Danish-Italian love affair
Some double practice here, modeling Jørgen Kastholm’s PK6270 Easy Chair and a generic Venetian mirror, something I had long wanted to do and put off forever. The scene was quickly thrown together to showcase the two models. I used Octane for rendering this time as I was looking for a very quick feedback and the scene is very simple.
You can find both models here and here. If you like the floor, it’s a free texture you can grab here. The free downloads include some tutorial images about how to use it, and there is also a higher-res commercial version of the maps.
If anyone is interested in the crunched paper balls, I used this tutorial as a starting point. It’s a very simple and convincing method.
The mirror is basic poly-modeling in Max. The chair has a little bit of ZBrush going on on the seat.
I actually did a timelapse video of the mirror model, including all mistakes, double-backing and hesitations. Please forgive the horrible quality: It’s my first timelapse and there was a lot of fumbling involved. Future ones will be better, I promise. You can find the video below or check it directly in Youtube.
I often get asked about why I constantly switch renderers for my work, so maybe a few words about this. My tool of choice for most scenes remains V-Ray. This is especially true of large, complex scenes, with lots of geometry, scattered objects and displacement. V-Ray is a real workhorse, with the most extensive set of features, brilliant RAM management, the deepest integration in Max, and very fast in most situations. The interactive renderer, which wasn’t really usable for me in the past, has made great strides in 3.5. and now really allows real-time shading of assets. V-Ray also supports all of the coolest features of my two favorite tools: Forest Pack Pro and Railclone.
I’m also a regular user of Corona, which I often turn to for complicated interior renders. I’ve found Corona to be very predictably fast in tough GI situations, with lots of indirect light. It has a beautiful light falloff (something I can’t really put my finger on), is extremely simple to use, has a great and very responsive interactive renderer for quick shading, and its implementation of denoising is one of the best around. Its new lightmix feature is beyond cool and it also does a good, and fast, job at post-processing (think LUT, glare, bloom…)
Finally, I use Octane when I need super-fast feedback on relatively simple scenes, and often when doing animations (which is not really my bread-and-butter). There’s no question that the final images Octane delivers are effortlessly gorgeous all the time. It really is like using a camera. But it also has serious limitations. Being a GPU renderer, it means your scene and textures have to fit into the video card’s limited VRAM. Also, while Octane is lightning-fast in simple scenarios, rendering speed plunges very precipitously as soon as the scene gets more complex, especially for tough interiors. Third, the 3ds Max integration is pretty limited (it looks like the C4D plugin might be better).
All in all, these three renderers all have their strengths and weaknesses, and, above all, specific scenarios in which they excel. I wouldn’t want to miss out on any one of them, but I must also admit that all three fulfill pretty much all my needs, which is why I have yet to be tempted by another one. I heard a lot of good things about FStorm, but it is only available to rent and so I can’t make it part of my toolkit.
As always, I’d be happy to hear your thoughts. And remember that while I can see the Facebook comments and questions, I cannot respond to them there as I don’t have an account.
A few more images below.