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Your Image Goes Here

Your Image Goes Here

Why some images look more professional to you than others doesn't just have to do with your personal taste. There are definitely a few tangible criteria that have a decisive influence on the appearance.

Dark, dull, kind of blurry, "some plug in the software".

Bright, high-contrast, focused, "to the point", a key visual

Although the two images of a connector show basically the same content, they are nevertheless clearly different from each other:
Both come directly from VGSTUDIO MAX, and yet they look like Before vs. After, or Draft vs. Final.
Maybe even Bad vs. Good - but this is something everyone must decide for themselves.

So let's take a closer look at how to turn an okayish screenshot into an image that looks really good and matches the rest. Let's go, fill that big white space.

Marketing paid a lot of money to book a great spot. So we better not disappoint them.

Background

The first and most obvious: Get rid of the default background gradient.
Monochrome (flat) backgrounds are probably a bit more timeless.
Plus, they have a big advantage: this way images are much easier to integrate into a given layout. And you can easily and unnoticeably crop them later.

Since our poster has a white background, we also supply our rendering with one.

Remove the clutter

The standard image elements all have their purposes. In VGSTUDIO MAX.

On a poster, they are usually of little use. For this reason you better turn them off.

 
Text overlays and tripod are turned off via the 3D window’s context-menu.

Color Bar: yes/no?

Does your image need a color bar? They are not always of much use to the viewer. If you still decide it's important and should stay in, then do make it look good.

This includes making sure the font is well readable on the white background.
Open the preferences window and adjust the "Color Bars" in "Color & Style": For example, take a black font and turn off the outline.

While you're here, you can also adjust the length and width of the color bar if the default values aren't quite right for you.

Color and outline settings in the "Preferences" menu

Now that the font is fine, we come to the content: Choose the unit and the decimal places in a way that the numbers are meaningful, but not overwhelmingly large.

To quickly access both components use the “Unit” Toolbar, which you often find hiding at the upper-right corner of the menu.

Hello? Is it me you're looking for?

Choose the displayed unit in the "Unit" drop-down menu.

Pick the number of decimal places in the "Units > Basic" entry in the Preferences

Cleaning up the numbers along the scale: Choose reasonable units and decimal places

Increase the contrast

On the desired picture you can see not only the actual object, but also some lines, arrows and numbers (some of them hard to recognize). So in terms of contrast and readability, there is still some room for improvement here on the white background.

As you can see in the video, we take care of the numbers first: we also choose a black font and deactivate the contour line.
Then we change all drawn lines from the default mustard color to black and fill in the tips of the arrows as well.

We don't change anything in terms of font size, line width or arrow sizes at this point. We do that globally at the end in the Save Images dialog.

Finally, the light

In this case, we use a strong Key Light diagonally from the upper left and a dim Fill Light diagonally from the right. Both light sources are directional lights and are therefore particularly easy to control directly in the 3D window. The fact that both cast shadows makes the rendering look more realistic.

In combination with the strongly transparent render settings, this gives an eye-pleasing insight into the object.

Two directional light sources highlight the dataset.

Save the Image (Ctrl + Shift + G)

The image now looks good and can be rendered in the Save Image dialog. We've discussed this menu in more detail here .

Before we set the desired resolution, we first use the DPI slider to globally control how large our fonts, lines and arrows should be displayed. By adjusting the value upwards or downwards, the image elements will be enlarged or reduced accordingly. Since this image is intended for a poster, we might prefer to go down a bit so that the numbers don't overwhelm anyone later.

By the way, if we spontaneously decide against the Color Bar or all the measurements, we just need to uncheck the corresponding checkboxes.

Elements have been scaled to 100%, 90%, 80%, and 70%

Finally, set the desired resolution.
Of course, if in doubt, it always looks better to choose a higher resolution, because edges, lines and fine structures look smoother, less stepped, and simply beautiful that way.

But with high resolution always comes long render times. For comparison: Due to the sophisticated render settings (Volume Renderer, Transparency, Shadows) this image took about a minute to render just in 1K.
In 4K it took about ten minutes.
For a poster with a resolution around 10K it would then probably need an extended lunch break.

Either way, when the image has finished rendering, save it, send it to your marketing colleagues, and look forward to spotting it somewhere soon.

Hmm, somehow they didn't seem to like the color bar. Oh well. Anyway.

Colorful backgrounds

Even though it seems that the world is dominated by white posters, luckily there are countless colorful variations.
That is wonderful!
Whatever color you (or your creative people) have chosen, simply copy RGB or hex values and paste it in VGSTUDIO MAX. That makes it really easy to follow any style guide.

All logos and companies are completely imaginary. But the colors are real!

Oh, what a pleasant surprise: all colors are already in here.

Whenever you define colors in VGSTUDIO MAX, you can store them by just dragging them into your personal color swatch to always have them at hand again.

This works in all windows: Access the context menu to copy the current image

Btw, if you just quickly need an image for PowerPoint, just copy the current image to the clipboard, paste it and you’re done. 

If the background is rather dark, we recommend you use lighter overlays instead. Repeat all the steps above and set the values there from black to white.
This sounds like a lot of work at first. True. But you do it only once. Because then you save all these settings as a preset and call them up the next time with a single click.

Done.

Isn't it amazing? With a few clicks, we've created an official key visual and are now ready to fire off an official social media campaign. Tell your followers.

Now say good bye to sad screenshots and begin to make your data shine and marketing and customers smile.

Hello Insta, we're coming. (Again, all logos and companies are pure invention.)

Did we miss something? Or do you have an easier or more appealing way to create your images? Let us know!

Ready to Learn More?

Users of VGSTUDIO MAX can find out more about clipping tools, segmentation tools, and animation in the tutorials included in the software.

Got a Story?

If you have a VG Story to tell, let us know! Contact our Storyteller Team at: storytellers@volumegraphics.com. We look forward to hearing from you.