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Create Beautiful Night Windows in Photoshop and V-Ray

Add Beautiful Illuminated Windows To Your Night Shots

Illuminating your interior spaces for a large exterior shot can be pretty challenging. Especially for night shots, when you need to add so much variety in the windows. Because if you don’t then the buildings start to look fake and drab. So in this post I’ll show you two approaches to adding realistic lighting details inside windows.

Method 1

The first method utilizes Photoshop’s compositing tools for overlaying a building-facade texture onto our image. In this example I’ve used a texture from the site CGTextures. The raw render only has some basic lighting for the interior spaces. But we’ll overlay our texture, mix it with various blending modes and transform its shape in order to add appealing details. If you haven’t used blending modes, now is the best time to try it out on your renders. As you can see, these can be used in day and night shots as one!
The key is to use the Warp tool to wrap the texture around the building, create duplicates with blending modes such as Pin Light, Color Dodge, Normal; and changing the balance between them using their opacity. By creating a refraction render mask you can remove the excess areas around the texture. You can also add a Diffuse Glow effect for a slight bloom effect.
Always make sure the perspective in your texture matches your actual shot. You don’t want to create clashing perspectives that take away from the realism.

Method 2

Another way of achieving the same result is by baking the lighting texture within the render. We can use V-Ray’s Light Material to wrap the same texture around our windows, acting as their own light source. To make it even more interesting, we can add another building facade texture as an opacity mask to block the light with some gaps. I’ve attached these glass rig files below. Download them and experiment.
Even after applying this technique, you can still use the first method on top of it and create an even detailed look. Make the best use of those techniques by playing around with them and practising. 


Also check out: Making of a FUTURE CITY : Post Production Workflow
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