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  1. #1
    Motion Design Lead Iaian7's Avatar
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    Jan 2006
    Michigan, US

    Forest lights at night

    Just a "quick" personal project, based on a location photo shoot I attempted exactly a year ago — after spending hours out in the frozen woods behind my apartment till the early morning hours, losing feeling in my hands, and with only some problematic long exposure shots ruined by wind to show for it...I decided a CG approach might be more practical. And comfortable.

    Starting with some quick Google Images research, I found examples of the light bulbs I wanted to use, modelling them by eye (and a rough length guesstimate) using CC subpatch. Internal wires and filament were all 2-point polygons set to 2mm in Layout. The fixtures and cables were saved as separate layers so I could exclude the internal geometry and glass pieces from shadows and radiosity.

    Shaders are mostly a mix of modified specular (heavily processed Blinn and basic Anisotropic shaders) and reflections (combination of heavily diffused reflections and anisotropic reflections). While it'd be nice for the close shots to hold up nicely, I know my primary shot will be a wide view where physically accurate reflections won't help so much. I haven't optimised the shaders properly for distant shots, but they should work well enough. Using lights instead of luminous geometry is rather painful when it comes to what one might call "product shots," but will give a lot more control in the final render (since it'll give me so much more control over falloff, diffuse, and specular).

    The attached preview was rendered in Lightwave with camera DOF and using DPont's Node Image Filter (for recursive bloom and highlight compression curves), and saved to OpenEXR for final editing in Photoshop (noise reduction, additional bloom, grading, and sharpening). Took a little over an hour to render on my 2011 iMac i7 (this is actually from last weekend, I'm just catching up on posting ).
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