How to Use 3ds Max to Create A Photorealistic Car Render Giving Fairytale Mood
Hum3D Car Render Challenge, an annual render challenge, announced the winner of 2020 recently. As the long term partner of Hum3D, Fox Renderfarm is pleased to witness that there are more and more excellent car render artworks emerging year by year. This time we are honored to interview Phil Derbyshire, the 2nd place winner of the challenge and also the special prize winner from our Fox Renderfarm team.
The Mini Dream © Phil Derbyshire
Phil’s award-winning artwork, The Mini Dream, shows a fantastic and microscopic world, made with 3ds Max, Redshift, Quixel Megascans, Forest Pack Pro, ZBrush, Substance Painter, Affinity Photo and Affinity Designer. Phil described the artwork,”No matter how small you may be in the grand scheme of things, there is absolutely nothing that can stop you from dreaming big!”
Let's find out how he made the amazing artwork through the exclusive interview with Fox Renderfarm.
- Phil Derbyshire
- 3D Artist at TekVisual, LLC
Fox Renderfarm: Hi Phil, thank you so much for accepting our interview! Could you give us a brief introduction about yourself?
Phil: Of course, I’m happy to be here! My name is Phil Derbyshire and I am a 3D Artist with a passion for environment design. I am currently working full-time for Tekvisual – An Architectural Visualization studio based in South Florida and I’ve been a full time 3D Artist since 2014 when I graduated with a Bachelor degree in Game Art & Design.
Fox Renderfarm: How do you feel about winning second place in the Car Render Challenge 2020?
Phil: I feel ecstatic! To be honest, when I saw some of the amazing submissions to the competition, I was going to consider myself lucky if I was placed in the top 10. There were some fantastic pieces of art submitted and I’m grateful to have been placed up there with the best of the best.
Fox Renderfarm: With the dreamy feeling, The Mini Dream also gets the Special prize from our Fox Renderfarm team, so what inspired you to make the artwork?
Phil: When it came around to starting this project I had three things in mind. Firstly I knew that I wanted to tackle a macro miniature render again. The first time being a few years ago when I created a piece that I called “December 25th 1am: Christmas Morning”.
December 25th 1am: Christmas Morning
When I looked back on it now it’s hard not to see the flaws like the empty room reflection in the bulbs and other such missing details, but I could also still see some potential in the direction I went with it.
Secondly David Attenborough’s “Empire of the Ants” documentary was still in the back of my mind, and I wanted to incorporate these little buggers into my render.
The third and final part that was on my mind for the render was, of course, the car! Back when I used to live in the UK, a teacher of mine owned a classic Mini Cooper S much like this one. It’s such an iconic car that I wanted to bring to life in 3D with my own artistic spin.
Fox Renderfarm: How long did you take to finish the work?
Phil: I spent every spare moment that I could working on this piece! Working from home this past year with no commuting has given me more time to focus on what I truly love. I began with writing down a rough time frame for each part of the project, which I worked on in the evenings and weekends, and stuck to that plan as best I could.
Fox Renderfarm: We’re all impressed by the great modeling and texturing of the work, could you introduce how you create the car so realistic?
Phil: Yes, absolutely! For the modeling, I tried to stick to my references to the best of my ability and attempted to model every detail that could be visible in the final render. For the texturing, I found images of miniatures and real cars decaying. I did my utmost to place the rust in obvious places where it would naturally form. For instance,at the bottom of the doors and at creases/edges and for this process, I utilized Substance Painter. I had a couple of starter rust materials in painter which I then modified to create the color and style that I wanted and went from there.
Fox Renderfarm: The harmony of colors and lighting is also outstanding, could you tell us how you made the artwork look like a fairy tale?
Phil: Sure! So, this part was a tricky one that took a lot of experimenting during the project, I heavily took advantage of Redshift’s PostFX to adjust the Bloom/Flare, Bokeh and color controls to achieve the desired look, and it took a lot of trial and error before I was satisfied with the results. I also did something new for me for this project which was to convert and output all of my textures in a ACEScg color space to take advantage of the wider color gamut that ACES provides. The dust particles I made using TyFlow in 3ds Max, I feel that it also helped give it that fairy tale look that I was going for. Lastly, I took the final render into Affinity Photo and made my final color corrections there. I was really happy with the final product.
Fox Renderfarm: The details of the image are wonderful, not only the car, but the grass and ants surrounding, could you introduce how you made these details?
Phil: Making the ants made me a little anxious at first, as I hadn’t touched ZBrush in a couple of years and that UI always takes a little re-learning when coming back from another DCC, but after a late Friday night of sculpting, the ant mesh was done. The next morning I exported a high poly and a low poly version and brought them into Substance Painter for baking and texturing. That Sunday, I brought them into 3ds Max for rigging and worked on the final SSS material to bring them to life in the way that I wanted.
The tree’s and branches are Quixel Megascan assets, I re-textured them inside of Substance Painter to add more mossy details and then converted those textures over to ACEScg. The leaves, grass and moss are 2D atlases I cut out and made simple geometry for, I then used Forest Pack Pro plugin in 3ds max to scatter them on the rocks/branches and ground.
Fox Renderfarm: Did you meet any difficulties when creating this work? And how did you solve it?
Phil: The only difficulties I ran into while working on this project, were the scene crashing during rendering. It turned out that some of my computer specs were aging a bit and causing me some trouble as the project became very demanding. My i7-4790k and 32GB Memory from 6+ years ago were now showing their age. I re-sized textures, optimized the geometry, and converted a lot of the objects in the scene into proxies which allowed me to render the project without crashing.
Fox Renderfarm: How do you feel about Fox Renderfarm cloud rendering services?
Phil: Yes I’ve used Fox Renderfarm in the past for work before we put together a small render farm of our own for our architectural visualization animations. I remember it being easy to use and had the plugins that we needed. Next time I run into rendering issues due to my hardware or if I need it to be done faster, I’ll be uploading my scene to Fox Renderfarm.
Fox Renderfarm: Any other things you want to share with the CG enthusiasts?
Phil: Never stop learning new things and experiment whenever and wherever you can. You never know where your ideas and dreams can take you and what you can create by just playing around in 3D.
Reborn © Phil Derbyshire
Day 42 of Isolation © Phil Derbyshire
Find more artworks of Phil at ArtStation: https://www.artstation.com/philderbyshire
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