End date: May 13
By llowye
Hello guys
I used MW scince 2010
I join the Spanish HDRI render competition just for fun~

M used to call Maxwell render : MW Photoshop : PS background pictures : BGs

In my experience~For MW render works~ I always Made the 360°HDRI and the background picture by myself~ 3 years I have try many ways~
So when I got the 4 Valencia location sets~
I find some funny problems about those HDRIs and background pictures~

First: in each location set The colour balance are not the same in those 2 photos .[HDRI & BGs]
e.g. The HDRI [ma-MAG_1826]was shot and created in nature sun_light effect~But the background picture was absolutely in a cool tone color range and much less saturation. Really different with the HDRI file.I mean these 2 photos was not matching in a same color balance .

So in that case. When I finish my render, I have 2 choices: recover the background picture color as closely as The HDRI looks like or change my render picture's color range as The background picture looks like.
That means I have to do more photoshop works no matter what I wanted~

I have used the PS for 13 years~ That's not a problem for me but I want to say as a user or a custmer ~
why I should pay for your HDRI product then make more troubles for the result~
Mabe I want a warm colour result~

besides this HDRI generat the warm color lightting effect~

but you just provided a cool color background picture , Are you kidding me huh?

so finally I cut the BGs ~composite my render with cool color adjustment~

I know those kind of background pictures were made for advertising design effect~obviously for automobile advertising ~~but sometimes as a free style designer or artist, they might need some nature resources ,some original photograph as the background pictures.
Because they want creat what they wanted.

Second: there is no any useful information about the background pictures.I mean the EXIF information !! I only got the camera is [Phase One P45+].
the EXIF is really important for MW camera setting~especially for composite image works, the angle view, size of the Sense view, perspective relation, bala bala bala
If you don't want any mistake in your work,those information : such as [focal length] [focal distance] [lens type] [aperture] [EV] are really important .
The photograph shooting time[Date hour],shooting location[GPS] aslo important . because sometimes we might need to use MW physical shy to recreate the correct effect of Sun light ~
I suggest write down those useful information in a txt file as a record that provide for your buyers~That's a useful reference index, especially for MW user.
provide a PSD file as background pictures,contains the original photograph layer and the official color effect layer. let the buyer choose themselves.

Third: Those HDRI have many problem in the lighting intensity.
as I just say that we need to use MW physical shy to recreate the correct effect of Sun light~well~ Look at the HDRI file[ma-MAG_1826]~the only Sun light HDRI in this competition ~the intensity of the sun light was no in correct level.
why? how I judged it?
open the HDRI in PS see the details of shadow~shadow of peoples, trees, buildings,the tripod, sky air conditions~reflection of water surface~then you can make a judgement about the intensity of the sun light.
In my experience~this sun can be the +10 ~ +12 intensity value ~ but I find out only +6 level value in this HDRI~ besides the shape of the sun light is not correct either, because the shadow were clearly visible~ That means the shape of the sun should be a tiny point pixel.
So this HDRI will generat a vague shadow...

so when you adjust a Exposure layer you can see the intensity of the sun light or anything light were correct or not.
or you can do a simple render test~see the shadow is correct or not.
so as you want a correct shadow effect in your render by useing this HDRI~I suggest that you fix the sun light....

Those 2 night scene HDRI also have lighting problems in their details~
sth I don't know what the hell is it!
You can see it in PS that know what Im talking about.

Those lighting problems will generat some wrong result in many reflection details.

Fourth:The Connection between HDRI & background pictures
In theory, when you shoot a background pictures you have to imagine these is a CG object in some point~around that point that shoot some constructs as you want.
then after finished BG photography you have to get to that point,get into that CG object position to shoot a 360° panorama for HDRI createing~
So in that case. the HDRI that you made can feedback the accurate lighting and shadow effects matching with your background pictures~

otherwise you might feel something wrong in the reflections or the shadows.

like the HDRI [ma-MAG_1874] was shot in the left side about the background picture's camera, you can see this details in the HDRI ~ so your CG character should place in the left position so that the shadow looks like reasonable.

So I place my bumblebee in the left side in the end.

the HDRI [ma-MAG_1868] was shot in the centre of square, the light, building, ground reflection are average around 360°,but the view of background picture was shot in a part of this square,I mean the CG object position is not in the centre, but the HDRI produce the centre light effect result~
so no matter how I change the HDRI render angle in MW,the shadow always wrong~and the reflection is just a cheating result~close to the correct result~

I have made this kind of mistake before~
actually the HDRI was shot behind the bumblebee so in the end the lightting reflection and shadow effect was a cheating result~not a correct result~you might feel sth wrong with the feet.

after that I realize I have to serious about this Connection ,
so I M exploreing a way to make a HDRI industrial standard for CG works~
As I mentioned importance of those EXIF information ~

The library HDRI test
this wrok I have shot a special veiw background pictures for my bumblebee at first~then shot the 360 HDRI in the bumblebee position,
with the EXIF information and the [focal distance][camera height] [ground texture & szie]
so I can render the effect precisely~
In fact,the bumblebee was not in a right size~ it should much more bigger size~
But I don't have the CAD~ I just modeling it in Rhino for fun~

Printing test

sometimes we might not need that rigorous render~we can cheating the view effect ~
but sometimes we need to accurate to within ±20 cm. that depends on what you have[HDRI & BGs] and you want.[effect of your idea]

If I want to render a huge size of sculpture~architecture~Transformers or anything else~ those competition background pictures were not fit for these rensder requirements~
Because the photographer didn't consider there will be a CG object in their background pictures~huge or tiny things~they just finish their job and thought: it's ok ~ you can place a car here.
well we are not just creat a car~can be much more bigger ~

or a little tiny lovely things like wall-e M.O ...

this ship was render in physical sky without HDRI~I have recorded the shooting time[Date hour] , shooting location[GPS] ,so easy way to recreate the Sun light effect~

so at the beginning of BGs photography you have leave enough space for the CG objects~

this iron man was standing in the HDRI shooting position, so everything just looks OK~
the idea about this BGs I shot for a CG characters group ,Like a dancer team danceing [Gangnam Style] in this ground, but I didn't finish the characters yet~ so I just put a iron man for test the render effect~

somtimes we need some Large Depth of Field effect for showing details

here are my other MW works ,but without any Large Depth of Field effect background pictures~ those depth of field just the HDRI render result~looks like a little fake.



So in the end I hope MAGROUND can creat more types of background pictures~
CGI is not just for Automotive ~ it can be anyway as we want~
such as portrait CGI character CGI sculpture CGI ...
for ad~ for CG wrok ~ for idea design~ free art concept...

hope the MW will add the GUP render in next versions 3x.

By taiko
Yes, very nice :D

Seghier, i agree entirely with you, I prefer to be judged by professional 3D image rather than win because I have the most "friends". To summarize, you pose a triangle in your scene and you have select, it's not very creative, but as you have many "friends" you win, it's a shame. The idea of the public vote it´s a good idea but if it is selected on the forum Maxwell. Sr. Maxwell, for the next time, please, another sytem to vote.
User avatar
By novena
llowye very impressive work!!!

Seghier and Taiko I totally agree with you guys, in my honest opinion I prefer to be judged by professional CG artists rather than a public votation to determine 2nd and 3rd prizes...
in summary: 2 Maxwell render suite licenses, 2 Maground sets and 2 polaroid cameras granted to those with more FB 'friends', does not sound fair to me...
I'm sorry, just had to say it

p.s. just as a suggestion: why not is the votation anounced for example in Ronen Bekermans FB page (with more than 20,000 followers), that could bring more 'objective' voters...
By astanelle
hey guys,
i agree too

wasn't the challenge about the shadow function - and the right use of it ? ( compositing )
i wonder because, some didn't use the Background Images , which was a requirement, if I remember correctly.

novena good suggestion ! Ronenn Bekermans would be a more neutral place for those votings.
also because it's not the first time some people say they don't like Facebook. as you can see in this http://www.maxwellrender.com/forum/view ... 97&t=40443 thread .

best regards whatever happened ;)
By taiko
Indeed, there is also the problem of FB. Personally I would vote for Enric Galve, but I do not have an account FB (for individual) and it may be that the most troublesome.
User avatar
By seghier
very nice ideas about vote
also i see some works does' t use backplates . it is not good to compare work take many days with work can made in minutes
using of hdri only is very easy and save more time
By IvanThaDriver
Excellent renders llowye :) I love the terminator women - amazing :) Have you uploaded them for competition?

I also thought it was about not messing with provided bg picture and leave it as it is, just adding shadow pass in post (and trying to match hdri intensity to the backplate picture - I judged mine using the sun glare above the building) - btw you are right - MAG_1826_1_119207 hdri and backplate have different colour tone mood). As I see in selection, there are 3 pictures having different color/temperature of MAG_1874_1_119574. Not to mention renders without shadows, with changed canvas, these using HDR as bg instead of backplate, ones with 2D objects just pasted into the picture in post etc etc...

The "share" voting system will make win the person with the most friends, not the best talented... It looks like this whole competition was about making marketing campaign for Next Limit, for free so to speak - I have never heard about a contest where you make the work, then do more work for yourself voting for yourself...
User avatar
By chedda
Yes it was made very clear backplates must be used. I thought the idea was too utilise the lighting from the hdri and composite it with the backplate.

There is even a thread saying important clarification:

You need to use the background plate (photo) provided with the HDR when posting your final renders. Your renders MUST be composited into this background plate, you cannot just use the HDR also as the background.
User avatar
By novena
chedda wrote:Yes it was made very clear backplates must be used. I thought the idea was too utilise the lighting from the hdri and composite it with the backplate.

There is even a thread saying important clarification:

You need to use the background plate (photo) provided with the HDR when posting your final renders. Your renders MUST be composited into this background plate, you cannot just use the HDR also as the background.
you are right chedda, this is the link http://www.maxwellrender.com/forum/view ... 32&t=40329, among the 'top' renders there are at least 4 images not using one of the backplates provided...
I wonder if the Maxwell staff has read this thread...
and I might suggest again, why not announcing the votation in Ronen Bekerman's FB page, among his more than 20,000 followers there would be lots of objective voters...
By c b curtis
I agree with the backdrops being poor, they were all very difficult to get a good composition with. Camera height of 600mm being a major problem, and just uninteresting as photos on their own.

Also the voting is a big disappointment, if you are going to ask people to spend their valuable time and effort on competitions, then at least judge them properly and consistently. Leaving it to be voted for on facebook/twitter is a bad idea and leaves people disheartened. Previous competitions show that the choice of social network voting is never the correct one.

I suspect the choice of this way of judging the competition will have a negative impact on the number of submissions for future competitions which may be run on the maxwell render website.
User avatar
By dariolanza
Hello Ilowye,

Regarding the comments about this competition:

- It is true that although we indicated that the renders should use the provided backplates, we agreed to include certain renders into competition (that don't make use of the backplates but directly use the HDRI) because each of those renders presents a particular merit and are interesting for different reasons, that deserve being considered for competition.

- We can agree that Facebook could not be the fairest platform to make a public poll, but it is the one we chosen from the beginning trying to be as less biased and fair as possible.
Obviously any other platform (like Ronen Beckeman's) would be more cg-related, but it also could be biased in a different direction, and others could claim against it.
Be sure we try to be as fair as possible. If anyone have any suggestion to make it better for future competitions, it will be really appreciated.


Dario Lanza
By astanelle
Dear Dario,

one suggestion is: stick to the rules.
of course some renders represent are particular merit and/or are interesting for different reasons, but it's still a competitions, where the task is to deal with a particular situation. Maybe i would have choose a other angle in the HDRI and have made an more interesting picture. who knows. how can you judge / compare ?

it's like ordering a soda and getting a lemonade. it's a "soda"-like thing and tasty in it's own way....but still not that what you asked for.
( apart from that it is a slap in the face for all the others who have made the effort to deal with the task )


Voting - public voting are always double-edged, no matter which platform you use.
so you should judge all by yourself - ( heads of maxwell and maground and maybe one or two neutral artists ) or roll the dice for 2nd / 3rd place...

another system may be some sort of rating.
like a slideshow where you have to rate all pictures ( 0-5 stars) . and at the end it's a simple summary.

best regards
By Shadow

It's a shame, that the competition is evaluated like it is.
If there are some rules in competition it has to be kept till the end of the competition. No matter if you like the image or not. Everybody knew the rules since beginning. Someone who is not keeping the rules knows it since beginning and therefore should be not included in voting.
If you have sport competition and someone is breaking the rules, he is not anymore included in competition even if he has extremly nice body or hair or eyes.

Another thing is voting. It's a big disappointment for people who were working on something for one month and then they are overvoted by people who have more friends. It's ok when this kind of voting is used in some easy competition where people don't spend days with hard working on some "piece of work". But when somemone spent a month with hardworking and then you just give 2000 Euro to someone who didn't do anything, it's shame. And I have to say that sadly it's inspiration for me as a person who don't have enough skill to take a part in this kind of competition to take a part because it's enough to have many friends on facebook / twitter... and luckily I could have 2000 euros for nothing. This is the really sad part.

I'm very sorry for all the people who tried really hard but are not fans of social network or too wise to waste their time by sharing the links or asking their "friends" who know anything about this kind of art to vote for them.

Too shame... too shame... the prizes are too high and people were working too hard to let the number of friends decided on the winners.

But....it's just the opinion from the marketing person.


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