24 Photorealistic blender renders

Ahh photorealism. The holy grail of cg. There's nothing better than fooling an audience into believing that what you've made is a photo. Especially when that audience is 3d users.

Over the years we've seen some crazy photorealistic images made using Blender.

Let's pay a homage to the images that blew our minds...

1. Snow by BlackRainbow

Fun fact: those snow flakes are actually suzanne heads :P Great use of materials and lighting to make them look like snow!

2. Green Woods by major4z

The winner of the 2012 Photorealism competition! I actually did a reverse image search when I first saw this, because I was convinced it was a photo.

Nope! 100% Blender :)

3. Foggy Landing by Brian Ogden

A great example of how simple things like volumetrics can be used for a powerful end result.

4. Interior Design Studios in Czeladzi by Julian Malik

One of those renders that looks like it was lifted from an Ikea catalogue. Great lighting.

5. Calculator by Lino Thomas

Take a look in the bottom right hand corner.

2011. This is 4 years old!

At the time, Cycles was just an experimental rendering engine. So the fact that Lino pulled this off so early is incredible.

6. Basking in the Sun by MatejMo

Looks like a National Geographic photo finalist. Great use of depth of field and droplet pposts to hide detail!

7. BMW 2 Series Studio by Maciek Ptaszynski

Looks like it was ripped straight off the BMW site. This is the sort of render that clients pay big money for. Perfect work for a portfolio.

8. Highway 242 Construction by Roberto Dailey

Far from a "beautiful" render, this render is a great study in making something look like a photo.

No need to dress up the scene. It is what it is... an overcast construction site :)

9. Type/Variant House by Enrico Cerica

type_variant_house.jpg

Certainly not the easiest scene to make photorealistic! Enrico is one of those artists that somehow manages to consistently make great work time and time again.

10. Hands of a Mechanic by DeaDEnD

Probably the newest render on the list. I was certain when I saw this that I was looking at a reference photo. It was only when seeing the wireframe that my jaw dropped.

11. Frog by Manuel Peter

A great example of how you don't need a super complex scene to make viewers do a double take. Just a frog, a leaf and some droplets.

12. Motorcycle Tour by miika2

I know, I know. "the background is a photo!"

But that doesn't negate the incredible realism of the bike or the rider. If you put it in front of 99.99% of the population, they'd assume it was a photo. Bravo to the artist.

13. Afterparty by Gleb Alexandrov

Created by the one and only Gleb Alexandrov. This is one of my favourite images of his. Simple yet powerful.

14. Skin in Cycles, Emily 2.1 by ismaelfuentes

If photorealism is the holy grail of CG, then a photorealistic face must be the holy, HOLY grail. A staggering amount of work must have gone into this. Major props for pulling this off!

15. Alpha Test Room by Enrico Cerica

Enrico strikes again! Beautiful use of lighting to create a unique interior render. That silver chair is lovely.

16. Loungeroom by Mateusz Wielgus

We set Mateusz the task of rendering a photorealistic image for the Pro Lighting: Skies trailer. Amazingly he pulled it off!

17. Mushrooms by John Wrbanek

Another brilliant reminder that the scene doesn't need a million objects to look photorealistic. This relatively simple scene would totally pass for a photo in a magazine.

18. Breakfast by José Rozúa

Another image that made me do a reverse image search to find the source photo. Coz I was certain he was cheating :P

Nope.

Not surprisingly this won the 2014 Photorealism competition-.

19. Magic Bullet by Enrico Cerica

Come on. How does one artist get three mentions on this list?

Amazingly this was actually created in 2007!

Back in those days, it was hard to get anything even passibly realistic. This blew everyone away. It even inspired artists like Reynante Martinez to start using Blender. What's more impressive is that it still holds up today.

20. Brick House by Mateusz Wielgus

My idea of a perfect house :)

Created for the  Grass Essentials Trailer, this scene has all the visual tricks of a real photo. From the sky bleed to the interior light levels. This is one well crafted scene.

21. Forest Floor by Gleb Alexandrov

Gleb again?!

Not surprisingly this made my jaw drop when he created it for the Grass Essentials trailer.

22. Modern House by Sebastian Zapata

Great use of shadows to mimic the real world. Love the weeds creeping through the pavement too! It's little touches like this that go a long way.

23. Mercedes-Benz G-Class by Maciek Ptaszynski

It's a photo background, but it still counts! Check out the shadows and reflections on the road. Impeccible!

This is the kind of image that clients are looking for. Perfect for a magazine.

24. Bathroom by str9led

Impressive selection of natural textures with almost perfect lighting. The area around the sink in particular could 100% pass for a photo.

Another beautiful image for created for the Pro Lighting: Skies trailer. Love the reflection off the building!

Close, but not quite...

Some bonus images that aren't quite photorealistic, but they're close and deserve a mention anyway...

Rural House by Guilherme Henrique for the Pro-Lighting: Skies trailer

 

River Side by Enrico Cerica

Manitex Crane by Sebastian Zapata

Lake House by kless

lake_house.jpg

European Exterior by Robert Welling (student of The Architecture Academy)

Boathouse by Guilherme Henrique

Dandelions by Guilherme Henrique

(My favourite image from The Grass Essentials trailer. Not photorealistic, but beautiful regardless)

Did we miss one? Let us know in the comments below so we can add it to the post.

PS. You might also like this post on 35 renders using other software packages.

ArtworkAndrew Price