in our 3Delight thread on the DAZ forums…

…Wowie linked to a very cool article by B.Benoit, titled The Photographic Look.

I’m not a strict ‘photorealist’ in the sense of ‘replicating our reality’ – I dream of a VFX career, not an archviz one; these mindsets are somewhat different. VFX, even for non-SF/F movies, generally has to be ‘larger than life’ to truly deliver. Paolo Berto Durante throws the word ‘photosurrealism’ around, and I guess it fits.

But it’s all about ‘learning the rules before you break’em’.

There are two things in this article that come as a sort of consolation to me: first, a clear statement that it’s correct to wind up with overexposed outside landscapes/cityscapes when rendering interiors with windows; and then (the biggest one) the importance of softness. I figured that thing out by myself, just looking at stuff, but it’s nice to see that it’s not just my whacky eyesight and even whackier visual processing playing tricks =) Though it’s kinda funny that Mr Benoit says Catmull-Rom is sharp. Maybe when rendering at 4K, it is. But as compared to sinc at hobbyist resolutions, it’s not.

Either way, I have been told that my recent stuff isn’t ‘sharp enough’, but those were fellow hobbyists speaking, and the perception is a bit skewed in the DS/Poser community, what with years of having to deal with tiny render sizes and way-too-high shading rates in case of REYES-based renderers, or having to apply noise reduction to half-baked MTL (or whatever algos they might be using in ‘unbiased’ raytracers) renders – all that because of hardware limitations. With blurry results. So ‘sharp’ meant ‘more computational resources invested’ = ‘better’.

Fun stuff: Xara Designer comes with that discontinued PhotoLooks plugin bundled now. But it doesn’t support EXR that I render to. I wonder if it will accept a HDR TIFF – because I sure want to have my correct bloom.
Well, the upcoming version of GIMP should support 32bit images, and GIMP has ten thousand plugins, so I guess it can wait.

I also need to watch those HDR painting tutorials for Krita. It would be cool if I could paint arbitrary HDR maps for gels and environment lighting.

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