Photoshop Post Production Tips

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Rendered Image Before Post Production

A very important skill every designer needs is to be able to tweak a final render to perfection; knowing a few basic Photoshop tricks and how to use VRay’s Frame Buffer for something else other than viewing a Render’s progress.

Post Production doesn’t require a pro, you just need to know how to use the tools at your disposal to enhance a rendered image.

In this post, I’ll take you through my beginner-friendly Post Production process from the Modeling stage to Adding the final Filter in Photoshop.


Before Rendering

Before rendering, the three most important things to look out for are Texture Quality, Object Quality, and Lighting Quality.

Texture Quality

Having HighQuality Textures in your model can drastically affect your render output; render output will look sharper and more polished. Here are some texture tips:

  • Opt for 1k Texture images (1024×1024) for objects that are far from the camera, you can go higher if you’re looking to produce close-up detailed shots. This will remove any excess load off your renderer while providing quality details when and where you need it.
  • Use Normal Maps (instead of regular Bump Maps) for better quality materials, you can also create your own Normal Maps.

Object Quality

Investing in good quality components for your model or scene (time to search or money to buy from reputable sites) is the best favor you can do for your work. Recommended sites to download quality models:

Lighting Quality

Good lighting distribution is responsible for the clarity of your final image; it helps eliminate noise and highlight details. For a detailed Lighting Tutorial, Click here.


When Rendering

When yor model is all done and the scene is set to start rendering, a couple of things here that you need to keep in mind: Render Elements and the VRay Frame Buffer’s Editor.

Render Elements

Render Elements are extra rendered images produced by VRay that basically break you model down to components such as Shadows, Lighting, Diffuse, etc.

For more details, take a look at this document.

Two of the most important elements are Material ID/Object ID and Denoiser. Here’s an example of the render elements used in the Post Production of this post’s image.

These elements will be the essence of your Post Production in Photoshop, so they’re very important.


VRay Frame Buffer Editor

To view the editor tabs, click on the first icon at the bottom left of your Frame Buffer.

A final render before tweaking the Exposure Settings.

In VRay’s Frame Buffer window, you can tweak your image’s exposure before moving on to Photoshop. Whether you’re Interactive Rendering, Testing, or Rendering a Final Image, these setting are very handy.

My absolute favorite is the Exposure Tab, the rest of the tabs are practically non existent to me because of how I use Photoshop later on in Post Production.

In the Exposure tab, you can find three settings:

  • Exposure: Controls how bright or dim your image can be.
  • Highlight Burn: Reduces highlight burns caused by Lighting.
  • Contrast: When using exposure, you may want to tweak your contrast to keep your image from looking washed out.
Here’s what the image above looks like after tweaking the Exposure settings.

After Rendering

It’s time for the actual Post Production! Here are some final tips on producing an image to be proud of. Fire up your Photoshop and let’s get to work.

My preferred Photoshop version is the Cs6

Stack and Rename your Images

Use the Denoiser Element image as your base image, and stack the rest of your Elements underneath.

Rename each layer as you work, for an easier and faster workflow.

A Material ID/Object ID image is mainly a ‘Selection Guide’; using the Selection Tool and while the Material ID/Object ID Layer is active, select the regions you want to edit.

Next, select the Layer you want to edit and get to editing.

Isolate Objects on Layers

If you’ll be editing an object in the Denoiser Layer, it’s always best if you isolate that object, after selecting it, to a separate layer.

You can do so by either pressing CTRL+J on your keyboard or right-clicking the layer and selecting Duplicate Layer.

This way you can avoid damaging the original Denoiser Layer by editing too much that you can’t redo.

Use Groups

After you’re done editing separate parts of your image, you’ll end up with a ton of layers. Use Groups by selecting the layers you want to add to a group and pressing CTRL+G on your keyboard.

Merge a Copies

You can also merge a copy of all these layers into a single image for further editing by selecting all that you want to merge and Right Click > Duplicate Layers the moving them above the Group.

Right click the copies and select Merge Layers.

Use Filters

Filters may sound more appropriate for an Instagram Selfie, but trust me they work really well for rendered images.

My favorite Filters come from Google’s Nik Collection filter plugin for Photoshop. The Color Efex Pro, to be exact.

Subtle is Better

No matter what you do to your image, do it subtly. Less is always More when it comes to image editing because you don’t want to distort details or over saturate colors.

Rendered Image after Post Production

That’s it for this post! Hope you’ve picked up a thing or two that will help you in your Post Production.

The model used in this tutorial can be found on Turbo Squid.

If you have any questions or extra tips, Leave a comment below!

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