Production shaders part 2

How can you integrate a 3d object into a photograph (simple setup)?

I think this is a straight forward workflow. Maybe you will find this too simple. 🙂

This is what we have:

  • an HDR Image (you can download some from HDRLabs)
  • a 3d object

Wow, that was short.

This is what we want:

  • Nice lighting from the hdr image (IBL – Image Based Lighting)
  • Reflections on the 3d object
  • Shadows on the ground
  • Indirect lights on the ground
  • Reflections on the ground

How you do it:

  • Create an IBL node, turn on Emit Environment Light
    (mental ray Render Settings -> Scene -> Environment -> Image Based Lighting -> Create)
  • Load in the HDR image
  • Create a plane (this is the shadow catcher)
  • Assign an mip_matteshadow shader to the plane
    (to find this node turn on production shaders – see previous post)

Almost done.

  • Connect an mib_opacity node to the Background slot (mip_matteshadow node)
  • Set Opacity to black (mib_opacity node)


Render with mental ray new GI system.

Important settings for the mip_matteshadow shader:

  • Set Ambient to black
  • Turn off “Ao On” (If you using the new GI system you don’t need Ambient Occlusion)
  • Turn on Catch Reflections, set reflectivity attributes
  • Turn on Catch Indirect (than use the slider 🙂 )

Cheers, D

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