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How to use RENDER ELEMENTS / CHANNELS

What’s happening ladies and gentlemen, this is Minh from Architecture Inspirations. Today I’m going to show you how to use Vray Render Elements in Photoshop to make your Rendering look more Realistic. Let’s get started So this is an image I rendered from the model that I did in the last video, check that out if you haven’t yet. Whenever an image is done rendering, you can find all of its Vray Render Elements in this drop down box here. So what are render elements? Vray Render Elements (also known as Render Channels or Render Passes) are a way to separate the different parts of a rendering such as diffuse, material ID, reflection, etc.

These are very powerful images that you can use to composite your rendering in post production softwares like Photoshop. To get render elements, you would have to add them in BEFORE you start the render. In Vray 3.6 for Sketchup, you can find them in the settings tab click this arrow to see more options, and expand the Render Elements rollout and add whichever elements you want. In this case, I added the denoiser to reduce noise, the diffuse channel, the extratex channel with a Dirt texture to serve as an ambient occlusion pass. I went over this in another video so check that out for more details. Next is Material ID, Raw Light, Raw Shadow, Reflections,

Refractions, and finally Z depth. There we go now after you render, you will see all the render elements in this drop down box here. Of course you don’t have to render all of these, I’m just doing it as an example. Also keep in mind that the more render elements you add, the longer it will take to render. Before I save them, I’m going to make some adjustments and add some effects. If I click here on the force color clamping button, it will show me the areas that are too bright. To fix this, I can open up the correction controls and turn on Exposure, click here to show its settings, and turn down highlight burn until I can’t see the clamped colors anymore. Now to add some effects, I’m going to click here to open up the lens effects settings. Here you can add different types of effects, and in this case, I want to add a glare effect. So I’m going to check this box, and make some adjustments here. Once that’s done, I can save all the render elements with this button here. Now that’s done, I’m going to find my RGB channel which is the one without any extra name at the end, and open it up in Photoshop. If you look closely, our render has quite a bit of noise, this is when the denoiser come in handy. I’m going to import the Denoiser and compare the two. As you can see, the Denoiser did a great job of reducing the noise in our rendering. But let’s say I want to reduce the noise even more,

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I can go to Filter – Noise – Reduce Noise. Now I can set the strength here But keep in mind that if it’s too strong then you’ll start to lose details. If so then just go back and reduce the strength to a more appropriate setting I think that’s pretty good. Since the denoiser channel is our base render now, I can turn off or delete the RGB channel. Next I’m going to adjust the base render, just click on the layer, and go to Filter – Camera Raw Filter. Here I’m going to increase the Exposure to brighten up the image, then I can pump up the contrast a little, and also brighten up the shadows. There we go, it’s already looking good. Next I will bring in the effects channel to add glare. You can see that it’s darker than our base render. So I’m going to hold down Alt and Left click then camera raw filter to Copy the adjustments from base image to the effects channel. You can see that the glare is affecting everything in our render. But let’s say I don’t want that, then I can just go down here, and Alt+Left Click the layer mask to put mask out everything. Now I can paint white on parts where I want the effects to show which is where the lights are. There we go. So for the background of this picture, I’m going to add an ocean. Then just like the base render, I’m going to apply a Camera Raw Filter to adjust the image. I just want the shadows of this image a little brighter so I can increase the shadows like so. I really like the mountain right here, but not so much the water. So I can press W for the magic wand tool and use it select the part of this image that I don’t want, I can change it to the quick selection tool as well. Once I’m happy with my selection, I’ll go down and Alt+Left click the layer mask to mask that part out. Now I can import another background image of the ocean with the water that’s a little more blue. And I’ll place it below the other background then resize it and reposition to however I see fit. To clean up the image, I can select the layer mask, and use the brush tool to paint white on the that I want to be more visible, and paint black on the parts that I want to be less visible. With some quick work, you can make it look pretty good! Although the water is too blue and it’s a little distracting, so I’m going to use Camera Raw Filter to adjust it a little bit like so. There we go, that’s better. For the next part, I will bring in the Extratex render element, which is also an Ambient Occlusion pass in this case. Now I can put it on top and set the blend mode to Multiply and reduce the Opacity to 20%. There we go, now it gives the render a little more depth. As you can see, the floor looks a little too bright, and it seems to have lost some details of the wood flooring. So I’m going to bring in the Diffuse render element. And set it to Soft light, you can see that the floor looks better, but the other parts of the render looks terrible! So we only want this render channel to affect that part of the image. We can do that by manually make a selection with the lasso tool, and then mask it out using layer mask. But, there’s a better way to do it so I’m going to delete the layer mask and show it to you. First, we need to import the material ID channel. This is a very useful image that you can use as a selection tool to make it easier to select surfaces with the same material in your rendering. Let’s say I want to select the wood material on these shelves, then I go to the Material ID, select it with the magic wand tool, hold shift to add and hold alt to subtract selections. Also, you can turn off Contiguous to select all of the same color at once. In this case, I’m not interested in selecting these shelves, but rather this wood floor, so I can go to the Material ID layer and select it then turn that off, go to my diffuse layer, and click this button here to mask out the rest of the image. As you can see, with the mask, now the diffuse channel only affects the wood floor. For the next part, let’s import the RawLight render element. Then I’ll set the blend mode as soft light and drop the opacity down to 20%. Next I’ll bring in RawShadow render element Then I’ll set this as Soft light as well, and bring the opacity down to 25%. As you can see these two images are good for adjusting the lighting and shadows of your render to give it a bit more contrast. Now I want to add a reflection of the ocean water on the refrigerator to make it look more realistic. So to do that, first I’m going to hold down Alt and Left click then drag the ocean background layer to duplicate it and bring it to the top. Then I’ll set it as Linear Burn. Next I’m going to use the Material ID and select only the material of the refrigerator. Now I can turn the Material ID Layer off and select the ocean layer, then click here to create a layer mask base on our selection. As you can see, it’s starting to give us that reflection we want, but it’s a little too much. We can decrease the opacity but the reflection still looks darker than it was. So I’m going to import the Reflection render element and set the blend mode as screen. Next I’ll hold Alt and Left click then drag the layer mask from the ocean background to our Reflection channel. There you go, that’s already looking better. If the reflection is too bright, you can turn down the opacity like so. Now that looks good, but if you look closely, the reflection of the ocean is actually on top of the door frame as well, and that’s not right. So we can select the mask on our ocean image, and use the brush tool to paint black wherever the door frame is. That way, the reflection of the ocean is only visible wherever the glass is. Now I can group these two layers and compare the before and after. The effect is very subtle, but it looks more realistic now! Next we will add the Refraction channel, and set the blend mode as screen. Then turn down the opacity to 50%. As you can see, the refraction channel is really good for adjusting the glass materials in your rendering. Next I’m going to import the Z-depth render element to create a depth of field effect in my rendering. First, first I’m going to turn this layer off, and select the top visible layer, then press Ctrl+Alt+Shift+E to merge all of the visible layers into a new one. Then I’m going to add a layer mask by clicking here. To make the file more organized, I’ll select all the layers below this and press Ctrl+G to group them up, then I’ll turn them off for now Now I can turn on the Z-depth channel, select that layer, and press Ctrl+A to select the whole image, then press Ctrl+C to copy. I’ll turn the Z-depth channel off and Alt+Left Click on this layer mask and press Ctrl+V paste it there. Now I can click here to go back to the main image. As you can see, it’s looking a little odd, but just hold on for a second. With the layer selected, we can go up to Filter – Blur – Lens Blur. For the source of your depth map, click the drop down box and select layer mask. Now you can just click on a part of the image that you want the camera to focus on. There you go, pretty cool huh? But if you notice the window, there seems to be some kind of error happening around this area. So let’s cancel this and go back a few steps. I’ll turn this off for now, and turn on the Z-depth. As you can see, this area of my Z-depth is transparent, that’s why it created those errors. So what I’m going to do now i go down and click here, then create a solid color layer, I’ll set that as black and I’ll place it under my Z-depth layer. Then I will select both of these layers, and right click, merge the layers. There we go, now I can Ctrl+A and Ctrl+C to copy this, then turn this layer off, and turn the other layer back on, Alt+Left Click here to go to the layer mask, and press Ctrl+V to Paste the image here. Now we can select the main image, go to Filter – Blur – Lens Blur you can see that there are no errors at the glass area anymore. Now we can press Okay. But it still looks weird here, all we need to do is just Shift and Left click the layer mask to turn it off. There we go, now we can turn on the group and compare the before and after. For the last part, I’ll just add some glare to the image, then stylize with Nik Collection, make some final adjustments with Camera Raw Filter and I’ll use the Curves on here as well and there we go, our image is finished! And that’s how you can use render elements to composite your rendering in Photoshop. If you want this file along with my model, remember to sign up on my Patreon before the end of March to get it at a cheaper price. After that it will be on Gumroad for $10. I’d also like to thank my members on Patreon , you guys are amazing! And that is all for today guys, leave a like if you enjoyed the video. Comment below if you have any questions. Stay inspired guys, and I will see you, next time ^.^

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