Here are a few experiments created in Element 3D V2 with simple lighting and Ambient Occlusion. In these examples I’m using the Ray Traced AO which is a bit slower but creates very nice results.
The other important setting I like to use is called “Lighting Influence” under the Physical Environment. This setting helps blend the shadow darkness with the environment (IBL), to create a nice Global Illumination look. You can also tint the Environment color to change the overall look and mood.
Some other Tips I Use:
- Use one or two lights (too many lights can look busy)
- Turn roughness of material down so that it has a matte white surface
- For Ray Trace AO, turn the spread down to .85 to create more contrast
- Turn down the adaptive blur blending to make AO tighter. (Blur Blend)
- Switch between preview mode and final render to speed up Ray Trace performance while you work.
But then again, maybe I’m just trying to promote some of the awesome models inside the Motion Design 2 model pack!