If you didn’t know – I am definitely a zealot for the newschool rendering techniques, with photometric lights, HDR renderings, and, maybe most significantly, gamma-linear workflow. So when I was looking at some otherwise great Vue renderings, it was always bugging me that they look like silly old CG instead the real beauties they could be. So to spread the evangelism, I fired up Vue 7.5 XStream PLE, and tried some gamma juggling out.

The scene uses the thick cloud atmosphere from the physical presets, global illumination lighting. I have two objects and two materials from the scene – one is a sphere with a simple bitmap texture on it, and the other is the ground with the gray rock preset material.

And finally, here’s the tests:

Default VUE output:

Output with gamma set to 1.8:

Output gamma 1.8 AND materials’ color gamma 1.8:

The images should be pretty self explanatory. The default output looks quite old-school CG. The shadows, light falloff and shadow-midtone contrasts look unrealistic. Boosting the output gamma to 1.8 helps in bringing out the realistic GI look, but also washes out the color maps. At the end, putting a gamma 1.8 on the textures too, remedies the problem, so we have a more realistic render. Have in mind that even if you want to go for a different look, like the filmic low-gamma one I love, this is the better startpoint for post-processing. Take the torch, experiment and preach! Amen and enjoy your new renderings ๐Ÿ˜‰