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Friday, December 11, 2015

Photorealism. The art of imperfection. Pix CGI.

With modern advances in CGI quality it is increasingly possible to create imagery that can perfectly mimic a photograph. For many of our clients this brings a number of benefits from traditional photography. Not only can they have ideas without limitations for their set builds, but they are also able to bring many cost efficiencies through reusing the CGI sets we build for them, and also by creating multiple renders of the same products but in different colours or with different finishes. CGI also has cost savings as there is no physical set build and therefore no wastage.

But getting amazing photorealism isn’t just a case of setting up a 3D room set and hitting the render button. The Pix team are a unique blend of traditional photographers, stylists, CGI artists and post production experts. Combined with the unique processes we employ to create Pix CGI we are able to produce photorealistic CGI that feels real to our client’s customers.

How?

Well, believe it or not – when it comes to producing CGI that feels real, a lot of it comes down to the art of imperfection. It is a case of adding the imperfections and limitations that real sets, real cameras and real lights can create when taking a real photograph. Without these imperfections CGI can feel too perfect!

For a recent Pix CGI photography job, our client was more insistent than most that these imperfections were introduced to their CGI shots and that real period architectural details were replicated.

Here are just a few shots of many which highlight some of the imperfections and limitations we accounted for when producing the shots for our client.

No room for symmetry
The room set we built was based on a period conversion. Often when producing CGI room sets for these kinds of properties it is an easy choice to avoid some of the far from perfect lines and architectural curiosities – instead building sets which create perfect balance and symmetry when rendered as a final shot. With these shots we created a more realistic room set by incorporating the imperfect build qualities which would be found within a more typical period conversion.
Set_Visions_Pix_CGI_Art_of_Imperfection_03

No room for the camera
More often than not CGI artists will ‘cheat’ a shot. Placing virtual cameras where, in reality, if the room were within a real house, they wouldn’t be able to place a camera. For instance a wall or some fitted furniture might be in the way. The Pix CGI photographs rendered for this job accounted for all the limitations a real room within a house would place on camera placement. In this shot – the output is on the border of being a little cramped – but feels more real as a result of placing these limitations.
Set_Visions_Pix_CGI_Art_of_Imperfection_01

Perfect imperfection
All too often the finishes applied to CGI photography are so perfect that the shots can appear almost hyperreal – an unachievable reality! For the shot below the stone surrounds to the windows and doors were deliberately created so that they did not line up. The plaster was also created to blend into the stonework and not be completely vertical. This creates a very traditional period feel to the set. The ceiling boards were also created with a random pattern so that they were not too neat.
Set_Visions_Pix_CGI_Art_of_Imperfection_02

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