I think photographers are the last people to use 3d software.
On first glance it may look this way but the longer you experiment with both photography and computer graphics you will realize that many techniques can be quite similar.
As photographer you allready have a huge advantage knowing in what situation to use which type of lenses, focal lenght, F-stop, exposure, iso values etc.
I am wondering if there are any other product or studio types here that might have some pointers on using Octane in the "virtual studio" type of use?You can adapt many different real life lighting techniques to light your 3D scene.
In photography do you prefer the glamour look that is achieved by using multiple flash lights?
Then simulate that look in OctaneRender by using light emitters on surfaces and set them to blackbody emission.
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Do you prefer a natural light situation and are used to working with reflectors in real life?
Then use planes or circle like basic geometry shapes with a white, gold or silver surface material that will as well reflect any light rays back on the subject.
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If the shape of reflections in the eye matters to you try to use the same shape as in real life for light sources.
In computer graphics it is so much easier to create a ring light that even shows up in the eye reflections of a CG model.
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For example, what are some tips to create physically accurate soft boxes?
Soft boxes are a bit tricky. In theory you can create any 3D object in zbrush or any other modeling application of your choice. But then especially for soft boxes your render times may take a hit if the light rays have to travel trough the soft box material and then on your subject.
And you may see more noise if your main light source does not light your main subject directly but through another volume.
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So this is the moment when we start to ask: Do we really want realistic lighting or do we want to fake it?
Especially for portraits I find you get far more pleasing results by using the HDR environment to light your scene.
And as a photographer you get the advantage that you may even have quite a lot of your own photographs that you can use as HDR light source with some adjustments...
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You will find the same dilemma with the new daylight environment. If you want to render landscapes you will be happy with the harsh shadows sunlight produces.
But if you want to render human CG models then you may want to place your 3D-models in the shade or below a diffuser like in real life.
In this situation as well it may be so much easier to rather use the HDR environment and "faking" the soft shadows.
What are the best steps to creating physically accurate materials?
The first step may be to have a look at the OctaneRender live database and see what kind of materials are there allready.
As a starter have a look how water and glass materials are created.
Then you will notice that there are allready a lot of real life physical properties included in the OctaneRender material settings.
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Just some things to also keep in mind:You will find that unfortunately not all render engine settings that have photography terms are working exactly like in real life and may be more simplified.
For example you may find F-stop values in the imager and in the camera settings. But those two are not linked even though they are named exactly the same. So you can use the F-stop values in the imager to give the whole scene a different look. Instead of blue skies it will turn white like in real life when you open the aperture. At the same time you can set a completly different F-stop value in the camera settings that will have no influence on the light situation at all. The only difference the camera F-stop value has is the depth of field.
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I stop it here. Guess this is some information to get you started.
- - -This forum post was originally created as answer on the OctaneRender forum. Since I often get asked about this topic I deceided to share this with you as well.