Finally on to the gimmick of this project!

To start, I set out into Illustrator to test out the limits of red and blue’s hue, saturation and brightness.

(Feel free to patronize this Carousell dealer for R/B Glasses

After that I started to apply the same principles to the files i already had rendered, first with stills and then with video.

Something that was really interesting to me was that some layers just worked better being Red/Blue. Case in point, the last 3 pictures show that when the blue ball is tinted red instead, it really disappears very well when viewed through the coloured filter (as compared to when it was blue and the highlights still peeked through).

Here’s a video example of the effect.

Lastly here’s the draft shown at the semester presentation in early/mid November

I’m not satisfied with the panning shots at 0:20 at all as they seem very flat (as previously mentioned in my other post).

Going forward video-wise I’m going to shoot some footage and make an edit and mash it up with my rendered footage to see if it works or not. Also plan to get a closer version of what the edit would be like in the final video.

Next up, AUDIO.


I’m exploring HDRI’s as a way of lighting my scenes. HDRI’s are 360 panoramic photos with multiple baked into one image with a large dynamic range; hence the term HDRI: ‘High-dynamic-range imaging’. These files are used as a means of lighting and are often used in 3D integration for live footage. The 3D software uses the image to calculate lighting as per the environment and provides reflections of the environment. You can see what they typically look like in the image below. HDRI’s typically come in the .hdr file format and are 32-bit, which hold a wider range of color information than a standard 8-bit .jpg like the example picture below.

HDRI example

This is mapped to a sphere in the 3D software of choice

as you can see it really provides a great way to realistically light a scene. The downsides are that they’re inflexible, you can always add more lights in there but for the most part you’re stuck with what you’re given. Another downside is that I think a lot of my scenes are indoors and/or dimly lit. There are workarounds for indoors, but as for dimly lit most hdri’s are often during the day or much brighter than what I’d need. The two main issues for me are it’s inflexibility and the variety that i can find. I’m considering taking my own, and if I do I’m probably going to involve object integration with footage that I’ve shot.


One look that I’m going for is the wet floor look. I see it used very often in numerous CG artists work to great effect, it adds some much needed depth and complexity to the scene; and its the added depth and textural look it provides that I think will be very useful. This pairs well with the limitations the Red/Blue color processing imposes. In the example below, you can see the floor has this variance of reflectiveness to it and that’s similar to what I’m trying to achieve.

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I’ve thus far managed to replicate the effect to some degree that I’m happy with and am able to tweak it’s look on a surface to some degree. It also scales well as it’s procedural and saves me having to work with dirt maps to create matte-glossy textures on a surface. Below is the first time I got it to work, and is lit with warm and cool lights (something i only realized disappears with the Red/Blue post-processing later on, and I’ll touch more on it in the section where I delve into my experiments with it.)



Another aspect to add to an aesthetically pleasing CG image is depth of field, tho not necessary it really can help give depth to a scene. Much like motion blur these have been very finicky for technical reasons.

(The wet floor effect was just a rough input to test environment reflections and looks pretty terrible here because of its awfully hard edges)

Above you can see the two ingredients needed to create the depth of field effect.

Here’re some tests I made earlier. By doing this depth of field in post I can easily shift the focus between two different points, its intensity and even the aperture shape. However you can see that they’re extremely rough and have a lot of flaws (looks like vaseline was smeared on the lens)

In the Depth map above you may be able to start to see the problems

Resulting errors in DoF

The depth map in C4D comes out uneven due to some aliasing issues. I’ve set this issue aside for more pressing matters such as content creation for the meantime.

Other fun stuff in DoF is that I can get an anamorphic look by changing the iris for the “lens”

More Material Tests

While browsing around, I came across this image

I really liked the reflection on the floor so I decided to try and replicate it. I think it’s like a polished concrete look or something like that.

There was a lot of tweaking involved to get the reflections I wanted, and while it isn’t exactly like the image above, I think I came decently close for trying my own  hand at recreating the material. I think the image are a further show of how materials can affect realism; the skull doesn’t look particularly realistic while the floor reflection looks noticeably more so.

In the process of doing this exploration I came up with an idea for a shot and below is a low res gif of half of the idea.


trying to fit within the 3mb filesize is an artform



The weeks following the previous post was further experimentation and learning the technical aspects of what i want to achieve. I’ll be breaking these down into a few posts. In this one I’ll be covering the earliest weeks.


One of the problems I found was that my camera pans in C4D came out looking very flat, like a Ken Burns effect, but terrible. I’ve chalked this up to a few things, one being that the RED/BLUE tinting processing removes some depth from the image, the way I light the 3D models, the combination of both layers being too similarly flat and lastly, the lack of motion blur.

Here are some Gifs of the variations in motion blur settings, default settings, 1 sample and 2 samples. Sample rates drastically increase the render time and this is a reason to force motion blur in post, and the settings in post is something I’m still trying to dial in, especially with more subtle movements.

Default C4D Settings

In post

2 Samples

1 Sample

Another reason to get motion blur in post is because as much as possible, I’d like to render the image with flexibility to make adjustments; this applies to things such as colour, motion blur and focus. “Baking” these into the frame (especially the latter two) makes adjustments troublesome. For example, if I render the focus into the image, if parts that I want in focus slip out of focus I’d have to re-render the entire sequence.

Materials + Lighting

Another thing that I’ve been spending a lot of time on is trying to make good materials. In 3D software you have to adjust the parameters of a material to get it to look the way you want to; the way light interacts with the surface, is it rough, glossy etc.


Frosted Glass Tests

Same Lighting Different Materials

Materials can also drastically alter how a model looks, though the texturing on the left isn’t placed correctly, the way light reflects off it is much more pleasing in my opinion.


You can even see in this example above that the rim light catches the figure differently, in fact, I had to boost the brightness by about 5 times when switching between the two materials. The black patches on the left figure were supposed to be gold flakes. I was trying to replicate a marble with gold combination, the reason they show up as black is because reflective materials need an environment to reflect.

Some inspiration was @Billelis on Instagram.

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? Memento Mori ? by @billelis

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He has such masterful blends of materials and textures that its something I aspire towards and hope to achieve beyond this FYP. At least I hope to capture something of my own both visually and on a technical basis.

These tests eventually led to my Midterm assignment for my Lighting and Rendering Pipeline Module, with the final version on the far right.

A lot of time was also spent trying to find textures and materials. Textures were especially tricky as high res versions for close-up shots usually cost money, so I’ve been dabbling in procedural textures that scale better. Below are a collection of tests of 1k – 4k res textures that haven’t made it anywhere, but I’m trying to figure out a good texture for the walls and various objects and what kinda limits they have in terms of standing up to closeups and on various forms.

On the left you can see a displacement test. That was essentially a flat plane in Cinema 4D but using the map on the right causes it to displace according to the colour (tweakable with parameters). This test was just an exploration into displacement maps and textural visuals.

TO BE CONTINUED in the next post – [ HDRIs, DOF, R/B color Tests + more ]