Do you have tips on how to get crispy and colourfull renders

I noticed that my renders tend to be a bit grey and blurry. (Using mainly EEVEE past few months).

I suspect the following factors could be a cause (not sure):

  • Using Depth of field.
  • Colors I use a usually not above the 0.7 saturation (HSV).
  • Could it be that the default specularity 0.5 in of the principled shader is a bit to high?
  • When using Filmic post-process is needed. I put the look usually on Medium High Contrast.

What I am trying to do:

  • Post process. This is very difficult. It’s easy to break things. Barely have succesfull results with post-process actually. (Using often Levels in GIMP, best bet).
  • Lowering the specularity to 0.33 of principled shader
  • giving a tiny bit or metalness. The colors are a bit crispier.
  • Avoid sheen.
  • Avoid blur.
  • In post I bump up a tiny tiny bit of saturation. (Forgive me).

Still I am not happy enough when I compare my renders with (for example) nice adds on Twitter (made by pixel pushers).

I want those crisply renders I see in those adds.
Any tips?

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Post some of your renders, and then post some of the images you’d like to mimic the style of.

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Hi Photox,

Here an attempt but it is hard to give good examples because it feels more like a tendency rather than specific renders. Meaning it takes effort to get crispy results and sometimes it just a failure. But here two screenshots that might represent a bit that tendency: (Ofcourse I know the crispy ones are not renders, but at the end I want that sparkle, crisp, pop to publish). So I am emphasizing Tendency in the question.

Crispy:

Flat/grey/:

Filmic does really reduce contrast. Try making your lights brighter to increase the contrast in the lighting.

Also, your renders are objects that are desaturated. if you want it to be more colorful, add more color. Look at this kitops ad:

a touch of saturated color makes it much more poppy.

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Some of that tends to be people learning far far to much on the Mix shader, when they should be applying an add shader in the network.

If you want to see a side by side of what I am talking about.
mix and add.blend (760.1 KB)
And some of it is because of poorly mimicing what we see, things such as eyes, lizard scales and even our skin can take the energy of light from a wider spectrum and reflect it out concentrated in one, https://www.sciencealert.com/science-how-blue-eyes-get-their-colour for further reading.

For me for things such as blue eyes and things that need to pop, I’ll use an add shader and just double add in the material texture (with some scaling using a mix shader) so that the things that need to pop out can pop out a little more, it is useful to do that in game engines when you need a run time mechanic that can provide the players with subtle cues that they can act on without fully realizing.

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Your examples are literally stuff either painted with photoshop/gimp with high saturation colors, or highly manipulated photographs.
If you want to accomplish those effects you have to do the same stuff with your render that you would do with a photo. Post processing much.

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Yeah most of those images you like were made in photoshop. It rarely a good idea to use a text object in blender.

If you keep the text object in blender, make its material an emission shader, white, strength 1. At least your text will stand out.

That said, all of your render do have this monochromatic washed out feel. I am guessing it’s many things. In order of importance.

  1. too strong world lighting of a single color (white usually). get an hdri, or turn the world lighting down.

  2. use more saturated colors in your material. you say you never go over .7, why not???

  1. use less glossiness, and lower (blacker, closer to 0.0) roughness

  2. use more rounded edges bevels,a nd more curved surfaces, flat surfaces look like shit in blender.

  3. start using gimp/ps or something else to overlay text and do post effects.

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@Photox @SterlingRoth @joseph_raccoon @Acrivec
Thanks for all your replies, very useful also for others.
What I am going to do first is not being so scared of saturated colours anymore.

( I think I decided once being careful with saturated colours when I watched TV and discovered that the saturated parts started missing details. Over-saturated or something was clipping maybe. )

Another thing I keep in mind is to do things more in post, and I will experiment with reducing glossiness / specularity.

Another thing is, I recently had the experience that AO can make the render pop more.

Regarding blur: I thought there was a setting in Properties panel > Render > Film a setting that could blur on pixel-level which is on by default. Maybe they changed the name. Could that be related?

There could be one more thing that makes a render look dull/flat. When using colour for materials and colours for light, they can cancel each other out, making is grey-ish. (For example: Cyan smoke, red material, or red light, etc). So to make things pop could be arranging the colours of materials, light, fog, post-effect so that they work together and pop. Just a thought for now.

Update:
I tried some of the suggestions, and here is my first popping render or most popping render ever:
Bart_04

I’d say that the latest render is a definite big step in the right direction!

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