How to Improve Depth Perception (Without Blurring)

This is a question about improving render quality.

I mainly work in scripting although I work along with a designer who specializes in Rhino. Lately, I’ve been increasingly bothered by how our rendered images appear quite flat. This is all the more evident when the images are viewed in smaller sizes (in a banner ad size, for example). I believe the problem is aggravated by the fact that our renders involve lone objects on the screen and with no background – both of which really limit our ability to create any depth perception. Moreover, increasing focal blur is not an option because we are required to show all parts of the object clearly.

Any wack illusionists on here having any dirty tricks up their sleeve that might be a solution to this problem?

Hi Bhupati,

First of all I think an example would really really help to show us what your issues are.
so shooting from the hip:

Use Zbuffer to create subtle atmospheric effect maybe that works even for single objects:


Choose your camera angle and lens length to exaggerate 3D effect:
hero shots:
high lighting can help:



Hi @Willem,

This is brilliant. I’m loving the atmospheric perspective (never thought about it) and I’m going to try it. How do you use ZBuffer to do that?

Apologies for not furnishing screenshots. Yes, I realize they can make life easier for everyone, but I work in a small imaging team for a large company and I’m not sure what the legal deal is for sharing product images.

The camera angle/lens length is also a great idea and makes sense. I should mention I cannot use a ground plane so that leaves me a little more limited.

Thanks much!

If you invert the Zbuffer you can overlay it to get an atmospheric effect.
So you need to let the inverted Z-Buffer lighten the original.

On my phone so I cannot create an example now.


Sure, no problem. That makes sense. Thanks, Willem!

Another thing to try is to desaturate the image using the z-buffer, so stuff far away goes to greyscale.