How Lightfarm Brasil Made the Spectacular 3D Model/Photo Composite "Harmful Nature"

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A small amount of nudity has made this NSFW, but it's really pretty minor and totally worth making a profile to view it, I promise. If not, you can go straight to the Vimeo video here. The last time we featured Lightfarm Brasil's work, most of you were just as stunned by it as me (and I was floored). Today they sent me their latest project and I'm just as awed by this one as the last. It is called "Harmful Nature" and again masterfully combines 3D renderings with photography to produce an oustanding final product. 

So what is it and why? "'Harmful Nature' is the latest promo video from Lightfarm Studios," Milton Menenzes of their studio in Brazil told me. "Conceptually the image brings a dark and tragic metaphor about the impossible love with the classic tale of the Diver and the Mermaid. Along one month we used the latest 3D technology in cloth simulation on this piece where everything was modelled, from the ship wreck to the corals. The model was shot in a diving pool for the best realistic results as possible to seamlessly blend photography and 3D. From the underwater shooting session to post production we blended all of our knowledge in 3D and post production into a piece that is as real as dark, always aiming at breaking our own limits as artists."

What's shocking is that this wasn't a project the team dedicated time to- it was done in addition to their already filled schedules. "The hardest part about making this image is working afterhours for so long, as we have our day jobs," Rafael Vallaperde, Milton's 3D partner, told me. "It has become a sort of second shift."

I was curious as to how the 3D artist and the photographer worked together to produce the final product. According to them, because of the way 3D modeling works, it was easier to do the photo first. "3D is far more flexible than photography, so it was a matter of matching the angle of the picture. Both the photographer and 3D worked towards the same goal and at the end 3D made that final tweak to match the picture angle."


As you can imagine, this was not a quick project to produce. "The project streched out for a while, as mentioned before it was a second shift job. One day shooting it, MANY hours of 3D work and other handful of retouching."

Like the image? Download it as a wallpaper here. 

These guys are producing some really great stuff, and I look forward to showing you their next product. For more on the Lightfarm Brazil team, head over to their website or at the very least follow them on Vimeo.

All images used with permission.

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Tam Nguyen's picture

Holy shit dude that's some crazy looking photo. The amount of post work seems very intense, and the production is massive too. I mean, at this point I'm not even sure it's 100% photography. We're bleeding into a new realm/area now, 3D and all.

I really like the concept, the final product, and the BTSV. Precisely the content I would expect to see on Fstoppers.

Lucas Fendley's picture

Wow, very talented.

Kristjan Järv's picture

Wow, this is absolute madness. Love it!

I think everyone... especially photographers... should take a close look at the Lightfarm Brazil Show Reel 2014:

and see where their talent is going, and what they need to do to stay relevant in an increasingly talented and creative commercial picture making environment. I've said it often: real Art School outside of photography can and will open many more doors to work in the future than photography alone.

Stephen Vosloo's picture

So incredible, and inspiring! Thank you for posting!

Michael Foyle's picture

That's unreal! I just watched all of the videos on their Vimeo page. Seriously impressive level of craftsmanship. Awe inspiring!

Lee Morris's picture

Makes me feel sick how good this is compared to what I do.

Thanks heaps!

Jaron Schneider's picture

You guys do AMAZING work!

Truly fabulous work, just amazing how much work goes into this kind of thing. Thank you for sharing..


Savi You's picture

Was the model even necessary?

Savi You's picture

Was the model even necessary?

Spy Black's picture

The extent to which they synthesized the scene makes me wonder why they bothered with a practical shoot. I don't think it was necessary at all.

Neo Racer's picture

What software is being used to create the clothing?

Hans Rosemond's picture

Really amazing stuff! I'm glad they chose to shoot the model and composite her in. I think it adds a sense of reality. By showing something real and seamlessly integrating her I think it's easier to sell the CG aspects.

I'm absolutely floored at the depth and detail to all this. This is amazing.