Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  

Key factor to realistic shading

Recommended Posts

Hey guys,


Checking this project and i'm in awe



What would you say is the cornerstone of good and realistic shading in scenes? I know its a combination of many things, but recently been working out this puzzle and reading about OSL and Fresnels and Sheens, you think these are the key components for realistic shading? or maybe exporting textures and working with another software like Substance Painter? OSL seems complicated but very interesting, checking it right now.

Share this post

Link to post

There's no getting away from it, as you said, it is a combination of many things, and there is no simple one-rule / cornerstone that leads to brilliant results all the time. You need a decent model, decent materials, decent lighting and decent render settings - if any of those are wrong the final image will suffer to some degree. The 'sheens' and fresnels you use will just be part of the regular texturing process, and every renderer will provide (different but principally the same) ways of facilitating them.


But if you tried to nail me down on one particular factor that makes most difference to the realism of a texture it is 'lack of perfection'. Nearly everything in the real world has some degree of damage or wear to it, or some amount of dust settled on it, so your textures (and sometimes models) should always reflect that (no pun intended). This can be done within a single layer material, or via alpha-layered damage / dirt maps, about which there are numerous tutorials online. It is in this sort of area where programs like Substance really shine because they can generate particle based damage more procedurally, naturally and easily than Cinema can. It's also a lot nicer environment to be hand painting and detailing texture maps in, if you need to do that alot. 


If you don't have Substance, then my advice would be to work using mostly 2k+ photographically sourced textures, and to combine those with Cinema's excellent internal noises to generate your procedural damage and wear. 



Share this post

Link to post

OSL is not necesarry because most if not close to all materials are achievable in all render engines. It's a nice extension if you are after some specific effect or something that isn't supported by the engine yet, but it's certainly not something an artists needs to know.


The three cornerstones of realistic rendering are just three things: modeling, materials and lighting. If you mess up one of these three, your rendering will look bad. A little bit of bad modeling isn't as severe as a bad material or bad lighting though, in my experience. There's a certain margin of error for models but the eye instinctively picks up wrong materials, it's just something our brains are very, very good at.


Substance is only really needed if you want to do more complex stuff. If you're into MoGraph or generally more abstract stuff I don't think it's needed for good looking renders. Also, Fresnel is out of question since every single material ever has fresnel so without fresnel there is no realistic shading. It's just one of those basic rules.

Share this post

Link to post
  • Topic Author
  • Author of the topic Posted

    Thanks guys! the reason why i asked is because im trying to perfect the quality of realism and i needed to put a hierarchal structure over what to watch/focus on/learn.


    With lighting, i found great HDRs by Maxime Oz and im only working with very high quality HDRIs. I also am always using Octane's Fall Off and Float Textures with lights to add imperfections, as well as importing ISE images to add. I believe i made some progress with Lighting.


    Texturing, shading and materials, i am definitely not there yet since the differences and technical terms are too many to be remembered, but since you've mentioned it then i guess Substance Painter, MoGraph and Fresnel should be a priority before OSL. Thank you!


    Share this post

    Link to post
    9 minutes ago, AlexisB said:

    ... MoGraph and Fresnel should be a priority before OSL. Thank you!



    I didn't mean to imply that MoGraph has anything to do with realistic rendering. All I meant was that scenes you typically do with MoGraph don't need insane amounts of material and texturework.


    Keyword here is usually.

    Share this post

    Link to post

    octane + hdri +a decent material pack from GSG or something. Instagram is littered with these renders. 


    you can achieve these in physical render in c4d too, but it will render slower and take longer and more tinkering. 

    Share this post

    Link to post

    Join the conversation

    You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

    Reply to this topic...

    ×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

      Only 75 emoji are allowed.

    ×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

    ×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

    ×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

    Sign in to follow this  

    • Recently Browsing   0 members

      No registered users viewing this page.

    • Create New...


    Dear members, we are aware of few more bugs that are still present withing the theme.We just wanted to let you know that we are working to fix them as soon as possible.


    Please be aware that we are manually approving all new registrations, due to spam prevention. Please be patient in case you cannot login right away, we will approve you within 12h or less if we decide you are not potential spammer. 


    Thanks for understanding! :cowboypistol: