Posted by Alex Fuchs, 7 March 2010 12:00 am
I realized that some people do sometimes miss the power of the environment editing in Showcase. Maybe its because its not that straight forward as the rest of Showcase, but it´s not really complicated at all.
Did you know that you can use the HDRI lighting of an environment in conjunction with a complete different background? This is a technique; normally a photo retoucher uses to display the object in a non disturbing environment.
In this example I show you how to create a black environment with a nice floor texture and use some light maps from the library to achieve a great look.(actually this environment went into the 2011 release of Showcase). The video at the end of this entry shows all this again, so if you are a more visual person you may enjoy this more. But here is a short decription on how to do this:
Step 1 – the geometry:
Choose the generic environment and open the properties window. Here you can choose the geometry you like to use for the dome from a variety of pre-defined ones . I prefer the half dome in that case.
Step 2 – The backdrop images
Please have in mind that I want to create an background that is decoupled from the lighting so I edit the backdrop images first. I choose a complete black for the dome and an asphalt ground that fades into black. These had been done in a image processing software like Sketchbook or Photoshop.
Just assign them to the dome and Floor geometry and change the mapping accordingly. In general the geometry is done for sheprical maps, but you can cahnge it to your settings. In this example the floor should be planar projected, The dome doesn´t really matter its black all over the placeJust assign them to the dome and Floor geometry and change the mapping accordingly. In general the geometry is done for sheprical maps, but you can cahnge it to your settings. In this example the floor should be planar projected, The dome doesn´t really matter its black all over the place
Step 3 – The light maps
You are free to create your own maps in Showcase, but you can also re-use the ones that come with Showcase and ar3 calibrated and have a nice light distribution. I used the exhibition hall because those ones have a nice contrast.
Step 4 – Save it to your own library
After you have done this, you can acess the environments just like any other environment in Showcase.
And here is the movie that shows it all in context:
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