Maxwell Render – the Making-of: Dendrobium Hypercar CGI By EPTA Design

This week on the Maxwell blog they had a special guest – EPTA Design. The London-based design studio does amazing automotive CGI with Maxwell that we are excited to share with you.

EPTA Design Studio cover all the phases of the preliminary design process (research, styling, virtual modelling, 3D rendering, animation). Their wide-ranging experience combined with a compact studio setting allows them to work in a highly-lean and quality-oriented way, focusing on designs that lead to quality, innovative, and feasible outcomes.

Read the full case study below:

• Software used: Adobe Photoshop, Rhinoceros, Maxwell.
• Project credits: EPTA Design for WFRIC / Dendrobium motor

The Project

In 2015 at EPTA Design we were asked to develop the style and design of a Hypercar. The project was commissioned by Singapore’s Wong Fong Research and Innovative Center (WFRIC). The first request by the client was to create a “spaceship with wheels”. They were looking for something eye-catching, as well as a reminder of the “key aspects” associated with the company: Singapore balance between technology and nature, flower and machine, a woman‘s shape and sharp line.

“The goal was to achieve a distinctive design different from any other Hypercar.”

It was not a project for production, but rather an open-sculptural one. So, it’s a Hypercar not designed to be driven, just to be admired. Only several months after the presentation of a first-scale model of the final car to the Dendrobium Electric Hypercar SZIDF 2015, the WFRIC created dendrobiummotors.com

Concept and Creative Process

The client was clear about the name from the very beginning of the project: Dendrobim. This is the name of an Orchid in the Singapore area, a beauty symbol that amazes.

The creative process as a style study, always goes through a research / synthesis phase that takes keywords provided by the client and converts them into images. The moodboard table serves this task! Images from other sectors are used: fashion, architecture, industrial production, design, film, and art in general. With these images hung on the center-style wall, we started to draw.

Greatest Challenge

The most critical part of the project was time. We had little time to present the design, and deliver the 3D file. After a month or so, we mailed the model to Shenzen China. That was followed by a first round of CAD images, approval, and delivery. The final rendering was done later, when we had enough time to refine the model and achieve rendering quality.

Work with Maxwell

EPTA Design deals with design for rather niche sectors, and not for large-scale production. This project is positioned right at the edge, so the goal was to make high-quality realistic renders that look unbelievable.

“The quality had to be exquisite, and Maxwell is the perfect tool to achieve this goal.”

 

 

Materials

As an agency EPTA Design also offers the rendering service, but usually, we can sell this service only in conjunction with the design of the product, so we have total control over the graphic choices (materials, colors and surface finishes). We use a lot of Maxwell’s materials available in the Material Gallery. Over time, we have enriched it with some free materials downloaded from the official site and we change them slightly according to the needs of the project.

Lighting

We always present the project in two lighting sets: a photographic and a natural one (natural lighting).

For outside renders, we used the potential of the Sun plus Maxwell’s PhysicalSky combined with an HDRI.  In the photographic set, instead of the sky (Sky+Sun) we used only an HDRI (for lighting, color, and reflection) but we added some strategic plans and we assigned the lights from Maxwell’s internal library.

“In both cases, the Multilight system is crucial to light testing and comparison in real time. In addition to communicating forms and materials, it creates a certain degree of emotion to the final image.”

Postproduction

Usually all our renders undergo a post-production process. For example, in the set-up, you have to explain as well as possible the context, while when rendering we try to enhance the object itself.

Specifically, for outdoor renders, most of the work is done using HDRI, sky and sun light from machine materials and a “wet asphalt” material. But that’s not enough. To give the idea of running in a circuit, we changed the road (adding chromatic irregularities typical of asphalt with different cracks and types of asphalt, curbs and grass), blurred the wheels and added splashes of water when driving on wet ground.

Apart from these changes, we usually work on the overall image: we adjust saturation because sometimes too saturated colors make the final image less realistic, we add depth using smoke, and bright effects such as camera glows and finally we add shadows of other objects to the main scene.

The Final Piece

We are happy with the final result! The design has been well received even though in the second phase the project it underwent profound changes. Nevertheless, our design images achieved the goal of attracting the attention of the audience!

Webinar: Designviz With Maxwell | Sketchup

Join Next Limit and present François Verhoeve for a hands-on webinar with practical tips and workflow bringing a designviz project to life with the latest Maxwell | SketchUp 4.1.

 

A Little Bit About Your Presenter

François Verhoeven is an architect working with his business partner Dennis Fillié in the Netherlands in their own firm, FillieVerhoeven Architects, since 1993. The architectural firm, has been providing services to other architects as well such as engineering, architectural photography and archviz.


In this webinar:

Tools used:

  • Scene manager
  • Context-sensitive menu items
  • Menu items
  • FIRE
  • Maxwell | Studio

Setting up Maxwell | SketchUp

  • Environment
  • Lighting
  • Camera

Modeling tools & tips for Maxwell | SketchUp

  • Glass
  • Grass
  • Reference files
  • Skatter

Materials in Maxwell | SketchUp

  • Native SketchUp materials
  • Maxwell Materials

 

Register Now

Thursday 5th October 2017
6:00 PM – 7:00 PM BST

Hum3D Car Render Challenge

It’s the Fourth annual Hum3D competition for the best Car render and the largest awards event for the car 3d modelling and visualisation industry.

The rules:
Users have to create a car 3d model, put it into 3D environment and create a beautiful render. There are no limits for your creative ideas: you can choose any automobile you like whether it is a racing car or an imaginary vehicle.

The contest is supported by some of the best companies of the 3D world including, Maxwell Render, KeyShot and V-Ray and Corona Renderer.

Further information on the competition including all of the rules and prizes can be found here.

Entries are accepted from the 13th September to 29th November 2017.

Maxwell Render 4.1 – Up to 8x Faster with New Denoiser

Today sees Next Limit announce the official release of Maxwell 4.1. This is the first significant update of the latest version of its high-end rendering tool. Aiming to optimise user workflow, and decrease rendering times whilst maintaining the quality Maxwell is famous for, this new version introduces a powerful Denoiser (by Innobright‘s Altus).

The new Denoiser feature helps to achieve clear images at a lower SL, and makes Maxwell up to eight times faster, depending on the scene. Instead of needing to render images to a high sampling level, users can keep it low and let the Denoiser do the job, setting it to denoise at all SLs or at the end.

In addition, Maxwell 4.1 brings a number of new features, fixes and improvements, including:

  • Optimized GPU-handling memory – paving the way to Multi-GPU in a future update
  • Maxwell | Multilight™ Standalone V2 – a FREE tool for light management, now with the possibility for animations and more
  • New Lights panel in Maxwell | Studio to play with light intensity
  • New illumination assets in the Library Panel
  • New material compatibility: MERL, X-rite AxF, Real-IES files

The tremendous performance improvements obtained with the denoiser surpass any previous experience with Maxwell, especially in situations where noise -an inherent problem in truly unbiased engines- requires long render times to clean. This version will also pave the way for many upcoming improvements in GPU rendering, interactivity and cloud deployment. We remain committed to preserving Maxwell as the leading ground truth in rendering technology.

Maxwell Render V1 & V2 Users – Get 15% Off Your Upgrade

Maxwell licenses  V2 and older *  are reaching the end of their product support life-cycle. This means you will no longer be able to upgrade these licenses or receive technical support for them.

* Offer includes both license seats and rendernodes. Does not apply to Learning Edition, Student & Faculty licenses.

Why Upgrade Now?
Until June 30th 2017 you will still be able to upgrade older licenses to the latest version Maxwell 4. During this period you will exclusively get an additional 15% off the upgrade price. Upgrading will give you access to all new features and improvements.

What happens to V1 and V2 licenses after the 30th June?
If you have a perpetual license, you can keep using it, however, there will be no technical support or upgrades available. This means old licenses cannot be reallocated or retreived.

To move to the latest version, you will need to buy a new Maxwell Render license.

Maxwell Render V3.1 is Here!

What’s New in V3.1?

Spot Emitters
This emitter type projects a conical light beam, mimicking the spotlights used by photographers and cinematographers. You can control the shape of the beam by adjusting the cone angle and the falloff of its borders. They can also work as image projectors, projecting the map you input just like a slide projector.

Extra Sampling
Often when you render an image, residual noise is concentrated in certain areas of the scene due their particular lighting and material characteristics. With the new Extra Sampling feature, you can now define a specific area of your image to be rendered to a higher sampling level than the rest – putting all the render power to the areas where it is most needed, rendering smarter and saving a huge amount of time.

OpenVDB
With the 3.1 update, Maxwell can now read and render OpenVDB files directly. This file format can efficiently store very detailed and large volumetrics based on a 3D grid of voxels instead of individual point particles, which makes it more efficient for storing and rendering detailed volumetrics where otherwise billions of individual particles would have been needed.

Animation tool in Studio
Maxwell Studio now includes an animation tool which makes it very easy to generate simple scene animations such as turntables or time-lapses, directly from Studio.

Improved performance in Windows
Maxwell’s performance on Windows architectures with over 64 cores has been optimised – taking advantage of even more machine power, and speeding up rendertimes.

Camera Response / White balance
The new white balance tool can come in handy when mixed temperature emitters are used, or for artistic purposes. White balancing directly in Maxwell means more accurate results because you are directly adjusting the spectral information contained in the render MXI files, giving you the widest possible color gamut to work with. Additionally, the new camera response curves give you a standard set of film and digital sensors to choose from, to quickly provide you with a certain look to your render.

Floating Shadows
Maxwell FIRE (preview engine) is now able to display Floating Shadows and Floating Reflections of your objects on the ground, even without a geometry ground plane in the scene. This feature is very helpful during the design stage or even for presentations of your products, as it quickly provides a decent preview of your models even at an early stage.

UDIM Textures
Maxwell 3.1 supports UDIM textures (developed by The Foundry’s Mari) which allow you to vary the mapping resolutions over different parts of a model, and apply high resolution only in the areas needed, helping to keep file sizes to a reasonable size.

Improved Shadow Channel
Prior to 3.1, the Shadow channel produced knocked out shadows, which caused unwanted white borders when composed (so an extra shadow pass was usually necessary). Now, the Shadow channel can produce a full shadow, that produces no white border when composed.

Custom Alpha per material
In addition to the Custom Alpha per object, you can now define Custom Alpha channels per material, producing accurate masks of the items you choose without any extra render cost, providing more flexibility and information for the composition stage.

Take a peek at Maxwell Render 3.1

The Maxwell Render V3.1 early build is now available now for testing!

Full release will be within the next few weeks and the update is free for all V3 users.

To access the early build area you must be signed into the forum first, then go to www.maxwellrender.com/betas.

What’s new in V3.1?

  • Spotlight emitters to mimic spotlights on your usual 3D platform (and translate them to Maxwell emitters)
  • Extra sampling allows you to select masked areas and render them to a higher SL than the rest of the scene – a great time saver!
  • OpenVDB support
  • And more…

Don’t forget ALL Maxwell Render products are currently 25% off until 19th December. Buy Maxwell Render today!