Camera Falloff Example

What started out as a simple test to explain camera-driven shader effects in Cinema 4D to a friend in need, turned into, well I don’t know, THIS I guess. Staring at that Optical Flare in the hazy distance makes me ponder the meaning of existence. Then I just click on a cat video and I’m all better.

But I digress. I’m using the gradient shader in “3D spherical mode” set to camera space applied to cloned spheres. As objects come closer to the camera, they glow. Objects in the distance are dark. A nice way to fake fog in your scenes (and a lot of other things depending on which channels you use it in)

The radius value (below) determines the length of the  gradient effect (left to right, left being the camera which is at the center of the “virtual” sphere). I copied this shader setting into my diffuse channel to darken the objects in the distance.

I’ve done some post work on the clip above which kind of makes the camera falloff luminance harder to spot, but hopefully it makes sense. I got a little carried away.

I came upon this technique maybe a decade ago as described by CG/VFX artist Richard Morris (aka Jackals Forge of Gallerie Abominate fame) on his  website documenting his cg production process for the science documentary BodyStory 2 for BBC. Make sure you check out his work. Although his website is over a decade old, the work still looks great and the information can still very useful to those in the biomedical visualization field. The relevant information can be found in the “Dynamic Shading” section of the article.

Jackal’s Forge BodyStory 2 Tech. Click here for website/article

6 thoughts on “Camera Falloff Example

  • Shalom, Shalom. 😉

    This was rendered with the standard renderer in R12. Still haven’t moved to R13. I’m a slow poke. I chose not to use DOF here as the purpose was to see the effect of the gradient on the objects in the distance. The DOF may have made that hard to see. All in all its kind of a garish, overdone color scheme–but was meant only to illustrate a concept.

  • great useful trick. was always confused about the 3d shaders, using them like this in camera space helps me understand what’s going on. really enjoy dropping in and seeing your great work and discoveries. thanks for sharing.

  • Glad to find your blog, Joel. These days I always arrive fashionably late. I’m boning up on things that my steady meat/potatoes production makes me miss, and this’ll be a treasure trove of resources. Funny how few people in my field are up to date on the new stuff.

  • Looks great. Thanks for posting this. Did you render this with the Physical Renderer in R13? I’d love to see what this would look like with a shallower depth of field.

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