This is my first experience with any type of digital rendering, so please forgive me if this is a stupid question: How do I achieve photorealism? A lot of video tutorials, posts, books, and courses are centered around getting as photorealistic in real-time, but time is not a factor for my work: I want to make static 2D backdrops for photos. Atmospheric lighting, depth of field blur, and resolution matter for me, but I don’t mind if it takes weeks to render on a cloud server I spun up (I am not limited by real-time or hardware constraints).

So far I’ve learned that my “poly count” should be as high as possible
I should maximize the ray tracing or path tracing to get realistic light
My assets should be high-resolution
I should not attempt to make realistic animals
I should avoid detailed, reflective surfaces as much as possible

Does anyone have a book, YouTube tutorial, or website suggestion that can help me get started along that path?

Hi, do you have a bit of 3D CGi knowledge and rendering with other softwares? If yes you can find many of the same tools and procedures even here in UE4. I’m new in UE4 as well and I’m still learning while I’m creating the basic of my new project :slight_smile:
Otherwise just using Youtube as a search engine, this forum and also some of the examples you can find in the epic website may be helpful.

I have experience with 2D video and computer programming, but CGI, 3D, and any software related to it is new to me. I’ve searched YouTube and forums elsewhere and there is a lot of information about photorealism, but they always focus on real-time rendering. I just want the highest quality still image to use as a background in my photography

If you’re just looking to make images then Unreal may not be the best solution for you since the main purpose is speed while sacrificing accuracy, it does everything in a way to try to achieve results faster.
If you want to use UE4 you can, but it’s an extra amount of work and wouldn’t necessarily be worthwhile. Typically, you’d work in a 3D software like Blender/3ds Max/Maya and then export that to UE4 and do your rendering there, but you don’t have to do that, you can still do your renders in your 3D software since they all have rendering tools built-in as well.

So If I wanted to make something photorealistic, I should look at a different suite of software, such as Blender?

I’m saying that it would be extra work to make something look photorealistic in UE4 and there wouldn’t be much benefit to doing it that way for you. You’d have to learn something like Blender to make the 3D models so you might as well learn to render things in there too.

Now I understand! Thank you for taking the time to help inform my approach to this subject. Now that I have a good starting point, I will try to work the rest out using publicly available resources :slight_smile:

There’s a free, open-source application called Inkscape that is utilized for a wide variety of different photo tasks, with a ton of Photoshop-type features built in. The default file type is SVG, and it saves in a few of the other main file types (png, pdf, eps, html, tar, zip), as well as software-specific types (ai, psd, odg, gpl). It doesn’t save or export jpg, but has pretty extensive export options for png. There’s also GIMP if you haven’t heard of it.

Agreed with all above. However, the amazing features of the 3D CG in realtime (game applications for example) in the years allow every game engine users to create advanced scenes and animated them.
Using UE4 you can also produce high quality photorealistic renderings. UE4 is now used in VFX as you can read out online. The photorealism depends on techniques and strategies used to make a scene “real”.

In terms of simplicity, if you need to create pre-rendered pictures or animations I would really suggest you 3DS Max or Maya.
But if you want to have all in-one and create also your application then yes… UE!

I saw that UE was used in top-tier CGI-heavy films, but the people I knew in that industry said that time was a major factor in their renders. They didn’t need real-time rendering, but scheduling and budget constraints meant that they had to prioritize render times over a truly photorealistic image. Their resolutions are also much lower: 4k is finally the standard, but that’s only ~9 megapixels. I want my photos to be printed out as posters

Thank you, I’ll look into those too! I’ve heard of Maya and Nuke in conversations about character creation and effects workflow (I think Nuke was used for the VFX on Iron Man 2?). I’m really looking to push the limits of photorealism. As I said, computing power and render time are not limiting factors for my projects: I can briefly spin up an AWS server for a beep of a lot less money than buying a powerful computer or I can render it on my computer if I have enough memory. I’m only rendering one image, so I doubt that would take more than a day on any reasonably powerful consumer device

render preview problem in 4.24 any idea we check 4.24 and 4.25 but both same problem movie render preview not show video but output video is fine any idea preview window size change???