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How to make smooth background like this?

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  #1  
Old 06-05-2012, 05:44 PM
santoro80 santoro80 is offline
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How to make smooth background like this?

Look at this photographs by Julia Fullerton-Baten (www.juliafullerton-batten.com). The backgrounds (interiors, exteriors of houses etc.) on them have so perfect, smooth and clean surface, almost without texture. Do you think this backgrounds are CGI or some effect was applied to them? I doubt these are all artificial set pieces, because she has this effect even on photographs shot in exteriors.

http://www.juliafullerton-batten.com...Shot04_106.jpg
http://search.it.online.fr/covers/wp...chen,_2008.jpg
http://www.juliafullerton-batten.com...-hairdryer.jpg
http://www.juliafullerton-batten.com...ica-Mirror.jpg
http://www.juliafullerton-batten.com...,-shanghai.jpg

Maybe these are not the best examples - look at her webpage and you will see what I am talking about.

Last edited by santoro80; 06-05-2012 at 06:16 PM.
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Old 06-06-2012, 02:54 AM
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Chain Chain is offline
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Re: How to make smooth background like this?

Backgrounds are real and not CGI or "some effect". Also, not entirely clean as you can see on the ceiling on the subway picture (but the train is smooth from the blur due to the "long" exposure).

I see nothing out of the ordinary. Perhaps you could provide some more detail of what you mean?

Room was likely cleaned before taking the picture, and additionally cleaned up in Photoshop afterwards (healing brush, etc). Possibly some local adjustments as well using e.g. curves but that's no exclusive for the background.

Other than that the lighting used comes into play a lot. Many of the surfaces are not surfaces that should have much texture (or has a very fine texture that won't show up in a small picture). If you want to avoid enhancing texture, be careful with (especially local) contrast adjustments and sharpening.
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Old 06-06-2012, 03:01 AM
kav kav is offline
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Re: How to make smooth background like this?

You can do it in retouching. To answer your question regarding CG, those big plain solid color areas would be easy to do in CG given that you could figure out a lot of the dimensions from metadata. Typically if you're going to use CG comps you'd want reference information for shadows, reflections, and distance so that depth of field can be matched via real world scale + zdepth. Typically though you'd generate maps to keep it from looking too textureless, but it's annoying to test at times. It's pretty common to use IBL for something like this, meaning that you're going to need some form of GI calculation to get the correct bounce effects. Unless you're using a brute force method of calculation, it can tend to wash bump maps out quite a bit, especially in flat lighting like this. Anyway there are ways around that, but there's a slight learning curve. If you're looking for something free/cheap and easy to learn, Blender + something like Lux or the free version of 3delight would work. Lux is slower, but it's probably easier to learn than something REYES based. There are other some other cheap/free ones that do an okay job, especially if you're creating predominantly background elements. This stuff still requires retouching if you don't want to deal with insane render times. If something is noisy or has blotches, it's easier just to retouch than mess around trying to get every last point perfect.

Also Chain is correct. It's not CG here. I was just saying how you could do some of it with CG if you lacked the background elements that you wanted. He's also right about being careful with your adjustments. Many of these look like the backgrounds were photographed for enough detail and toned down where necessary in post.
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Old 06-06-2012, 03:34 AM
quim quim is offline
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Re: How to make smooth background like this?

Have you already read this interview with her?
http://www.thefstopmag.com/?p=1118

q
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Old 06-06-2012, 01:41 PM
santoro80 santoro80 is offline
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Re: How to make smooth background like this?

Thanks for the link. That explains a lot. A lot of lights were used...
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