View Full Version : Rendering Practice, Lamp in Corner

05 May 2010, 10:40 PM
Hello everyone,

I recently moved to New York and while I'm looking for work I'm going to be practicing various techniques and things and I'm loving the way this new forum section is working out so far. There has been a lot of great feedback and that's awesome. Any help with this or any future piece is more than appreciated.

This first project is just a very simple scene, just a lamp in a corner but I wanted to practice using GI and FG and a pseudo archviz workflow. I'm using Maya 2008 and mental ray. If there are any questions that would make this image easier to judge just let me know and I will provide the necessary information.

I mainly focused on texturing, shading, lighting, and rendering. So any comments on these four areas would be double awesome. There has been no post work on the image it is a raw render from Maya.


05 May 2010, 01:32 PM
Heya! Firstly, sorry that you posted this a couple of days ago and haven't received feedback until now. I generally try to ensure that everyone gets at least one reply to get the ball rolling but I've been pre-occupied the last few days.

I'd say you have a relatively decent start but it could be taken a lot further. Your biggest issue is that all the elements in your image tend to blend into one - this is partly due to your relatively monotone colour palette, but also because of your lighting, which is very ambient. Your shaders could also be improved.

Overall I'd say your texturing is okay, but it could be better. The lampshade, for example, is made of something unidentifiable. What's it supposed to be, and why is the inside different to the outside? Your textures are also very perfect. However, I'm assuming this was intentional, as you're aiming for a new look, so I'll look past that.

There's a lack of specularity in your render. This could be due to you having no spec in your shaders, or it could be due to your lighting. The doorframe (if that's what it is) on the left is far too matte. Paint/varnish should be more reflective.

To be very honest, your lighting is quite boring for a picture like this. It might work for a larger image showing a bigger scene, but for such a close up, it's not interesting. It may have been more interesting to have the light on and use that as your primary source of light in the image.

That's all I have time to write at this moment, hope it helps.

05 May 2010, 03:43 PM
Leigh has some good points there. I'll leave texturing comments aside but lighting wise it could be more motivated. I think if the lamp was on you'd have to treat the scene as if it was also lit by sunlight, otherwise you'll basically end up with a dark scene and a super bright dot.
Sun and lamplight could be interesting though as you'd be able to play cool (outdoor sun/sky) light against warm (indoor incandescent).
This should basically make your fills and shadows more towards blue which you can play as subtly or strongly as you wish.

It's a good start though, nice soft lighting.


05 May 2010, 01:05 AM
Hey guys,

Here is an update on this image. I haven't done any texture adjustments yet other than changing the color of the lamp shade itself. I worked a lot more on the lighting and giving it a little more direction than before. I do plan on making texture adjustments to give the image more detail but I wanted to see if the change in lighting was helpful to the image or not.



05 May 2010, 02:35 AM
I think it's looking better already.

The thing that bothers me a bit is the model and shading of the lamp itself. I don't know what its name in english is (sorry for my english by the way), but I'm talking about the green cylinder that surrounds the light, I think it looks too thick and sharp, when it is usually not only thinner and rounded but also translucent.

Of course that's just an opinion, maybe it is intended, I've seen some "lamps" that actually won't let any light go through it, so maybe I'm just wrong. I would insist in the sharpness and thickness though.

Keep it up!

05 May 2010, 03:25 AM
A couple of thing
1) I would agree with Wiro, this lighting though better, does not really tell a story. The light placed above and behind the lamp feels a bit random, not far enough to be another light in the room. It could be much more interesting if you just used a natural light source, early morning, mid day, or maybe evening, this could help the overall feel of the image and allow the viewer to start thinking about what else might be happening....Always remember that an AO pass is your beast friend

2) The texture on the lamp shade is not very convincing, The outside looks a little like that Krylon texture paint and the inside looks like smooth painted metal, neither something you would normally find on a lamp shade. Decided on what the goal for the look is and work hard to achieve it. If you are not sure post a picture of what your are trying to accomplish and one of the very smart shading artists will certainly help...
Hope you are enjoying, I saw Rockstar games NY,NY is hiring...

06 June 2010, 11:43 PM
Hey everyone,

Thanks for all the feedback. Here is a new image. I've been working on the lighting more and added some new textures to add more interest to the image. I added a new fabric texture to the lamp shade, does that work or does it still look not like a lamp shade.

Does anybody have any good tips for how to shade the door frame? I'm trying to go for something less shiny and more worn.

Any help is more than greatly appreciated.


06 June 2010, 09:35 AM
Hi Zach,

Adding the damage to the materials was definately a good idea, but there are a few problems. Firstly I would say the resolution of the images is too low, because the camera is so close to the walls the resolution of these texture maps needs to be higer, you also need to work on the bump map a little. Where the wall paper has pealed off towards the bottom, there should be some sort of ridge to show this. Secondly, the wallpaper looks very dirty but the door frame is totally clean i doubt this would be the case, gettin some sort fo dirt map on there would make the image look more convincing. The texture that is on the lamp shade looks a bit flat, using some sort of displacement or bump map would greatly improve the material. I would also say that the light bulb itself doesn't look like it is made from glass?

What renderer are you using? Are you going to animate this scene, or is it just going to be this still? If you are only aiming to produce this still from the scene, have you considered adding dirt in post? Adding dirt down the corners of the wall could be easily achieved in photoshop?

Hope this helps.

06 June 2010, 12:56 AM
All of scene88's comments are good points. You will need to get a custom spec/texture map on the door frame. I agree on the bump/displacement on the wall texture...You should look at some transparency/translucency for the shade. You still need some occlusion where the two walls meet, this area is looking much too flat. If you study wall corners, you will see two things that happen.

1st as you get closer to the corner less light gets in there thus the occlusion, 2nd you will then pick up a very small highlight where the two walls meet, this is the result of the corner it not actually square it is more of a fillet or radius. You may need to make a modeling change to achieve this effect.

A bit more subjective comments, it would be nice to get a bit of color in the light and more contrast, If you take the image into Photoshop you will find that you really don't have any true whites or blacks...

06 June 2010, 05:58 AM
Hey guys,

Here is the next phase in this image. I did some of the things that was suggested and definitely increased the contrast in the image. I added a bump to the wall and the lamp shade and added a wood texture to the door frame, which is definitely the hardest thing that I have found so far to accurately texture and shade. But anyways thank you all for the comments it has really helped.

Let me know what you guys think of the new image.

Thanks guys
Zach H.

06 June 2010, 08:50 PM
Hi I am a total newbie here and so cant give too much criticisms to help you, BUT the one thing that stuck in my mind was the shadows inside the lamp.

I may be totally wrong here but at least give ya something to think on. But looking at the shadow on the wall, the light source appears to be above looking down. that being said the shade of the light is angled downwards and so IMO if the source is above shining down there should be a slight shadow from the upper edge of the lamp somewhere on the inside of the shade on the bottom portion. it wouldnt have to be much depending on the intensity, but if it is showing that good of a shadow on the wall I personally feel that there should be a hint of shadow inside the shade.

thats my 2 cents worth from a total noob


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