View Full Version : lighting interior scene - organic structure

01 January 2011, 03:19 AM
Hi there!

I'm an architecture student and I have to make some interior shots for the finals presentation in arch design.

My first question is - how do you light/render an interior scene if the openings on the building aren't rectangular? I've run into problems fitting the fill lights into the openings - they bump into geometry or are too far away from it so the rendering appears quite incorrect.

Also, I was wondering whether there was some way of cutting corners here, since I have about 50 separate openings along with the (glass) facade, so you could imagine how long it would take to set up, let alone render a scene with 50 or so separate fill lights.

My second question regards quality/speed ratio: I've made the roof from stretched metal (editable poly w/o thickness, pelt unwrapped uvw, refraction map with IOR 1.0) - would you propose rendering the interior using the existing geometry or, rather, opacity mapping the lights (since the roof cover itself isn't actually visible in the rendering)?

I've attached some views of the building to better illustrate my point.

I'm using max2010 and vray 1.5 SP4

Best regards,
Marin (

02 February 2011, 09:44 AM
If you don't want to place every light in the openings, you could try to render with HDRI (IBL)... But I'm not sure you will get the look you want that easily, it may be hard to master quickly...

You could also try too boost the exposition of a single directional light.

I'm not sure there is an easy way out to do this honnestly, most of all if you don't have the time to experiment in depth. I'm a mental ray user, but I believe VRay has some very robust GI features, you could cheat some light sources with this I guess.

02 February 2011, 08:19 AM
just create a sun & sky system for the exterior... keep all your round openings physically open.
Try to expose with a physical camera, and see how much light is bouncing into the room.

some light sources are planed inside, right ?
doesn't really matter if they shape is round or rectangle.

Use a rectangle light (falloff) and make them invisible. For simulating the light soruce, you can use the round shapes and use a light-shader.

That's pretty much it.

Hope that helps

02 February 2011, 09:24 AM
Try to focus on what your shots are going to be and concentrate on those areas.
You dont need to place lights in all the openings.
The options mentioned above should help you.

02 February 2011, 05:43 PM
Yeah, great ideas.. You could also try to place 10-15 area lights around the structure, as a replacement for the one-by-window accurate system. You would have proper lighting inside your building, but the shadows near the window might not be physically accurate.

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02 February 2011, 05:43 PM
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