I have literally had a person ask me how I did the Nissan GTR shot below so I thought I would share a little about how the image was made. I won’t go into too much detail and I will assume that you have a working knowledge of 3DsMax and VRay as well as how to use photoshop.
Now first things first, I did not make the model. I am too lazy and it takes too much time.
Ok so first for a little bit of background about the image; I spend all day making realistic renders of cars at work so I decided straight off the bat that I wanted to do something a little bit more illustrative. I wanted the image to be a lot more emotional and atmospheric rather than technical and accurate. I had collected a series of rig shots as inspiration and quickly went about setting up a camera angle.
Once the was sorted I had to go about setting up the lighting. Seeing as most of my reference shots were shot at night or in a dark setting, I felt that was what I wanted to replicate.
The first thing I do when working on a car is “describe” the car. Now, seeing as I didn’t have a HDRI to work with I had to use studio lighting to pick out the details of the car. Above you can see the position of my studio lights. I have removed the studio but I am pretty sure you can figure out the shape of position of it by looking at the lights.
Once I was happy with the base reflections I wanted to add the light streaks caused by a long exposure on a rig shot.
This is a screen grab of what I used for the light streaks. Nothing glamorous or special. It is literally a load of splines set to “renderable splines” with a VRayLightMtl applied to it. These would cause the reflections over the car as well as become the template for the background which I will come back to later.
Once I was satisfied I render out the car only, without the wheels. What you see above is a RAW render of the car without the wheels. I rendered the wheels separately because they would take a lot longer to render due to the motion blur applied to them.
And these are the wheels. These were animated in 3DsMax and then rendered using a slow shutter speed to control the level of blur on them. Pretty much the same way it is done in real life. I could have just used photoshop to blur the wheels but I feel VRay does a better job at creating a realistic blur.
To do this all the object that would rotate were assigned to a dummy which was centred and aligned to the rim. The dummy was then animated over about 5 frames and then rendered in the middle frame (frame 3).
For the background I made a series of selection sets in photoshop using the above image. This allowed me to paint the lights in using a series of brushed and blending modes in photoshop. I duplicated and blurred certian layers to add a sort of glow to the lights.
As well as using the AO pass (Ambient Occlusion) in the main composite I also used it to create the shadow on the floor. This was done for two reasons.
1; Because it was quick. and;
2; Because I was too lazy to set up more lights to create a pleasing shadow.
Once I assembled the whole image, I did some global colour corrections and level adjustments as well as tweaking exposure and contrast on certain parts of the car. I then exported a flattened version of the image from photoshop into AfterEffects to do the lens flares. Then back into photoshop for some final touches.
It’s at this point that I will be a little honest. I did kind of get to a stage where I thought this looked “good enough“… I know there is a lot more I could have done to improve it but I have a slow machine so this would take a fair old amount of time to re-render and develop.
Who knows…maybe another day.
Hope you liked my little breakdown.