This is a personal 3D visualisation realism study where I’ve basically tried to replicate photos taken by “Entrence Mäkleri” to figure out what makes a photo look like a photo. I started with this sometime last year but kept being prioritized below commercial projects.
Basically I saw the original images on Instagram and I thought they were very beautiful. Very scandinavian, bright, with a kind of lighting that is hard to replicate. It’s very bright white light but still deep shadows and not overexposed. Also there is some kind of “sharpness” to the images that I wanted to figure out where it comes from.
I did some conclusions, mainly that 3D renders out of the box tend to be too “soft”. It’s lacking some “micro contrast” that was very apparent in these photos, and my goal was to figure out how to replicate that as close as possible.
The scene is made in 3DsMax and rendered with FStorm Render. I didn’t have any measurements of the scene, and no floorplan, so instead I used perspective matching for every camera angle, which allowed me to build the whole apartment in more or less perfectly accurate scale according to the real life apartment.
The lighting is actually very simple, I like to use the same tactic as many scandinavian real estate photographers, meaning I prefer overcast days to get that white lighting. Having a clear sky sunny day means you’ll get a mix of warm sun and blue skylight. And I wanted as white light as possible, but still without cheating with saturation etc. So having an overcast HDRI from cg-source.com that had just a little sunlight in it behind coulds, gave me this result perfectly.
I learned a lot from this project, mostly about composition and light balance but also one step closer to photo realism. People responded well to the project I guess, got featured by Behance and a few other places and got “Best of” at CG Vertex.