Why it's not realistic?

Hi, blender artists!

I have a question - I’ve made a model of a simple toster. It’s close enough to a real model by proportions, color and so on - but the renders looks so fake for me and I can’t get what’s the point - why it’s not realistic at all?


You can find the model here, if you’d like to help me: https://www.dropbox.com/s/3i7yxdqg4d2pqyg/Toster.blend?dl=0

For a lightning I’ve used this env. map: http://blender3d.com.ua/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/beer-hdr.jpg

Look forward to your help and advice :slight_smile:

Thank you!

Because you have really simple materials and textures. People aren’t the only thing that has multiple layers, everyday objects have them to. By that I mean there needs to be a combination of materials and textures to make it look realistic, even if it’s something mundane or simple.

There are many tutorials on this, but I’ll link youthis oneI find most helpful

I second that.
Cycles’ material shaders are very basic building blocks and need to be stacked together for complex materials. For example:

For the base of that toaster you use a single diffuse shader. Look around you: I doubt that you will find a single material in real life that does not reflect light at least a tiny bit. Diffuse-only materials just don’t exist.

The top of that toaster is a simple anisotropic shader - but with almost no roughness. Anisotropy without roughness is close to being pointless, as you would hardly see it (if at all).

Your diffuse/glossy mix shaders use a constant mix factor - another thing you will seldomly see in real materials. In most you will find at least a subtle Fresnel effect = materials getting more reflective at glancing angles. Use Layer Weight > Facing or Fresnel nodes to simulate that and to control the mix factor.

And do those surfaces really all have a perfect, high-polish finish? Most likely you will find tiny irregularities in the real manufactured objects - try to copy that with subtle bump maps!

Another thing:
You’re using a LDR ( = low dynamic range) image for your scene lighting (.jpg). Don’t! Get a HDR image with a studio setup to light the scene (.hdr or .exr). A LDR does simply not have the dynamic range necessary to dramatically light the scene and therefore tends to look flat.

Also:
Consider having a “floor” in the scene, something for the toaster to stand on. This will help the eye to “ground” the object and to put it into context. There aren’t so many free floating toasters in real life…:wink:

Wow! Thank you all for such detailed answer! Materials is a really big problem, I’m trying to use complex materials but it’s always one or two mix shaders. I can create realystic wood floor, for example with bump maps, normal and occlusion, but I can’t use same method for glossy toaster :slight_smile:

I’ll try all your ideas and post the result here - hope You’ll see it and answer what is wrong now :slight_smile:
IkariShinji, can you explain me the idea of “copy that with subtle bump maps”? Where do I get this maps and where to use? And is there any sources where I can download HDR images for the lightning?

Thank you again! :slight_smile:

Studio HDR maps can be found e. g. here (below the image are links to two more HDRI sets).
Imitating surface irregularities does not necessarily require an image map: Play around with Cycles’ procedural textures (noise, Voronoi, Musgrave etc.) and see how they influence the surface structure when used as bump maps.

Simple example (left with noise bump, right without):



Ok, thank you so much! I’ll try this out and look at the render results :slight_smile:

Oh, and one more thing about “floor” in case to get realistic image I need to create a real “floor” and that’s not an easy task too :slight_smile: so, without floor it’s just on a transparent background and look good, like on any internet shop pages :slight_smile:

And of course there’s a certain amount of artistic discretion here, too. Right now, it looks like an airbrushed rendering of an Art Deco appliance. The treatment of the chrome top surface of the toaster, in particular, gives it “that certain look” . . . A really nice yet simple shape, using just two or three gray tones. It actually looks to me like good airbrush work. It makes The Almighty Product™ look appealing. (Although the lettering and especially the logo should be “tack sharp.”)

The exposure, also, is quite even across the entire appliance, the shadows are subtle but realistic, the various corners and edges are well-defined.

. . . So, if that were what you were shooting for, or what you decided to be shooting for, then, “to my eye, it looks pretty darned good!” :yes: (In other words: I’d keep a copy of that blend-file, just like it is.)

But if instead you are looking for “realism,” as you call it, then you’re really looking for visual complexity, particularly (I think …) in the reflections. The toaster is probably made of enameled metal which probably wouldn’t exhibit a very “bumpy” texture. But the lighting would be c-o-n-t-r-i-v-e-d, in the photographic studio, to give a “realistic” (sic) and appealing effect.

I’d strongly suggest that you surf for some articles which talk about this sort of close-up product photography, especially the shooting of chrome.

Then, in the interest of time, consider shooting a “base plate” consisting of the toaster with no specularity, then separately render only one-or-more “specularity plates” which you can then composite over the base plate, maybe using slightly different color shades. The base materials look pretty good right now to me for a subject like this one. The tweaks that will make it seem more “realistic” (in a studio product-shot sort of way, this being perhaps the most unrealistic photo setup you can possibly have …) will mostly have to do with specularity. Therefore, I’d “plan accordingly” to save myself some render-time.

(Cycles is great for that “flat lighting,” but you might switch to BI for the specular passes.)


Also, with regard to post #5: “uh uh, I can see the soft-box in the picture.” There must be No reflections of the photographer, the camera or the lighting implements in a product shot. Cycles is really bad about that, and wastes a lot of computer time trying to achieve it, although the same basic consideration would be equally true with silver film.

Erm, that’s no product shot, but a sphere in a HDR environment to show a simple example of a shading effect. So, let’s not overreact, ok? You could as well complain about the checkerboard floor…:stuck_out_tongue:

Not sure if it add been mentioned befor but somthing that make object more realistic is not looking like they are just out of the factory.

Ading some bump in the metal for exemple on the modeling part or ading some dust, wear mark, burn mark or staint on the material/texture help a lot in making an object realistic.

Obviously it depend if you are planing to use it in a scene at home, in a supermarcket or in an adds for this toster.

Oh my… I didn’t even expect so many detailed answers on my “simple” (as I thought) question!) Thank you very much, you are the best! :slight_smile:

Androol, yes, I need to use this toaster in an adds on in a supermarcket :slight_smile: Creating a “used” realistic object is much harder for me… So, for now it’s not the goal for me :frowning: But I’m learning all this stuff and hope that someday…)

sundialsvc4, thank you, thank you, thank you :slight_smile: as for me this renders is not beautiful at all… I don’t now why, but it’s definetely not “pretty darned good” as for me… You also can take a look on the other renders of it here: https://www.behance.net/gallery/21707759/Toaster-)
By the way - so many new words for me, I shocked, I didn’t use Google Translate for a long time :slight_smile:

So, here is the questions:

  1. Do you suggest me to use studio light or not?
  2. Blender Render engine is better than Cycles for this type of shoots? :slight_smile: I can’t work in blender render, it’s old and unclear for me, because I’ve never used it in my practice :frowning:
  3. And, if you could, what is about these “plates”? I don’t get it at all… Maybe there is some article about this method? What I have for now is a “base plate”, right?

I think sundial refers to render passes, which are composited afterwards. But I will let him elaborate on that…

Yeah, “realism” in rendering is kind of opening a can of worms, isn’t it?
This reminds me of the Pareto principle: 80 percent of the work on any project is done in 20 percent of the time. But the final and finishing 20 percent of the work will eat up 80 percent of the total time. I guess that’s the phase you just entered…:wink:

IkariShinji, yes, it seems to be so… And I don’t like this phase :slight_smile: