Making of Grapes – English
This is the English version of Making of Grapes from Lucas Veber.
I was really inspired by Ratatouille from the Pixar studios when I decided to make this picture, because I had never done any realistic renders of food before and I thought it would be an interesting task. Moreover, the new Subsurface Scattering shader had just been added to Blender so it was also exciting to try it out! I must admit these grapes doesn’t look ripe, but ripe grapes would be too dark to really enjoy the Subsurface Scattering.
In this “making of” I try to explain how I made this picture, but I skeep the technical details in order to focus on the main features. I hope you’ll find it interesting!
As you can see, the modelling part of this picture is very simple : one plane for the floor, a set of balls for the grapes.
For a realistic purpose, each sphere is a little different from the others, by resizing it (basic scaling) or deforming it manually (using the PEF mode):
It was also important to avoid the balls from going through each other (no script used, hand editing), meaning this:
I paid attention to the gravity, making sure some of the balls stick to floor. Otherwise it doesn’t look realistic, the grapes seem to be floating over.
To model the stem, I used a curve with a bevel object, then i converted it to a mesh (Alt-C) and I modelled some details.
At last, I used a lattice box to give a nicer shape to the whole object.
The shading was the big part of this picture.
I observed some real grapes and searched for photos with google. I’ve found out there are two main shaders that could do the trick:
A reflective shader, with SSS, because when you put a light behind grapes you can easily see the light going through and it turns the grapes into a red color. The Fresnel effect is valuable on such a reflective shader, i set it to a high value (2.2) to be more realistic. And on top of that, a dust shader, without reflections nor specular to make the grapes soft and dusty.
Blurry reflections (if Glossiness < 1) would even be better, but is slower to render.
The dust shader is made with two clouds textures.
First texture channel: Cloud. Noise Depth = 6. It looks like this:
Nor is activated for bump mapping and Alpha to leave transparent spaces (where pixels are black) so that the reflective shader is visible under this one. Consenquently, Alpha value of this material = 0.
Second texture channel: stucci to simulate the dust noise.
Ramps are useful to enhance the dusty effect, thanks to the ‘normal’ input (useful to create silky material and micro-hair, like apricot, peach skin, etc…):
I connected the 2 materials with the nodes (a simple “mix” node did the trick):
(I did almost the same thing for the green grapes.)
I put a simple texture on the floor to emphasize the grapes render, so that when we see the picture we don’t pay too much attention to the floor. I chose a red color because it’s associated with wine, luxury… and that just fit well with grapes.
The lighting isn’t complicated, one area light on the right side of the picture (with ten samples to have smooth shadows), plus plain Ambient Occlusion (13 samples). Yes, it was not too long to setup!
Nothing particular to say about the render but the use of nodes. It seems to me the depth of field was important in this case, a macro-like camera view, so I use the Defocus node.
Here is the node setup:
The “RGB Curves” node makes the render brighter.
OSA is set 16 samples for the final render, with CatRom filter (i think this is the more accurate, Cubic may be better sometimes but is generally blurry). No more post processing was used.
If you have any questions feel free to ask me: lucky3d1[at] gmail [dot] com
Here are pictures of the work in progress:
Congratulations and thanks to Lucas for the exelent making of!