View Full Version : Lighting an all white exhibition booth

01 January 2012, 07:37 PM

I have to create a couple of renders of an exhibition booth. However I am having some difficulties lighting the whole thing.

I did a similar project in the past and I just used a "studio setup" to light the booth (classic setup, curved white wall around the scene, 2x rectangular light from each side and one as bouncing light - on top facing the curved wall so that light bounces back to the scene). The result - a very nicely lit exhibition booth. The renders came out great! A nice and bright background and lovely dark brown wooden booth.

However with my current project I have a problem - the whole booth is white. White side walls, white stand, a series of white panels, white floor, white table and white chairs, etc ... (you get the point - the whole booth is in white color).

This project is quite challenging because I am not particularly good with lighting things like this. And secondly I don't have a lot of experience creating scenes that have so much white materials in them.

I have a few questions:

1.) Any tips for lighting such a booth? I was looking for some references and found a decent looking image ( - this is basically a similar look I want to achieve. Although this dark background might create too much contrast which is not very desirable in this project.

2.) How can I make all the white objects in the scene more recognizable and easy to distinguish? Since EVERYTHING has to be white it all just blends together (not to mention that the client wishes the booth to be very evenly lit - so I can't even play with shadows too much as it would make certain parts of the booth look too dark and greyish). I guess I am left with a bit stronger ambient occlusion? Or I could do something with the white materials themselves?

PS: I am working with 3DMax and Vray (usually with physical cameras).


01 January 2012, 10:26 PM
if the white surfaces are somewhat reflective you can have more visible details and complexity to your render.

01 January 2012, 03:27 PM
if the white surfaces are somewhat reflective you can have more visible details and complexity to your render.

I agree. As Holmes would say (!), when you have eliminated the impossible (as you have), whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth! If everything has to be white, and you can't have any shadows, then what's left? Reflections!!

The great thing is that you can make objects appear white without them actually being white. You should really only have 255,255,255 pixels in a scene when staring right at a light source or strong specular reflection. As such, if you make sure all your surfaces are hovering lower than that, you have some room to play. You can even have a very bright plane in the scene that doesn't contibute to the lighting but does contribute some very, very strong reflections (in vray for max, try a vrayoveride material, with a standard material in the regular slot with a white map in the diffuse with a hugely boosted RGB multiplier under Output, then shove a standard material in the GI slot of the override with just a black material, so it doesn't contribute to the GI or lighting at all). This way all the curved surfaces will be defined by the nice specular highlights that sleek along them, as well as the other, more subtle reflections of the rest of the booth.

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01 January 2012, 03:27 PM
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