not to go off an a tangent this time but there are situations where the opposite is also true. For example, when creating a brick wall, a computer would use an algorithm to generate bricks that were exactly the same size, arranged in perfectly straight lines, and spaced exactly the same distance apart. In this instance, the computer’s formula is far from the chaotic reality, as can be seen in the irregularities of the real brick wall below.

Algorithmic Bricks

Algorithmic Bricks

Random Bricks

Real (Random) Bricks

Rackwitz and Sterner (2007) demonstrate this aspect of photorealism in their research paper by ensuring that the cupboard doors in the following 3D image were not perfectly aligned.

Random Door Alignment

Random Door Alignment

According to Rackwitz and Sterner (p7), when you ask someone in the 3D business what they think will make a picture more realistic, the answer will most often be “irregularity, dirt, grain” or “imperfect makes perfect

How black is black?

I’d already mentioned in my studies that the only thing in nature that is truly black is a black hole, everywhere else, albeit in infinitely small quantities, there is always some amount of light present. Similarly, in nature, a pure white does not exist. Whilst writing their research paper, Rackwitz and Sterner attended an internship with IKEA.Whilst there, they found that IKEA set many specifications for 3D images produced by the artists that work for them. Within those specifications it was found that the brightest colour used for IKEA imagery should be the hexadecimal colour #F7F7F7 and the nearest colour to black should be #0A0A0A. Hexadecimal is far beyond the scope of this document but suffice to say; “there are 10 types of people in this world; those who understand binary, and those who don’t”.

Other Conclusions

It’s a little concerning that Rackwitz and Sterner suggest that “Photorealistic rendering is an extremely broad subject. To think, that one thesis could capture all the knowledge needed to explain photorealism, would be plain ignorance”. The implications of this suggest that my own ideas for a research paper might need to be re-evaluated, however, Rackwitz and Sterner do offer some alternative subjects for a research paper such as “Photorealistic lighting for indoor environments” or “Texturing solid materials for photorealism”.

Rackwitz and Sterner conclude their research paper by suggesting something that I’ve come to realise in my own studies; pinpointing the essence of photorealism is very subjective.

Deeper Down the Rabbit Hole

As Rackwitz and Sterner have rightly noted, one research paper couldn’t possibly provide all the answers for producing photorealistic 3D renders. In light of this, I have turned my focus away from research papers and have at am now concentrating on books. At the time of writing, I have on my desk a book that has me in a state of pure excitement  Just looking through the table of contents makes the hairs on the back of neck tingle! What follows is but a small excerpt from the table of contents:

  • Directional Lights
  • Modeling with Light
  • The visual function of shadows
  • Shadow algorithms
  • Lights with negative brightness
  • Software without colour balance
  • Simulating real life cameras
  • Gamma Correction
  • Motion blur
  • Attenuation
  • Colour and depth; warm and cool colours
  • Diffuse and specular light transmission
  • Realistic specularity
  • The Fresnel effect
  • Decals and dirt
  • Raytracing
  • Transparency and refraction
  • Radiosity
  • Photon mapping
  • Caustics
  • Particle Effects

I realise that this won’t appeal to all who read this, but it most certainly puts a massive smile on my face. Turning to the first page invites the reader to continue with an opening question: “How do you simulate the exposure process of a real camera and the natural side-effects of a cinematographer’s exposure controls?”. I think I’m going to find that the book sitting in my lap is a real gem.

As I work my way through Jeremy Birn’s ‘Digital Lighting and Rendering’ I’ll be reporting my findings on this blog. In the meantime, for those who are ‘Chomping at the bit’ like I am, here are some other books that may be of interest:

Digital Lighting and Rendering Digital Texturing and Painting Light for Visual Artists: Understanding & Using Light in Art & Design
Photorealism Since 1980 Color and Light: A Guide for the Realist Painter Mastering Mental Ray: Rendering Techniques for 3D and CAD Professionals

Can’t wait for the postman? perhaps a Google search of realistic image synthesis might also be in order.

First Research Update

As I began reading up on research from other practitioners I was pleased to find that my own ‘hunches’ were well placed.

In a research paper on Photorealistic Rendering with V‐ray (2007), Anja Rackwitz and Markus Sterner discuss the nature of real light, colour profiles, global illumination, high dynamic range imaging and perception psychology.

According to Rackwitz and Sterner, when you ask someone in the 3D business what they think will make a picture more realistic, the answer is almost every time: “irregularity, dirt, grain” or “imperfect makes perfect”. This echoes my own observations that everything that comes out of the 3D render engine is too clean and crisp without some kind of processing.

I had planned on spending the day reading the paper in its entirety but as luck would have it I needed to pop into town to see to some chores. As I walked past the news agents I decided to pop in and have a look at the 3D magazines. I’m not usually a fan of magazines as I often find their limited space means that nothing gets covered in sufficient depth. It’s worth a look I thought, you never know, there just might be one with an article on photorealism. Loh and Behold, a single copy of 3D Artist magazine sat on the shelf with a big bold typeface on the front cover; “Photoreal 3D”. What are the chances of that? 😀

3D Artist Magazine

3D Artist Magazine

The magazine is available here and contains a 15 hour tutorial by Modo and Zbrush artist Dmitry Denisov. Looks like I know what I’ll be doing for the next couple of days then 🙂

In the meantime, here’s an update on character modelling for my animation. The base mesh for the ears is ‘finished’ and I’ve made a start on the mouth.

Character Modelling Update

progress Update

Research Plan

I order to compile a research plan the brainstorm that was generated at the start of this project was consulted in order to identify areas of research that would support this project. Regrettably, the course deadlines dictate that only avenues of research are priorities in order of importance and many of the subjects will not be included in research.

I’d said earlier in my observations that I needed to study Sub Surface Scattering but have not as yet achieved this. As I have begun modelling the cats for my animation, sub surface scattering will be an important part of making them look real. In addition to this, I have no experience of using specular maps but currently believe that specular maps will play an important role in achieving realism in the primary characters of the animation. In account of this, Sub Surface Scattering and Specular Maps will be researched.

I have already spent time exploring reflections but have not as yet begun experimenting with transparencies and refraction. Unfortunately, as the animated project doesn’t immediately require transparency, this area of study is not a priority.

In my original hypothesis, It’s suggest that the study of digital photography might hold the key to achieving realism. However, many of the artefacts that are created as a by-product of digital imaging have already been generated so the study of photography is not a priority either. It would be useful to explore depth of field and how a shallow depth of field can be replicated in the 3D environment, although this will only occur once the primary topics of research have been exhausted.

One area of priority should be Gamma, Linear Workflow and Colour Profiles as they enable better support for HDR Imaging and colour replication. I have studied these areas previously in my MA, but don’t feel that I have as yet achieved sufficient understanding to effectively incorporate these methods into my practice.

The primary goal of the research should be studying what has been done by other practitioners in order to achieve photorealism so that I can compare their findings to my own and attempt to improve upon what has already been discovered.

I will need to give some attention to finding some focussed research materials that will most likely be in the form of online articles, blogs, portfolios and videos, as well as books and magazines.

One artist in particular who seems to have an excellent grasp of photorealism is Alex Roman. His work will be consulted in order to identify areas of good practice.