5 steps to achieve Photo-Realistic CG renders

In this post i will tell you about the six steps necessary to create realistic CGI renders using any 3D software. I used Cinema 4D R17 with Octane Render.

Step 1: Model to scale

modeling to scale with lawlez

When creating 3D assets using the correct scale of the real world object is a good start. Often you find yourself estimating the size of this door you are modeling. Using google or a real door we can actually measure its size. Once all your assets have correct scale and placement (f.e. the height of the door handle) you can go to the next step.


Step 2: Bevel objects

When working in a 3D program you get really sharp edges. In the real world however something like this does not exist. Every corner is beveled, even if its just a tiny bit. So to bevel your 3D model is a good idea, just dont overdo it. The bevels also allow for a nice highlight on the edges.

Step 3: real world lighting

3d phone concept cinema 4D - 3d model
The light that hits your object is just as important as the material. And if it doesn't match what we see in everyday life, it's going to look "off".

The easiest way to achieve real world lighting is to use HDR Images. Theese can be found online.

In addition to this you should restrict the color of your lights to the blackbody temperature scale, because both artificial lighting, and outdoor lighting fall into it.

Step 4: use physically accurate shaders

Unless you're using a physically accurate rendering engine (Arnold, Maxwell, Octane etc.), you should take time to make your materials behave like they do in the real world.

Step 5: Everything is dirty

In the real world, nothing is perfectly clean. Everything has some sort of wear and tear. 

So after you creted your material, consider what kind of wear and tear the material could be exposed to. Scratches? Smudges? Dust?

You can find textures for this online. I got mine from Poliigon.

Check our Article on Creating worn edges in Cinema 4D

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