CGI post-production is the last but not in any way the least important part of working on an architectural render. It defines the overall appeal, atmosphere, and hence the impact and marketing effectiveness of a picture. At the post-production stage, a CG image actually starts looking catchy and full of life, as the meaningful details and visual effects are added. So, what are those and how can they help you get breathtaking renders?
As an architectural rendering company, we pay the utmost attention to every step of making CGI, including post-production. So, we know exactly what details matter in this stage. Want to find out what post-production is and what tricks to ask for when commissioning architecture visualizations? Read on!
#1. What is post-production in 3D rendering?
In CGI post-production, an artist processes a rendered image via specialized software. This process adds the final touches to the imagery. At this stage, one can combine a render with photos, adjust its visual properties, and add special effects. The process is usually done not in 3D software but programs like Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom.
Overall, post-production helps create a story and mood in CGI. It allows an artist to make CG renders photorealistic and lifelike. So, what exactly one can do during CGI post-production?
#2. Enriching the CG image
- A 3D artist can use photo matching. It is a technique of combining a 3D render of a future building with an actual photo used as a background. Of course, the surroundings can be made in 3D from scratch as well. Oftentimes, however, it makes more sense to use a real photo of the place. This way, the cost of the rendering is lowered significantly, and the resulting picture looks incredibly realistic.
- In post-production, it is also possible to add secondary objects cut out from the photos. People, animals, plants, or cars – all these can be added seamlessly to a rendered image using Photoshop. This way, an artist avoids the need to use an excessive number of details in a 3D scene and therefore reduces the time needed for rendering.
- A CGI expert can also enrich a render with weather effects such as fog, rain, snow, mist, rainbow, and so on.
- Adding small imperfections like creases, folds, cracks, and even dust or dirt can go a long way in making CGI look more like a real photo rather than a digital image. With such details, a render will never feel sterile and artificial.
- Finally, a brand’s logo or text can be also added to the CG picture during the post-production stage.
#3. Improving the visual properties of CGI
- Denoising. Depending on the initial quality of 3D renders, it might be a more or less important step. However, adding any additional effects will make the noise more noticeable. So, denoising is often essential in CGI post-production.
- Adjusting colors and other visual properties. Brightness, contrast, saturation, color balance, and exposure can be changed for the entire image as well as for specific parts of it. Such changes are especially important if a render was somehow combined with a photo. Adjusting visual properties in CGI makes 3D models and pieces of photos come together into something that looks real and not a mismatched collage.
Get your project estimated in just 1 hour - fill out this brief!
- Improving lighting and shadows. Despite the development of 3D visualization software, real-life lighting conditions might be hard to fully recreate in 3D. Accurate translucency, caustics, as well as subsurface scattering or iridescence can be tweaked in CGI manually during post-production.
- Tone mapping ensures the right distribution of tonal values. When done correctly, tone mapping guarantees the 3D image follows the logic of the real world. For example, it can ensure that artificial lighting is not brighter than the sun.
- In its turn, color grading focuses on adjusting the hues and saturation to achieve a specific look and atmosphere.
#4. Adding camera effects
Finally, there are some subtle touches to enliven the CG image and make it look absolutely photoreal.
- Adding grain or noise in a 3D render helps imitate those of real camera shots.
- Vignetting makes the edges of the image blurrier or darker and serves the same goal.
- Bloom, glare, and glow. The latter, as the name suggests, helps make an object shiny. Glare, in its turn, is the effect of a bright light that conceals a part of the picture. In real life, glare appears when light is directed on a reflective surface in the frame. And bloom produces the “feathers” of light bleeding from the edges of the light areas in an image.
- Motion blur means blurring some objects in a scene to make them look moving. In architectural 3D visualization, it is especially impactful when a model of a building is contrasted with a fast-moving vehicle. This makes a render look like a camera shot taken with a long exposure.
- The depth of field effect helps blur the background, creating a contrast with the foreground. It defines what parts of an image are in focus.
- Lens distortions, lens flares, bokeh, and chromatic effects all imitate the artifacts of a real camera.
- Finally, during post-production, the artist can use filters and presets to lend the image a distinctive atmosphere.
CGI post-production is the stage when everything in a rendering finally comes together. From adding a background to imitating the camera effects, an artist ensures CGI looks similar to a real photo taken by a professional camera. Post-production can improve the quality and the atmosphere in CGI dramatically, and any architect or designer working with an experienced 3D artist will see the difference.
Looking for 3D visualization services to make sure the visuals for your next project are impeccable? Contact us at ArchiCGI to get professionally made photorealistic CGI!
Content Writer, Copywriter
Stacey is a content writer and a CG artist. Outside of work, Stacey enjoys musicals, Star Wars, and art talk. A proud Corgi parent.