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Breakdown of CGI Whiskey Composition

Hi everyone!

I hope this short article will be interesting for photographers which want to make steps toward CGI. Here I’m going to explain some details about the image below, mostly I’ll try to show lighting setup and some approaches I used to put everything together. It might look not pretty complicated image if you’re relatively experienced studio photographer, but when things come to 3D everything turns out in very different ways.

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I won’t explain in details modeling part since it’s not the most exciting thing in the world. But I’ll write few sentences about it for sure. The bottle itself wasn’t so hard to model. I was using a reference image of actual Teeling Whiskey bottle. Lucky I found pretty decent refs. Also, I needed actual labels for the bottle (both small on the top and main on the central part). I applied all textures to the model and started to work with a whiskey glass. Writing that words I mean the whole work with the bottle was completed in couple days, I didn’t want to rush on that.

The main and additional labels. I found them in a good resolution, good enough to use them as textures.

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The glass with ice was not so hard to model either. Firstly, I found another ref of interesting glass.

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Ice cubes were modeled out of simple regular cube using Sculpt. I clone it three times and bring some unevenness to each of them to make them more natural and believable.

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Lighting setup for the bottle. I would say it’s pretty classical look for a dark bottle on a black background. Let’s call all light source using photography terminology. So I put two strpis on both sides of the bottle, one cylindrical light source on the right to create a long highlight.

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Almost the same approach for the glass, except few things. I put only one light behind the glass on the left to highlight the edge of it. I put a plane with a gradient on it imitating diffusion panel and stripbox behind it. Works well, but I think graduation should be a bit smoother, have to work on it more.

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In my opinion, the most interesting part here is how I lit the glass with whiskey behind. Obviously, if you shoot a glass with liquid inside on black background, you somehow need to create a sense of depth and show what actually is inside. So I put a reflective card behind and pointed a spotlight on it like I would do in a studio.

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An overloaded scene with a lot of lights looks a bit complicated but as far as you know what each light does, it’s not so difficult to navigate through the whole scene.

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As an extra touch, I decided to bring something on a background. Light beam shining through a fog would be a perfect final stroke. Also, I added a disk with a shader of clouds or dust, whatever it is, on it. It works like a mask when a light is coming through it, creating differences in light intensity.

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UFO is stealing whiskey. Be aware.

The whole setup in Cinema 4D viewport.

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Post-production

It was a very interesting experience for myself. There are so a lot of things you can do in 3D, everything depends on your skills and imagination. If you have any questions feel free to shoot me a message on Facebook.

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