Hyperrealism in digital rendering

Remember Peter MorrisMammoth Tank? Dimitri recently rendered this model in stunning realism, making the creation appear no less than physically tangible in front of your eyes. According to Peter, a rendering like this takes much computer horsepower and skills and there’s only “a couple others out there that render as well as [Dimitri] does. But they are very, very rare.”

You can find Dimitri’s contact information in his Brickshelf gallery.

37 comments on “Hyperrealism in digital rendering

  1. Gambort

    I don’t remember seeing any render that accurate. Great use of soft focal point. The background could probably be improved a little by curving it up like a real light box but that’s minor.I hate to think how long that took but I’d be guessing it’s a week or so render time on a fast PC.

    Thomas Burger and Koyan Töreni are probably the other people Peter means.

  2. Peter

    Just wanted to point out that the original .dat file I posted did not include the hoses. Dmitri did some outstanding work putting those into MLCAD before he rendered it.

    I sent him an e-mail about the transposed wing plates, and he said he’ll be fixing them. According to him, the render took 20 hours.

    And I was actually thinking of Tim, also. Your renders were the first I ever saw with the slope textures, which blew my mind.

  3. Gambort

    Slope texture is straight out of LGEO. Anyone can do it automagically if you set up LGEO correctly. My biggest addition to rendering is an accurate model of the cheese slope which vastly improves models using them (and I notice that Dmitri uses them too).

    Twenty hours is surprisingly quick. He either has access to a very fast computer or cluster or he’s being very tricky.

  4. pe668

    I may have missed something here but the brick built tank looks awesome. Why the need to synthetic render what already exists?

    That said it’s a fine render no doubt, best CG Lego image I have seen.

  5. Foamrider

    This is just absurd. Most amazing! For a second I was confused why they just re-posted the original pic.

  6. Jedimasterwagner

    This is what most virtual LEGO builders (myself included) aspire to be able to do. Amazing work!

    IMHO I think that the floor and background work well, as he seems to have used similar backgrounds in his other renders, as almost a trademark style. And great time maximization — I would estimate that a similar render with those effects on my machine would take days. I gotta say it again, this is a superb render. Keep it up!

  7. Gambort

    ^ More accurate, yes. But less visually appealing in my opinion. There is a very reasonable argument that accuracy is just a matter of tuning and ramping up your settings. There’s an art (in the ‘artisan’ sense) to it, but less than there is in setting up a full scene like the train station.

  8. pe668

    I bet Dmitri’s computer is hardcore compared to the box I’m banging on here. I wish the 3D guys at my work had this much talent.

    Was there a great station rendering, anyone got the link?

  9. Rob (Kaiser-Machead)

    Amazing stuff. It reminds me a lot of the HK Tank from Terminator. I’d love to build one myself :O

  10. Jedimasterwagner

    i think that ernesto carrillo, a renderer I just discovered on flickr, should be added to that list, as well as billthefish.

    pe668, here’s the link to the train station that I built, when it was blogged here. I’m sorta in the same school as gambort when it comes to virtual lego (and not just because somehow he liked one of my renders) in that there’s more to the art than just how realistic it looks. Take a look at Tim’s (Gambort’s) flickr and check out some of his renders. Some have a bright and smooth look that works great and appeals to the eye, and others have varying effects that add to the presentation. A wide variety of great renders. But I’m not sure any are as realistic to fool anyone that they are not real LEGO bricks. And that’s my point, it doesn’t have to be realistic to be great, unless that’s what you’re going for.

    I like to separate it like Ldraw.com does in their “scene of the month” and “model of the month” contests. MOTM uses a program with preset rendering options to produce a quick, standardized method of comparing models on the same playing field, which places the emphasis more on the building and less on the rendering. SOTM is a no-rules open contest in which you can add any rendering special effects and any post-processing you want, not because the most realistic render will necessarily win, but because the best scene, meaning how well it pleased the eye in its total presentation, would win. hope that makes sense.

  11. Patrick

    If there wasn’t a close-up shot of that, I’d think it was a photo.
    This guy has a career in computer drawing ahead of him.

  12. Pingback: Renders by Ernesto | The Brothers Brick | LEGO Blog

  13. Rohan

    Not being picky, as it’s an amazing render – the ‘blurring’ on the Cannon ends just adds to the detail….

    …but I noticed that the hosepipe connecting the rocket packs to the main turret doesn’t seem to be mirrored in the glossy reflection underneath! :)

    I just wish I had enough specialised parts to build something like that!


  14. Dimitri

    Hello everyone! I’m Dimitri, author of the render. It’s so nice to hear so much appreciation from you, thank you! Didn’t even expect such a reaction about another of my renders.

    To Rohan, yes, you are correct and quite attentive, there is no reflection of the hoses on the floor. That is because after I’ve almost completed rendering the tank without the hoses I decided to add them and instead of re-rendering the whole image from the beginning, I’ve rendered each hose seperately and added them in an image editor by forgetting about the reflection. But at the moment I’m re-rendering the whole image, as Peter said, with the correction of wing plates and maybe some of the unneeded black spots. It has already taken me 23 hours and if anyone is still curious about my PC specs, here they are:
    AMD 64 X2 5000
    2GB RAM
    nVidia GeForce 8600GT

    By the way, I agree with that some mentioned that my renders lack artistry. I will probably take that into account with my future renders.

    Sorry for my english.

  15. Gambort

    Hi Dmitri,

    Sorry, it was me who indirectly suggested they lacked artistry. To be very clear about it I know from experience just how much artistry goes into these renders and I know you show a great amount of artistry.

    My point was simply that the artistry and art of photorealistic and interprative rendering are different.

    Two suggestions I would like to make to you are this: 1) that you set your floor to be a shallow parabola rather than a plane and 2) that you add a small amount of variation in the reflection of the floor (maybe through a bump map). Each should help achieve an even greater effect of realism.


  16. Soul_Est

    This is beyond many of the renderings of anything i’ve seen while trawling the net! It looks like your using either L3P or Anton’s LDraw Converter to convert the LDraw files before rendering them. I’m guessing that you also edit the POV file before processing it because regular L3P conversions aren’t the best per se. This is great Dmitri, keep ’em coming!

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