View Full Version : lighting stainless steel
12 December 2011, 03:09 PM
Hi, i'm setting up a scene which will have a large number of objects that have to look stainless steel. These are engineering products that have large flat areas. At the moment i'm experimenting with HDRIs that are simple light studio setups, soft boxs etc. I've also added in some planes that have luminance to give me a bit more control over highlights. But the large flat areas just look grey and boring.
Can anyone shed any light (see what i did there!) or give some tips on setting up a scene for shooting highly reflective metal objects.
12 December 2011, 08:54 PM
The thing about a reflective surface is it needs something to 'reflect' to really give it interest - if you don't want it to look flat and sterile.
Try giving this scene an environment (with some subtle color) or replace the current HDRI sphere with something with walls/floor/ceiling around it...
The material itself could also use a bump (or reflection) map to give it some striations, right now it looks too smooth.
12 December 2011, 12:27 AM
Yup, this tutorial may help...
it's 3dsmax but the theory should work for any renderer.
12 December 2011, 12:27 PM
cheers, i messed about with using bump mapping but it didn't look right but applying the noise to the reflection channel seems to have improved things.
01 January 2012, 02:49 AM
you want a spec and reflection map, not bump. The surface is smooth (to the touch anyway). To get stainless steel to look right, you have to get the spec and reflection looking right. Use an HDR like suggested and work on the material settings.
01 January 2012, 12:58 AM
When it comes to reflections it's important not just have bright reflections but also dark reflections. Everyone thinks of adding in bright cards for highlights but a lot don't think of adding in darker "highlights". What you can do is place in some darker planes that will reflect to break up the long gray areas.
The link soulburn3d provided is definitely a great resource. The subtle bump is an important aspect for metals. Especially thinner sheets.
01 January 2012, 01:23 AM
Everyone thinks of adding in bright cards for highlights but a lot don't think of adding in darker "highlights". What you can do is place in some darker planes that will reflect to break up the long gray areas.
You know, that's a good way to think about it. I tend to think of the environment as black, and then add interesting bright cards to get reflections, but if you're using a particularly bright or washed out environment map, it makes sense that you also should be aware of the need for black areas as well.
01 January 2012, 01:23 AM
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