Monday, April 20, 2015

The A. C. Cobra project in Blender

The A. C. Cobra project was a test I did (mostly to prove to myself) that Cycles (Blender’s inbuilt render engine – read “free”) gives just as brilliant and realistic an output as any other industry standard (read “$$$”) render engine out there!

Recently there’s been a lot of hype with some “industry-standard” render engine being supported for Blender. But, I wanted to see for myself if this was really even necessary to bother with. The output here is pure Cycles.  Meaning – this is the Base Render with no compositing or jazz added in Photoshop or any other software. No enhancement whatsoever! Wow!

I was blown away with the versatility and power of the Cycles nodal system. It has great flexibility when setting up both simple and complex shaders and I feel it gives far superior and realistic results then has been attributed to it. The car body shader in this example is a very simple mix of a bunch of Glossy Shaders in addition to a Musgrave texture (also inbuilt) and is probably the most unpretentious system I’ve ever set up to get a “highly pretentious” Car Paint effect. A simple HDRI and one sun lamp are all that have been used to light this scene. With the bounce light, reflections, caustics, shaders, depth of field (also not done in compositing) I used in this scene, and with the moderate machine that I have, I was expecting a massive render time. But once again Cycles surprises by giving this output – Full HD with 1000 Samples -- in just an Hour and a Half.

Now, more than ever, I’m a bigger fan of Blender and Cycles for its ease of use and realistic output. This test very simply goes to show that you don’t need to put in 100s (if not 1000s) of dollars to get a better or more professional result from your 3D software!

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