Updated: March 8, 2014
Note to all those wondering - this be article was written by my wife, so we do not end up with another piece of funny hate mail questioning my sexuality. Anyhow, she also happens to pimp Kerkythea like a champ. And now, the article begins in earnest. Right here: This project was inspired by something I saw online. It was a tutorial on reflectives surfaces drawing in Kekythea. So I thought I'd give it a go.
Drawing the table, glass and spheres was quite simple in Google SketchUp. The tricky bit was the rendering. Hours upon hours of adjusting the materials settings, fine-tuning the lighting angles and strength, rotating the camera this way and that to get the perfect shot. Well ... here it is.
At first, I rendered the spheres golden and set them up against various backgrounds to see how the reflections alter between the different options. I also used a Global Kitchen HDR probe, to create a realistic world settings for the renders.
The pitch black, but very shiny table top reflects the background wall, casting a matching glow on the entire room. In the next image, the table top was rendered with a less reflective wooden tone, so the reflection of the spheres on its surface is very muted. The reflection of the tiles, on the other hand, is seen clearly in the glass stem.
Altering the time of day from 7 to 8 o'clock in the morning also affects the overall feel in the room. At 7 o'clock, there is still a slight rosy sunset glow, whereas one hour later, much less so.
Kekythea is an amazing tool to render shadows. Just look at the complex and gradual shadow cast by the glass.
At this point, I experimented with the material of the table, background and the spheres all at once. The matte dark wood table and stone flooring are in sharp contrast to the shiny surphaces of the glass and the spheres. To get the best results, you can play with the render settings: AA Theshold, Soft Shadows and Fuzzy Tracing can be altered to give the best results.
The HDR probe it all its glory:
And some more:
Ultimately, it's all about the glass. You can make it as delicate as you like with Google SketchUp and then render it to its finest in Kerythea. As you can see, no matter the backdrop, the lighting or the reflectiveness of all the other surfaces, the perfect clarity of the glass rules supreme.