Render Elements in ‘Carribean Tongue’

Lesson by Ciro Sannino | Official 5SRW study material

This lesson have be written mixing this amazing image made by Tamás Medve
and the ability of Ciro Sannino to write and organize processes in an educational way.

Languages: this article is also availabe in ESPAÑOL, ITALIANO

What a great chance to have on Learnvray this image created by Tamás Medve!
Carribean Tongue‘, winner of the 1st prize @Evermotion contest 2014:



A tutorial about the entire process is available on Evermotion!
Here let’s investigate what are the key layers to post product this image, starting from this raw render:




5SRW – Post Production | Step5

The first “key action” is adding accents on the trees in order to increase the perceived dynamic range. You could use Curves or UnsharpMask tools, but the point is that we need to be very punctual and effective, and this is the best way. To achieve this goal we’re going to use two important Render Elements: VRayLighting and VRayRawLighting.

Every time we work to increase the light contribution, we need to use some “adding” fusion mode in Photoshop. In this case we use Color Dodge/add, which allows to affect highlights on the trees:

(*) Download the file at the bottom of the page, and try to repeat the entire process without using these Elements. You wont get the same result!


One of the most common technique to easily get a mist effect, is using the render elements Zdepth (inverted). Combined with some simple color correction – and added in Screen mode – will give us this effect:


Scared for this lake of contrast?! Well, there’s nothing bad in creating contrasted images directly in the V-Ray Frame Buffer, BUT there are a lot of vantages in working with non-contrast images. Many professional photographers follow the same rule in the “real world”: Non-contrast images are much more easier to manipulate.


In this group there are a lot of interesting stuff: people, seagulls, lens effects and waves splashing. It’s just adding, cutting from other pictures. This task is simple ONLY if you have a clear idea of what you need. This is possible only with a good images research before!

Collect images and get a clear idea in your mind before:



This is a very powerful technique. Working on a 30%/soft light mode you can literally paint light and shadows. Despite its simplicity the effect is amazing: you decide where and how to enhace the lighing.

More details on this technique are explained along our course, on Learnvray:



Finally a couple of touches to complete the job.

Curves: Get a darker sea with a dominant color, handiling the RBG curve and reducing a little bit the Red channel. This will give a green/blue dominant, perfect for the sea! Use a manual mask to see this effect only on the sea:


Glass: Use the render element VrayRefraction in PinLight mode. This will add details and depht to the image, perfect in this case where this area looks a little bit flat:




As Tamas explains on his tutorial on Evermotion:

« The secret is not in the shaders or in the HDRI setup, not even in the settings. For all of these things you can find tons of tutorials on the internet and you can learn easily. Honestly, I have no idea how to set-up an HDRI sky. Really! What is important is more like a right and a honest concept that portrays your project in the best way »

Actually many users spend a lot of time studing any single parameters, and do not spend a single hour to research, concept, composition or color palette.

Sure, CG artists need to combine both skills: artistic and technical. By the way this image is the clearly proof that the only artistic side could really impact your work:


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Written by
Ciro Sannino
Tamas Medve

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Download the PSD file for Photoshop,
and explore all layers to get the final result:

[sc:nofiles ]

(*) If you like this educational way, consider to subscribe our 5SRW Course, on Learnvray

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