This personal project was inspired by the opening sequence shots in Raphael Rau's 2014 Demo Reel. The goal of this project wasn't to recreate Rau's work. Instead, the goal was to test some new methods of "real-time" rendering, with a strong focus on creating realistic depth of field, motion blur, and bokeh lens efects in the compositing stage. I needed a nice 3d model with emissive led lights to do the test with and thought recreating Rau's floating sci-fi object would do the trick. That, and they look cool and were fun to make.
Raphael's original render was done using C4D using the Octane Render Engine. Obviously his results are stunning and he share some of the process in this breakdown presentation video at IBC.
Octane is an extremely powerful render engine. I wanted to see how close I could get to recreating the photo-real look using a Physically Based - Real-Time render engine, similar to a video game engine. I used a combination of Cinema 4D and the Pixelberg render plug-in from Frostsoft. Quixel Suite 2 was used to create the normals & the textures for the 3D model. The compositing was done in Blackmagic's Fusion 8, and final colour grades were done in DaVinci Resolve.
Render times are very fast. In fact the 3d renders are quicker than the compositing renders. 20 seconds per frame at UHD with a ton of passed coming out in 32bit .exr files coming out of C4D. The bulk of that was from the C4D Standard Render area shadow pass. Fusion's render time was 50 seconds per frame at UHD after all the compositing work.