View Full Version : Creating Outdoor Lighting

05 May 2012, 05:42 PM

Does anyone know a good technique to get a realistic daytime outdoor lighting, my work is set in a forest type location so I need a outdoor natural light, I have tried Physical sun and sky, but the renders are coming out quite dull, I have turned up the brightness and moved around the sun direction light but the renders still come out very dull.

Thanks :D

06 June 2012, 05:52 PM
You need to look up Linear Workflow (LWF). The sun/sky is more than adequate for a daylight system, your renders are looking flat due to the lens shader being activated for your camera to correct the gamma, up to 2.2. The quickest method is to turn on Color Management in your render settings, input as sRGB and output as Linear sRGB to start with until you get a handle on LWF.

Here is a huge, massive thread on the topic of outdoor environment rendering, especially regarding plants and trees:

forests in mental ray (

And as you can see, some of our wonderful friends here are nailing the lighting pretty well indeed (, with just the sun/sky!

(tastao_wayne's image)

06 June 2012, 06:15 PM
1, Make sure you use Linear Workflow.

2, Do not ever expect your rendering to look great straight out of the framebuffer. Use postprocessing software to fine-tune your image to desired contrast/atmosphere/feeling.

3, If you wan't your forest to look lifelike, and your renderer of choice is Mental Ray, then make sure you use only mia_material (Arch&Design in 3ds Max) And avoid fake shaders like blinn, phong, etc... (standard or raytrace or DGS materials in 3ds Max)

Good luck :)

06 June 2012, 09:28 AM
Hi, here is one of my tutorials on the subject of setting up external lighting.

You can add a sun light and try to match it to the position of the sun in the HDR file.

Please contact me if you need further help.

Cheers :)

06 June 2012, 08:45 PM

I will take on board your advice and check out the links and suggestions, hopefully will be able get a nice render eventually, its all trial and error isn't it, hehe.



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06 June 2012, 08:45 PM
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