In the previous part, I covered the basics of cloth simulation to create the balloon effect. In this article, we will be going over lighting and setting up the materials for the final render.
The Final Render
Step 1: Setting up the render scene
First, you need to add a camera to the scene to capture the render.
I like to add the camera and set up the scene before adding materials. This gives me a foundation to build on my lighting and materials. Note that different camera angles and settings can give you a different render, even with the same materials and lighting.
Adding a camera and setting up the workspace
You can add a camera by pressing
Camera. After that, position and set up your camera. I like to divide my workspace into two halves, with one half displaying the camera view at all times. You can click and drag from the corner of the window to create another window in Blender. Then press
1 (View Camera) to get the camera view.
For the Render Properties, there are only a few settings that I change.
First, turn on
Screen Space Reflections.
Second, turn on
Transparent in the
Filter Size on the
Film settings to get a transparent background.
Third, go to
Color Management option. Under that option, choose the
Very High Contrast look, and change the
Gamma values as required to change the contrast level of your render.
Finally, for camera settings, the Orthographic Camera is my preferred choice.
Step 2: Adding the materials
Now, we can finally add some colour to our typography. We will use a couple of nodes to create a simple gradient for the balloon object.
Pull up another window on the bottom to set up your
Shader Editor view, then follow the listed directions:
a. Select the text object and add a new material by pressing the
New button on the
Materials Properties on the bottom right window.
b. On the
Shader Editor window, you should have a
Principled BSDF plugged into the
Material Output node by default. We will be adding a few more nodes to the material.
A then select the
Texture Cordinate node. Since there are a lot of nodes, you can search for the node you need by clicking on the
Search button after pressing
d. Likewise, also add a
SeperateXYZ node and a
ColorRamp node. Basically, we are going to create a gradient for the text with the nodes added.
e. Connect the nodes as shown. This setup will map the mesh of the object to the
ColorRamp in the Z-axis. You can also change the input of the
ColorRamp from Z-axis to Y-axis to get another style.
f. Choose any colour you want for the gradient.
g. In the
Principled BSDF shader, you can change the roughness value to around
0.1 and increase the metallic value to around
0.3 to get the balloon effect. Play around with the values to get more interesting results.
Step 3: Adding the lights
For rendering, I prefer to use two primary lights. One is the HDRI (environment light), and another is the default simple sunlight. HDRI gives you control over the overall environment light. I find that it really helps to quickly set up the background light.
Adding environment light
Shading workspace, or in the
Shader Editor window, you can change into the
World mode instead of the
object mode to add the HDRI.
Environment Texture to get the
Environment Texture node. Load your HDRI and plug it into the
Background node, which is going to the
World Output node.
I use the free HDRIs provided by PolyHaven. A simple Google search should give you lots of free resources for HDRI.
Now we need to add sunlight.
You can position the sunlight anywhere you want in the scene. The position will not affect the lighting effects; only the rotation value will create the difference.
So, select the sunlight and press
X to rotate the light in the X-axis and likewise for the Y-axis.
Change the rotation to get the desired lighting effect. Also, remember to enable
Contact Shadows of the sunlight to add in that extra shadow to show depth.
Here is my final render!
Here are some extra render tips to further enhance your final render.
- Increasing the metallic value of the material will make the colours appear darker, so, in that case, you can increase the value of the sunlight to balance your render.
- Changing the colour of the sunlight will add more moody lighting to your scene.
- Changing the
Bloomcolour and intensity will give that extra glow to your scene.
- Finally, post-processing in Photoshop to bump up the contrast and values is always an option.
Thanks for reading. Catch you in the next one!