Architectural Visualization with C4D and Octane: Golden Hour Lighting

Photo of Brandon Clements

Instructor Brandon Clements

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  • Duration: 09:50
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In this video, we will begin to setup another lighting scenario that mimics a golden hour time of day.



Hey. Welcome back, everyone. Thanks for joining me in this video. What we're going to talk about is this golden hour kind of light setup for this scene. So, if you had saw the previous video, we're pretty much slopping out our environment for an environment that I had shot and captured in Indiana actually. So this is kind of like a countryside golden hour. Let's go ahead and open this up in Photoshop and take a look at it real quick. Here's our environment inside of Photoshop. So this is something that I captured. And if you look at the exposure range, you can see that we have this really intense red type of color. As you can see in my info palette, if you look at the top right corner as I scroll over this, there are some really, really intense values that are here. And when you actually see this at the kind of normal exposure here, kind of base level exposure, we get a lot of this, kind of, big bloom that comes from the sky. So this is going to appear very soft and we're going to get a lot of rich colors out of this one. I also just wanted to show you this, for example's sake, this was taken minutes before the sun had just went down. So you can see this is going to give us a kind of different look if we were to use something like this. You can see that sun, just like the other CG source image that I had showed you, stays there the entire time. So this will produce two different looks and I'll provide both of these EXRs with a project file. This one is called HuberGoldenHour2 and we're going to actually look at this Twilight one just where the sun is barely behind those trees, you know, we can just barely see it on the horizon. So this was something that I had to take in rapid succession just because the sun was falling so quickly. Okay, so back here in Cinema 4D, we have that loaded up. You can see we have the power turned down and the rotation a little bit in the negative direction, and this is just going to kind of give us a soft kind of warm look inside. And let's go ahead and load this in the Octane and see how it looks. Okay. So once that is loaded into our Live Viewer, let's just go ahead and I'm going to use this Region Render feature just so we're not rendering the entire image. And let's talk about the...we actually need to switch to the GoldenHour camera, so that was something that I had forgot to do. Once we do so, you can see the change in overall tone and look and feel. And like I said before in the last video, your camera and your lights are going to be very important. They're going to go hand in hand and that's what's going to create the overall image for you and that certain look that you're after. So I just want to kind of stress that there's slight tweaks with good color information from your environment. That's going to be the best way to capture this look for the scene. So I'm going to skip through the thin lens section just because this is very much like the last video had shown, but right here with the Camera Imager, this is where we're going to be a little bit different, okay? So the exposure, I have cranked up the exposure on the camera because I have the GoldenHour HDR turned down very low. And the reason for this is I was after a look of, you know, the sun's almost down, you want everything to kind of feel calm and peaceful like there's no one in the house and you just kind of want to capture this very soft glow from the lamps, and also the backlit sun behind the trees. Okay. So I want this to be soft, and if we were thinking about this in real world equipment and real world cameras, we would have to have a higher exposure, or we would have to have a longer shutter speed, or we would have to have a higher aperture to collect all of that light information that's just coming through the windows and is very precious just because, you know, it's seconds before the sun's getting ready to set. And I've just kind of come through here. Again, I'm using this 400CD. I use this a lot. I don't know if this is just because I like the natural look of the midtones and the shadows or it's just out of habit. I just keep coming back to this but I like it a lot. And I do have the Neutral Response on so it's taking a little bit of that color information away that's being pumped into those midtones and shadows. And again, these are something that I arrive at just from trial and error, and I'm trying to get that look that I want. I did increase the vignette here just because I want it to feel kind of dark around the edges and draw your attention towards the center of the display. Okay. And I did adjust the white point here just because...let me go ahead and just reset this. You can see it just feels a little too amber. It feels a little too incandescent and I didn't really want to capture all of that orange feel. So let me just kind of go back. You can see that just tones it down a little bit more. It's actually very helpful to kind of tweak that look and get it exactly how you want it. Post-processing, I do not have turned on. I also want to give a quick shout-out to one of my close friends, Raphael Rau, also known as Silverwing. We had discussed earlier when I was first making up this series and I was first doing this interior render, there's so many different render engines that we use from day to day in different client works and sometimes it's hard to figure out, in Octane, if you have this sufficient light data that's actually going into the scene. And in some renderers, you can actually get, like, heat maps and intensity maps just to visualize and see if there's a lot of really hot light information that's coming into your scene. And I have seen around the web from various different renderers measuring the bounce light coming into their scene from those heat maps, and with Octane, it really is just a matter of if you know that you have good light information, if you know in Photoshop that your sun or whatever source is very intense, you're going to basically base your lighting off of exposure values, and whatever those exposure values arrive at just from tweaking and going back and forth, then you have arrived at your look essentially. So I don't want you to think in Octane that there is some kind of measured way to have the correct exposure in your scene. Octane doesn't really have a physical camera like most renderers have so if you're tweaking the f-stop, that's not going to affect your exposure. The f-stop and the Aperture here have absolutely no effect on the Camera Imager and the Exposure slider. So again, it all is just determined by good light data that you have. If it's good information coming in, then you're going to have a good output. So I just want to thank Raphael for answering some of my questions I had about these different renderers. So let's go ahead and open up the light bulb shader. I want to show you guys to the Sampling Rate is set to 1,500 for both of these lights. And you may be asking what's the difference here with the RGB spectrum and the Distribution and everything. Let's just go through the settings for the light bulb real quick. Now, these are just areas that are applied to a light bulb shape in the viewport on geometry. And the way I arrived at the spectrum color, and this is awesome that we have the ability to just use this slider here to adjust the Kelvin. So if I want like 2,500 that's going to be the color temperature for that. And let's say, 3,200 is close to incandescent, and that's what I had before is a very close color of that. Okay. That's how I usually choose my colors when I'm using them in a shader. Also, the distribution, I went ahead and left that. It had one as a float value. And the Sampling Rate, what this does is I'm telling Octane to pay close attention to these small areas that are the light fixtures. And the reason I'm doing that is because with Octane and you have a really small, like, area light or you have a small geometry light, it's going to need to focus on that a lot more than, say, a larger area light or some of these reflectors. I'm basically making Octane focus on this number. This number 1,500, and kind of looking at this number here, 100, so this two numbers compare. So I'm essentially telling Octane to pay attention to the shader lights 15 more times than the standard area light that's acting as a reflector. So this light is 15 times more important for the renderer to calculate and to pay attention to and to shoot rays back into the camera. Let's also touch on the Octane Settings right now. I didn't talk about this in the last video just because it's not super important at this stage. When these numbers and when these settings become important is just basically tweaking out and making sure that we can get the fastest render possible at the end. And we're going to talk about this more in depth, these numbers and these settings, after we do the Octane night scene but I just wanted to show you exactly what I'm using right now. So I just wanted to tell you guys that I haven't forgotten about these numbers or these settings yet. And we're going to be covering the Octane Settings and of course, the Octane Renderer Settings and the Render Passes after we talk about the Octane night scene, which is going to be the next video. So thank you guys for following along and checking this one out. I hope you learned a lot and we'll see you in the next video where we talk about the Octane night scene. Thanks a lot.
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