View Full Version : WIP lighting, how's this coming?

03 March 2006, 01:45 AM
I've posted a WIP over in the WIP 3d forum ( but I'd liek to get some generalized lighting feedback before I proceed with texturing and whatnot. Of course, I still have some modelling to do and asjusting things and fine tuning of details, but the lighting I'm starting to get where I like it, but I may be way off base on that. What say ye all?

By the way...its mental ray, 3ds max 8.
GI 200 photons pe per sample
100000 GI Photons, global multiplier 2, decay 2
FG Samples 30 - radius 2" (scale on scene: tub is 6' high)
Trace Depth is 5 depth 3 bounces.

03 March 2006, 01:43 PM
I'd say your biggest problem at the moment is composition.

While the brain in the tank is pretty cool-looking, the pillars look as though they've just been thrown in there to fill up space. Consequently there's a huge amount of dead space in the frame: everything's lit to sort of the same value so the focus (which should be on the brain-thing) gets lost.

There doesn't seem to be a predominant light direction, which isn't necessarily a problem in itself, but you have several overlapping shadows which are just confusing.

Try starting again with just a single key light (no GI), and move the camera and light around until you find a composition you're happy with, thinking about what you want to express. A good starting point might be a low character to make the monster look bigger, as if it's spilling out of the tank toward camera.

Try to get your key light to create interesting shapes in the picture, without thinking about how "lit" the object is. Then add more lights to better illuminate the monster.

Don't get precious about showing off all your model: less is more!

03 March 2006, 09:25 PM
Wow, excellent feedback. Only problem is, the 6 lights that are creating the confusing shadows and the columns surrounding the image are from my reference image. I've used 2 references from the D&D sourcebooks. I'm nto tryign to copy the references exactly, but I do want to stay somewhat similar.

The intent is that the room is lit by 6 glowing gemstones on the pillars surrounding the pool. In the mind flayer society, these rooms are like a holy place, so it would be brightly lit, yet subterranean and magical in nature. I don't think I can lose the columns.

I've done another render that adds some additional modelling and shows the source of the lights better (they're not glowing or textured right now though) and I'm also trying to work out a SSS issue on the glyphs...this rendering shows the SSS problem, but also shows the adjusted lighting.

Knowing that I'm not really wanting to lose the columns and the light source, what else could I do to make this look better?


03 March 2006, 09:41 PM
Hows this for camera angle? I'm using the negative space and rule of thirds sorta as part of the composition. I was thinking that would be a good thing in both this angle and the previous angle.

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03 March 2006, 09:41 PM
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