Before Opening Your 3d Animation Studio Go Out And Study The Real Thing, Why?
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Before Opening Your 3d Animation Studio Go Out And Study The Real Thing, Why?

The best way to create a 3D forest is to look at nature first. Go and visit it. Once you have studied the real thing get yourself a 3D animation studio. I use DAZ Studio 4, or Carrara 8.5. Both work great. But I think Carrara is the superior software.

It depends on your budget and skill level in terms of which 3D animation studio you want to use. Both programs will render breathtaking still images, or complete animated movies...

So after you have taken perhaps a few pictures, and notes of the natural area you want to recreate, you will need some 3D model plants.

But before I go into that, when you are out and about, taking shots of the forests, pay attention to the time of day, and the atmospheric conditions. Lighting and air-characteristics play a huge roll in creating realistic and mesmerizing 3D renders.

The first light of day, or the last light of day, are considered the Magic Hour.

This light is so special, so soft, so golden, and the shadows long that some movies, like the Jesse James movie, was shot entirely at these two times of day.

The reason is that there is no better looking light. Anything shot at this time looks amazing, no matter what it is.

Light plays a huge roll in creating realistic and aesthetically pleasing renders, but it is also a complex subject and an art.

So careful observation in nature is required, and will take patience and time. It is good to find a scenic spot, and re-visit it during each time of day, like morning, noon, dusk, and under the light of the moon. Take pictures and notes.

Another important thing is the characteristics of the air.

Is is foggy, hazy, or is the air clear and crisp? Is it full of smoke, rain, or snow?

Any of these conditions can be re-created in your 3D animation studio, and will add a huge amount of organic atmosphere to a CGI render that might otherwise be sterile.

My 3D UFO render attached to this post is a great example of how light and air quality play a very important roll in creating a GGI scene that looks and feels real.

To get back to the 3D model plant to recreate your 3D forest scene, if you notice in the UFO render, I am not using a huge amount of models.

In fact I am just using one kind of tree, one bush, a couple of dead leaves, and a few river rocks, that is all! It does not take much to make an outstanding outdoors render.


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