View Full Version : Lightening a Landscape

07-23-2004, 06:40 AM
Hi, i'm creating a landscape scene, the camera will be placed as if in bird's view, from the top, above the clouds. But i totally don't know how to light such scenes, and how to make some light on the clouds? You know, that great effect as if part of the cloud's surface is shining when the sun is lightening it up.

if you could tell me how to do this things i would be really glad, thanks:)

07-27-2004, 12:38 AM
Well, use some sort of skylight for the light on the ground for the sky, and a direct light for the sunlight. The rest is sort of platform specific, what renderer and 3d app are you using to make this scene?

- Neil

07-27-2004, 01:55 AM
If you're using Maya, fluid containers with perlin turbulence are great for doing clouds. I've been using them quite a bit so far on Delgo. I render them in grayscale as a separate pass and then color them in Shake.

07-27-2004, 07:51 AM
i'm using max 6, well, i don't want to make a new thread so i ask another question here, how can i light that kind of scene to make it look really cool? i want the scene to be some kind of dark, like in a storage, but i want to see what's in the scene, how to setup some andvanced lights? any advice? tutorial?

i didnt used lights so far, cuz i didn't need them, but now i have to make some good looking screens and i suck in making lights:sad:

07-27-2004, 05:31 PM
If you're using max, for the clouds you may wish to check into buying afterburn, it makes great clouds. Max6 has a lot of renderers though, the scanline renderer, brazil, mentralray, vray, so depending on which of the renderers you use, you will get different results.

As for your cargo hanger image, the first thing I'd recommend is to have a plan for your lighting. I generally plan my lighting before I even plan my models, what areas are dark, what's light, what's the mood. For example, in this piece, the main focus of the image is probably the spacecraft (BTW, a rule of thumb about composition, in general it looks more pleasing to not have your area of interest in the middle of the composition, instead, putting it off slightly to the side tends to look better).

Anyways, I took your image and did some quick manipulations in photoshop (see image below). If you want to plan lighting, this a great way to do it, since it means instant feedback. Once you have something you like, then go back in 3d and try to match your image.

For example, I decided to have some bright lights at the top of the hanger, which are blooming out they're so bright. This places some strong highlights up towards the top of the roof. I then throw most of the ground floor into shadow, with one single light coming from above onto the spacecraft, and a strong shadow underneath (which helps the craft pop out visually from the lit floor). I also placed the hint of more light off to the bottom left, just so it feels like there may be more craft off screen, it also helps the piece not feel so purely theatrical (as in, the single spotlight would make it feel a little more like a stage play.)

I also recommend getting some good reference. There have been lot of scenes with spacecraft in hangers before, like go grab a babylon 5 episode and find any of the scenes with the starfuries in the hangers, and take a look at how the lighting looks in there, where the light sources are, and how they fall over the surfaces to direct your eye to specific areas.

This is just a quick 5 min paint over, I highly suggest taking away any shadows from your image you may already have, light eveything evenly (ie, camera lights), then paint the light in in photoshop till you get a design that looks the way you want, then replicate it in cg. You can even use advanced lighting like GI by having the light from your spotlights bounce more than once. Hopefully some of this helps.

- Neil

07-27-2004, 05:40 PM
Even for a 5 minute paintover it looks great!:bounce:

i learned a lot:)

Thanks for the help!

PS; are you using a tablet in Photoshop?

07-27-2004, 05:54 PM
in addtion to neil advice , i would also recommend using only one spotlight from the top of the hanger with small falloff , and in rendering you can use mentalray , but use final gathering only no GI , it will gave you a bit dark but good looking image
also for refrence for your hanger , i remember a very good russian artist (( dimtry savinoff ))check his site http://www.dee3d.com/ .

07-27-2004, 05:59 PM
Yes, I used a tablet, but feel free to use a mouse if you want, a lighting paint over shouldn't look like a finished piece of artwork, it's just a guide to direct your final 3d manipulations.

- Neil

07-27-2004, 10:02 PM
lamice- "but use final gathering only no GI"

what does that mean? where can i set it up?

And about that URL, this is what i was looking for, thanks:)

soulburn3d- ok, i will do as you say, but your 5 minute paintover gave my scene so much character and atmosphere! I wish i could do something like that in the future...

When i'm lightening a scene and put a spotlight or anything like it, it alwaise looks sunny inside the path of the light and black beside the path, and when i put an omni it alvaise looks sunny... i dont really know how to accuire such effect as shown by soulburn3D... i have a general idea about lights, i wathed some video tutorials.

i don't know how to do a glowing light effect inside a light that looks like lens flare effect in photoshop

07-28-2004, 12:36 AM
(( but use final gathering only no GI ))
in indirect illumination tab / you have global illumination / photon / final gathering .
i ment to use final gathering only .
and about savinoff site if you have access to lightwave he provide a free scene for his light setup check it .
and finally , thank you for asking what to use in the image posted by neil because i had the same question . anyway untill neil is back i think you could put a self illumination material or light object (( but i'm not quite sure how to make light objects in mental ray )).

07-28-2004, 04:58 AM
As far as lighting the room, I'm sure there must be tutorials online that discuss that in more detail than I can get into here, or you may also want to check out some books on the subject like Jeremy Birn's lighting book (check for it on amazon).

As far as the glowing lights, make your light bulbs, make them white and fully self illuminated, then use any of the techniques here:


to glow that light. You may wish to start with the photoshop technique outlined in the tutorial, and just do a more extreme glow to get a nice glowing lamp. Hope that helps.

- Neil

07-28-2004, 01:01 PM
really thanks neil for your help , btw i didn't know that you are Neil Blevins so thanks for all other help in your site :thumbsup:

07-28-2004, 03:34 PM
No prob, glad you've found my site useful.

- Neil

07-29-2004, 07:42 AM
Thanks, the site was very useful:)

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