Tips and Secrets for Photorealistic Renderings




In this tutorial you will find some secrets and tips for making photorealistic materials.

Let's Start!


Learn to Observe:


It's one of the most obvious things but most 3D Artists don't do: You have to imitate real world things how they really are and not how you think or suppose they are. This rule applies to everything not only materials also applies to modelling, lighting and so on.


Here is and example:

When you make a white wall material. How do you set the material? Most beginners 3D Artists make the following:


  • Color Diffuse: White
  • Thats All



Interior Wall Material




That material is not accurate! Observe any white wall anywhere:

  • Your bedroom
  • Your Living Room
  • Outside White walls


You will find out that they aren't perfectly smooth, perfectly white. Even the newest recently built walls aren't. So what do you see?

  • Paint Imperfections (some areas are whiter than others)
  • Small or big Cracks
  • Some texture
  • Reflections imperfections (some areas reflects more than other ones)
  • Some worn-out areas
  • Dark Stains (dirt, soil) specially in Outdoors walls.
  • Peeled paint
  • Color Stains
  • And more!


It's practically impossible to find a perfect white smooth wall. Only in 3D. Real world walls have imperfections; lot of them.




Interior Wall Material from Pro Materials Interiors




On the images showing materials settings you notice the big difference between them. Although it's just a smooth interior material. In the second one image there are nodes for:

  • Specular Imperfections
  • Normal map for tiny grainy texture
  • Paint imperfections



  • Observe real photographies .
  • Go outside and pay attention to every single detail that is in that object that you want to "Imitate" with 3d.

Even for a Smooth wall material you have to add some "dirt" on it, so that it becomes more realistic. Pay attention on how the colors get darker on some areas. Also an irregular specular is present on this wall.



A closer look to the wall.


Those dirt imperfections normally are made with Seamless Dirt Alpha Maps (also known as Surface Imperfections Maps) that modify the diffuse color and are placed on the Specular Nodes.

Node Settings for Base Color (Diffuse):

Dirt Alpha Maps

Nodes for Controlling the Contrast

Mix Nodes for mixing Paint Color and Dirt Alpha Maps

Node Settings for Specular and Normal Map Nodes:

Normal Map for wall smooth grainy texture.

Coming soon there will be posts about secrets and tips for Modelling, Lighting and so! Stay tuned!


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