View Full Version : Still life: Coleman Lantern

06 June 2003, 11:29 PM
For the first time in a very long time I am posting for feedback. Hopefully threads dont get pushed down as fast as they do in the original wip room :) I am looking for any suggestions to make this more photoreal.

Tech Junk: Modeled in Maya 4.5, Rendered in Mental ray with Final gathering only (Low samples) Textured from various web sources, including Mayangs free textures.

Wireframe ( Reverse angle (

Mike R

06 June 2003, 11:41 PM
Very nice image. I think I would add a little focal blur to the table because your background image is not in focus and if you were to make part of the table out of focus I think that would really help blend the two together better.

Nate Nesler

06 June 2003, 11:42 PM
I think your table gets to much light if I compare it with the lantern...

and in my opinion, the background is too blurry to make it believable...

maybe you also could add some dirt on the textures...

good luck with it!

06 June 2003, 11:44 PM
I think the table is to hot to match the background I excpect it to be more diffused lighting. There is no real distinct contact shadow underneath the base either.

There is a bright highlight on the front of the lantern, when your main light source is coming from behind the lantern, which to me seems odd.

There should be more distincintion for the reflection on the glass,right now it very faint,
and I would also think that you should be able to see through the glass a little bit more, maybe adjust the IOR.
Maybe adjuting the IOR will help with the reflection thing

I think you are going in the right direction, just some tweaks and its there.

06 June 2003, 11:45 PM
Biggest thing I see is the perspective of the image and the CG elements don't work together...

Also the 2 lights you have in your scene don't match up with the photo in the background...

Also there is very little contrast in the image... also in the image in the background.. maybe adjust the levels in Photoshop to create more light vs dark areas in the image... and duplicate that on the CG elements..

06 June 2003, 12:36 AM
If using a 35 mm lens to shoot this picture at aprox. 0.5 m distance, I'd say even the table would be blurry and the background even more outblurred, if you want to be close to the "sharpness" of the bg you would need to max the diaphragm (smallest opening) of a camera and that would probably result in overall shakey image since you would need a long shutter time. As the background is partly overexposed the diaphragm was to large meaning you only get focus on very little ammount of the image, a few centimeters. I'm not to familiar with the process in software tbh but I hope this helps you set what i think is called dof. If i'm wrong please correct me!

Looking good so far, good luck!


06 June 2003, 12:55 AM
I really agree with Road on the perspective comment. Also, the gas chamber of the lantern bump looks a little strong. Almost looks like the paint is starting to bubble off the metal.

06 June 2003, 04:17 AM
Going in order of importance and overall impact (according to me, of course) here is what you should address, in the given order if possible.

1.- The background image and the scene are NOT working together, there are many technical reasons for it (as other posters already pointed) but THE MAIN problem is that THIS IS NOT the right image for your scene, theme-wise speaking.

Look, you seem to be going for some comercial-like picture making the lamp to stand out... thinking as a comercial photographer, would you take that picture in the shadows of a forest? I wouldn't. Shure you placed the lamp on a well lit surface, but that background is more suited for a scene mainly covered by soft shadows. Looks like the background picture was taken about 5:30 pm and the lamp picture was taken near mid day! The fact that the lamp is sharp and cristal clear and the backgound is blured only adds to the visual rupture of the scene.

2.- The rendering settings. De-sature the color of the scene and add a blur filter to the rendered part of the image. I don't use Mental Ray but there must be an option for that, and it it isn't then do it on post.

3.- The lights setup. Somebody mentioned it earlier. On the lighting conditions sugested by the background there should be only blured reflections on the lamp's body and the intencity of the key light should be much lower. Anyways, it is a really good touch of you arranging those 'tree like' shadows to be casted over the table. But again, the enviroment suggest a soft ambient light, no way an angled incident light strong enought to cast those shadows. Look at the trees on the background, do you see any defined shadows on them? Change the background image (again).

About the color of the key light (wich doesn't mach the color of the reflections) unless the picture is supposed to be taken really early in the morning then it should be more white and less yellow. Your current light setup would be perfect if the table was placed on a sunny grass covered house patio, but again no for a forest.

4.- Finally... that moire efect on the center of the lamp is really an eye cacher... do whaever needs to be done to get rid of it, but you must do something about it... it is the single most outstanding spot of the lamp, and I guess that wasn't the idea at all. Maybe using a stronger oversampling at the rendering can eliminate it.

06 June 2003, 06:32 AM
For me, this image is just not as intriguing as it could be: the composition is uninspiring. At the very least I would place it a bit off center.

If you're going for the catalogue type shot, then that's like it.


07 July 2003, 11:09 PM
I had a little bit of free time today, so I tried re-rendering this little piece. I've changed the bg, tweaked the lighting and gobos. Made the composition more interesting and tweaked up the rendering settings.

Still tons of room for improvement, but I'de like to hear some opinions before I movie on.

(Same wireframe as before, rendered in Mental ray with Maya 4.5 and comp-ed in Photoshop 6)

Mike R

07 July 2003, 12:31 AM
The green metal part of the lanter seems to be really pitted. Stamped metal parts are pretty smooth.

07 July 2003, 04:38 AM
I see quite an improvement here, congrats!!

...but (there is allways a 'but') you can still say very easily what is rendered and what is background because of the blur. My sugestion is that you render without any background at all and compose the final image on a 2D program, that way you can blur the rendering to a degree that blend better.... BUT BEFORE you could fix this:

* The enviroment map on the glass is too much noticeable, make it less strong.

* The light shines on the metal, on the upper 'hat,' they are way too defined while on the lower parts it is more blured... blured is the right thing.... anyways that can be fixed on the 2D program.

By the way, great job on the moire efect, it is no longer there. :applause:

07 July 2003, 04:41 AM
almost forgot, flip the background. As it is now the ligth enter from the left (check the hair of the people and the plastic bag) while in the render ligth enters from the right.

07 July 2003, 07:02 AM
I think the scen looks great ( the first one) ... the only thing i would change is the texture on the galss of the lantern,,,doesn't look like there is anything is clear looking but not invisible....Something has to reflect...right?

07 July 2003, 12:28 PM

yes the blurring of the background is a problem. Maby you could use depth of field in rendering, but very becarefull on bluring the rendering

It seems to me too dark also. Maby try to lighten it up so that the lights and highlights are a bit stronger. It is an outdoor scene and the sun is a much stronger light then anyother. The Ambient is too dark also. Take the darkest pixel on the background-image and thats the ambient for composing. In the rendering are so much darker places then in the background image.

The Shadows are raytraced? On the wood of the table, the shadows of the leafs are too sharpen. These leafs are probably from the trees abowe. If so, they shoud make a blurry shadows because they are at distance.

good work



07 July 2003, 02:23 AM
Your pic looks good. On my lantern the "hat" shade is not so big and there is a thin metal pole in the center of the glass, but that might just be a different model. otherwise I'd say maybe use a fresnel glass shader and maybe reduce the bump and increase reflectivity on the green metal. The rest looks photoreal to me. Keep up the good work

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