V-Ray Image Post-Processing in Photoshop
By Teofilo Pardo
This tutorial has been designed for those people who are not using Photoshop as much as they should be in their post-processing workflow or not using it on a regular basis. It incorporates lots of hints and tips and shows what can be done in the post-processing of a V-ray output image of a SketchUp model. It could also be an output image from any render engine that you want to tweak and improve.
Step 1. Lets open the V-Ray output image in Photoshop.
Step 2. Go to Image>Adjustments>Brightness/Contrast.
Step 3. Now the brightness and contrast would be different in every image, and its a personal choice how much brightness and contrast you want to apply, because maybe this image looks too bright on some monitors or too dark in others. Maybe you want to have very dark shadows, so you have to experiment with it. In the end, its your eyes that decide.
The result of those first adjustments.
Step 4. Next go to Image>Adjustments>Hue/Saturation.
Step 5. Choose -13 in Saturation because in this case I think the colors are to strong. Again this is a personal choice to use it or not, I use it sometimes depending on the render.
Here we have the result of adjusting the saturation.
Step 6. Next go to Image>Adjustments>Selective Color.
With Selective Color you can adjust any color on your image. For example if you choose green, all green colors will be affected and changed depending on how you adjust the cyan, magenta, yellow and black. So this is a nice option to experiment with.
Step 7. For this particular image at this stage I chose Neutrals and adjusted the cyan to -7 and yellow to +9, to correct the color of the scene. This can also be done with the color balance option by going to Image>Adjustments>Color Balance, but I found this method quicker and easier. The colors you can get can give you some interesting and dramatic effects with the color in your image.
In these two images you can see two effects achieved by this method. A blue cinematic effect and a green effect. This all helps to give an artistic touch to your renders. It all depends on what you are looking for and trying to achieve. Please note that this can all be done with the Photo Filter option by going to Image>Adjustments>Photo Filter, but this method gives me a little more control on colors.
The end result.
Step 8. Now lets go to Diffuse Glow by selecting Filter>Distort>Diffuse Glow and apply a little to this image.
Step 9. Choose 2 in the Glow Amount, but you can go crazy and make it 3, 4, 6, 7 etc… it’s up to you.
The end result.
Step 10. Here comes an interesting part. Go to Filter>Distort>Lens Correction.
Step 11. I always use Chromatic Aberration and its a very interesting option because it gives a very photo-realistic touch to the image. Again, how you use it depends on what effect you want for your image. In this case I chose -15 on Fix Red/Cyan Fringe and +9 on Fix Blue/Yellow Fringe and again you can go crazy and play with the adjustments to get a lot of different results.
Step 12. The Vignette option below Chromatic Aberration is also an interesting one. It can give a deep effect to your image. In this case I chose -25 and what this does is give us a dark shadow to the perimeter of the image. It gives a feeling of some kind of ‘shadow frame’ for our main focus objects, which are the flower and the table. You can also move the midpoint to suit your needs if necessary.
The end result.
Step 13. Now lets move on to the Blur Tool it is the one circled in red. What this tool does is give us a depth of field effect (DoF). Now there are plug-ins out there that will do this and I don’t want to go into them now and anyway this is a nice easy method. You can use it if you don’t want to do DoF in V-Ray.
Step 14. Now you have to adjust the Master Diameter and the Hardness which I almost always leave at 0% and the further the object is the more blur we will apply (well in this case at least), it all depends where your main focus is,…in this image it is the flowers and the table.
Step 15. As you can see I applied the Blur Tool to the black couch, a little on the rug and some more on the door to the right. Next I need to apply it to the red chair (tip: to change the Master Diameter and the Hardness, just right click with the mouse when using the blur tool).
Step 16. For the red chair lets use the Zoom Tool, circled in red. I can be more accurate when applying the Blur Tool to the red chair and not accidentally apply it to the flowers.
Here is the result after applying the Blur Tool and remember to use the Zoom Tool for little areas.
Step 17. Let us use the Photo Filter option by clicking on Image>Adjustments>Photo Filter. This is a very good option for blending an image to a warm or cool color.
Step 18. In the Photo Filter Window by default appears the Warm Filter with 25% Density. You can change this by clicking on the little drop down menu and you will get a selection of preset filters. You can also click on the color box and create a filter with the color you want.
The result with the Warm Filter.
Here are some examples of different filters.
In the image below I used Smart Sharpen, adjusted Brightness/Contrast and added more Vignette and Chromatic Aberration. And the straight V-ray render for comparison.
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and most of all that it has been helpful in your post-processing work-flow.