The Complete Guide to Photorealism for Visual Effects, Visualization and Games  book cover
1st Edition

The Complete Guide to Photorealism for Visual Effects, Visualization and Games

ISBN 9780367199265
Published December 9, 2021 by Routledge
238 Pages 181 Color Illustrations

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Book Description

This book offers a comprehensive and detailed guide to accomplishing and perfecting a photorealistic look in digital content across visual effects, architectural and product visualization, and games.

Emmy award-winning VFX supervisor Eran Dinur offers readers a deeper understanding of the complex interplay of light, surfaces, atmospherics, and optical effects, and then discusses techniques to achieve this complexity in the digital realm, covering both 3D and 2D methodologies. In addition, the book features artwork, case studies, and interviews with leading artists in the fields of VFX, visualization, and games. Exploring color, integration, light and surface behaviour, atmospherics, shading, texturing, physically-based rendering, procedural modelling, compositing, matte painting, lens/camera effects, and much more, Dinur offers a compelling, elegant guide to achieving photorealism in digital media and creating imagery that is seamless from real footage.

Its broad perspective makes this detailed guide suitable for VFX, visualization and game artists and students, as well as directors, architects, designers, and anyone who strives to achieve convincing, believable visuals in digital media.

Table of Contents


Part 1: Core Concepts

1. Reality and Photorealism

2. Photorealism in Digital Media

3. Color

Part 2: The Real World

4. Light essentials

5. Light interaction

6. Daylight

7. Nighttime and Artificial Lighting

8. Shadows

9. Basic Material Properties

10. Lens and Camera Characteristics

Part 3: The CG World

11. Rendering and Lighting

12. Shading

13. Texturing

14. Modeling

Part 4: The 2D World

15. Integrating 2D Elements

16. Integrating CG elements

17. Lighting in 2D

18. Lens and Camera Effects

19. Epilogue: The Future

20. Appendix A: Glossary of Abbreviations

21. Appendix B: Software list

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Eran Dinur is an Emmy and VES award-winning VFX supervisor, artist, and author of The Filmmaker’s Guide to Visual Effects (2017). His film and TV work includes: The Trial of the Chicago 7, Hereditary, The Greatest Showman, Uncut Gems, The Wolf of Wall Street, Boardwalk Empire, Star Trek, and Iron Man. He is an adjunct professor at the School of Visual Arts and the author of several popular VFX courses at 


"In The Complete Guide to Photorealism, Eran Dinur gives us a practical approach to the subject matter, explaining how color and light are perceived by our eyes and lenses, and then giving us a thorough and engaging explanation of how reality can be mimicked digitally."

Jimmy Calhoun, Chair of Computer Art, Computer Animation and Visual Effects at the School of Visual Arts


"As photorealism pipelines have become standard across various industries, it is vital for any 3D artist to have a complete comprehension of what it takes to create a photoreal image from beginning to end. I believe this book will not only take you there but also inspire you to push the boundaries of emerging technologies."

Jesse Flores, Look Development Artist