We learn something new everyday.  Here are a few post production tips we’ve picked up:

1.  This may be old news, but we didn’t know about it and since our recent discovery, it certainly has saved us a LOT of time!  There is a map under the standard maps called vray multi sub object texture … you know when you make those wood floor multi sub object materials where all the properties are the same except the diffuse slot – where anytime you wanna change the reflectivity you have to change it a MILLION times? … well … this map allow you to use just one material (no sub objects) and apply multi sub object definitions within just the diffuse slot!  Problem solved and TONNES of time saved.

2.  Use actions in photoshop! … I’ve been doing this for a while now and dont know how I would do it otherwise … for repeptitive actions in photoshop, you can record your steps (see tutorial by clicking here) … then after it’s recorded you can switch your action panel to button mode where your recorded action is turned into a button which you can use to repeat the action with one push … this is great for making shadows, saving transforms that need to be repeated later, saving scale factors, custom colour balance changes … you name it … the possibilities are endless!

3.  Masks are good for more than costumes and sex with whips and chains! … I almost never erase anything in photoshop anymore … it’s all about the mask!  Masking is a great non destructive way to edit your entourage … there’s nothing more frustrating than having to redo your entourage because of a change in the rendering … (see tutorial by clicking here)

Image4.  Vray render elements are your best friend! … So this is probably the most important tip in this post … Vray allows you to save out extra channels in addition to your RGB pass … there are a tonne of options but the best ones are Vray ExtraTex, Vray Reflection, and Vray Specular … these are very helpful …

VrayExtratex is essentialy ambient occlusion (ie it puts shadowy dirt in the corners and creases) … this can lend a lot of extra depth to images that are a bit flat.  This is accomplished by adding a vray dirt map to the texture slot (this can be dragged into the material editor to change its properties and get different results – we like to set our radius at about 600mm) … take the image this channel outputs and add it on top of your RGB pass and set its transparency mode to multiply … this way is better than switching in ambient occlusion because you can adjust its intensity in post … an example of the output is below:

This is also a cool way to make line drawings if you set the radius low enough!

Vray Reflection and Specular can be added on top and set to colour dodge in order to enhance your reflections and specular highlights … see below for examples:

Vray Reflection

Vray Specular

That last tip alone should help you really juice up your renderings.

Anyways … it’s been a hard week and I’m gonna go enjoy this beautiful spring we’re having in Toronto!

Until next time

- Norm

PS … for all our Toronto based readers, we will be giving away tickets to the Toronto Underground Market next week … the tickets are sold out and impossible to get … so stay tuned!