Post-processing in 3D Art is work done after the processing phase on a 3D render. Post-processing is usually carried out on the outside of the 3D software package in editing software such as Adobe Photoshop (for images) or Adobe After Effects (for videos). Many architectural images that you see online are usually heavily post-processed to increase photo special effects that include blurs, people, and other visually appealing effects. This phase in 3D artwork is commonly adopted in film production to insert green-screened actors into complex 3D rendered backgrounds.
Essentials of 3D Art Post Processing
Let us begin with understanding the core elements of the post-processing phase of 3D art, The post-processing phase includes the below-mentioned characteristics –
Post-processing is an essential phase in 3D art to correct all small errors in a long render.
To achieve a flawless after effect that would otherwise take longer to be produced in the 3D package.
Post-processing is a good alternative to long rendering. It is comparatively easier to edit separate layers all by yourself. As in rendering it would take long hours to bake them into the render where it becomes difficult to edit.
Real Examples of 3D Post Processing
For your better understanding, we have carried out a careful rendering of a train station. In the post-processing stage, the image will go through a sequence of editing phases to showcase the power of post-processing in the real world. We will begin with a raw render obtained from V-ray and 3ds Max. The very first thing to add to the raw rendered image is a depth of field (DoF) blur. This effect can be added by popular rendering engines using CPU tracing algorithms. However, it is necessary to adjust the effect as once the render is complete there is no easy way of changing the effect.
Render engines allow you to edit elements as separate layers that can be added to your post-processing software for adding various filters. To render this image we are using V-ray to make a Z-depth layer. The Z-depth layer is a white and black image in which objects that are close to the camera lens are white while the objects that are farther away from the camera lens are darker and those objects which are farther are eventually black. Using alpha channel in Photoshop you can add this typical effect to your renders. You can experiment with your creative skills by using the blur tool with little or more DoF as per your taste. You get instant results using Photoshop post-processing techniques rather than waiting for a new render.
If you have removed any material from the image during the rendering process you can fix it outside 3ds Max. For instance, if you forgot the logo of a train or any object you can simply add it to the rendered image output. You can Google the company logo and employ Photoshop perspective or skew tools to match the logo with the image distortion. Afterward, you can lay it over the area where it was intended to be placed from the beginning. This step is beneficial to add an extra amount of details to the rendered image. The final step includes adding a realistic touch to the scene. To this train scene, we would add people as it is a public place. This will enhance the overall scenic beauty and will make it appear more realistic. People that are rendered in 3D art are difficult to match the photorealistic standards. Many artists make use of composite images and insert them in the scene after the render is complete.
Recently due to the increase in demand and use of 3D scanning technology, there are archives of various 3D people looks that appear indistinguishable from rendered photographs. Professional studios prefer to use these archives to make their renders appear unique without much effort. However, the method is costly and demands a hundred dollars to populate the scene with such models. Once you get the right kind of people mages that you wish to insert in your scenes you must remember to use Photoshop exposure, contrast, and brightness tools to fix these images in the lighting of your rendered scene. If the scene involves the use of bright colored lights then you might need to paint the background lights on the people and overlay shadows to merge the scene with the images appropriately. In our train image, it wasn’t felt necessary to add people images.
After this step, the rendered image is duplicated to a new layer to have the original work as a backup if you fail to revert mistakes. You can use the burn tool to incorporate shadows which might help to accentuate the whole scene and make it look less floaty. When the post-processing phase is complete the final results should aim to express results that are both creative and realistic and surpass client expectations.
Important Reasons For Post Processing
Photoshop and After Effects come with various filters that can be used n the post-processing phase of a 3D artwork. You can also create custom effects to apply them to your images and make them appear more interesting. Different render styling choices can be a lot of fun to experiment with if you have plenty of time up your sleeves. As they say “The limit is your imagination”.
You can see the same train station scene that we earlier rendered and edited. The image, as shown above, was taken in the 1940s when technology was not advanced and the cameras couldn’t get colored results at the time in the past. Today post-processing has emerged as one of the most essential and overlooked aspects of a 3D artist’s workflow. The work you put in your render brings out the life in your concept and makes it stand out from the market competition.
If you have freshly started on 3D artwork you should invest some time in learning new techniques and best tools to add final touches to your 3D artwork to make it appear professional. You can rely on Photoshop to create custom effects using certain special tools that can make up a fairly good contribution to your 3D artwork.
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