MODO Artist: Kaoru Toyoguchi – JVCKENWOOD

Kaoru Toyoguchi is a Designer at the JVCKENWOOD Design Corporation in Japan, where he produces beautiful still images and animated visualizations of their products for packaging, catalogues and online. We caught up with Kaoru, who uses HDR Light Studio on 100% of his images, to understand why.

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How did you get started in 3D?
Before I got started CG, I used to create design mock-ups using 3DCAD/CAM. This was where I got involved in 3D for the first time.

What is your chosen set up and why?
The product designers at JVCKENWOOD principally use SolidWorks to model the external appearance of the products.  I use SolidWorks as well, but have added MODO and HDR Light Studio to my workflow.  I chose MODO, because of its affinity with SolidWorks and other CAD packages.  Introducing it has changed our workflow and made it more efficient.  Historically, it was always pre-visualization > modelling > product engineering > production.  Using MODO, we gradually realised that we could do these steps simultaneously using the MODO pre-vis data to create our promotional imagery.

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What are the main challenges you face in your role and how do you overcome them?
Creating multiple colour variations of a product presents significant challenges.  You might think that if the object is the same shape the lighting setup remains the same and you simply change the material colour, but it’s lot more complex than this.  In most cases, I change the lighting significantly to achieve my goal – even going from black to white designs.

HDR Light Studio allows me to easily reconstruct the lighting. Using HDR Light Studio in combination with the real-time preview of MODO, enables me to work truly effectively. Lighting is the most critical component of achieving an attractive, realistic product image and HDR Light Studio is an essential tool in helping me do this creatively and efficiently.

Usually when lighting with MODO (area lights etc), as the number of lights increases so does the rendering time. In order to make it as efficient as possible, I used to render multiple light sets and then composite them at the last stage.

IBL based rendering in HDR Light Studio shortens rendering time.  In addition, increasing the number of lights has little impact so you can be totally happy with your lighting and achieve the highest quality of CG imagery.

What advice would you give to someone looking to start a career in your field?
Remember there must be multiple approaches in order to derive one result. Challenge and push all avenues available to your design process for as long as deadlines allow. This will grow your knowledge and arm you well for anything you encounter in the future.

What are your 3 top tips for achieving great lighting?

  1. Take photos with actual lights.
  2. Observe professionals shooting in a real photo studio.
  3. Try various ways of lighting without being biased.

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