Haunted Hallway Lighting Practice

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  01 January 2013
Haunted Hallway Lighting Practice


I've started lighting this scene. My idea is to show a room where the 'holy grail' is discovered. I'm starting to texture this. Looking forward to your suggestions on the way!

this scene is at 3drender.com. i've only added chalice and rose.

Last edited by irfanil : 01 January 2013 at 04:46 PM.
  01 January 2013
Cool start, I'm imagining dusty shafts of light illuminating the grail.
3D Reel, Photography and Blog
  01 January 2013
so here is the first texture pass. these are only diffuse maps.

  01 January 2013
Cool cool, just want to point out that I can see some tiling along the back wall. This might get hidden when you get the lighting sorted though.
3D Reel, Photography and Blog
  01 January 2013
Great modeling and lighting work.
For me personally, I don't know if the grunge background suits the subject of the grail and rose in the foreground. I would have gone with a more "monastic" or "etherial" look and texturing style. And definitely some light volume / shafts from the window light. But that might not be your vision.
Also, the before-texturing render looks better scale-wise; but once you've textured the background, the rose and chalice look over-sized. Maybe it's just because you haven't textured them yet. How about a Depth-of-Field so that the Chalice and Rose are the focal point.

Looking forward to your next render.
  01 January 2013
thank you Kevin, I'll definitely work on the wall texture.

yes Mike, I've scaled down the chalice and rose. Will be adding light shafts and fog in the post. I wanted to create an abandoned place but I'll also try your suggested environment.

thank you guys for your feedback. really appreciate it
  01 January 2013
so here is a new render.

  01 January 2013
perhaps breaking up the dust more so that it looks like their are actual small particles in the air would push it more. maybe add some subtle specularity elements to the wood floor
  01 January 2013
That's looking great!
  01 January 2013
Great progress.

If you're going for shafts of light, I'm not really feeling it, it looks more like a dusty fog in the background at the moment.
3D Reel, Photography and Blog
  01 January 2013
Originally Posted by MikeMc: Great modeling and lighting work.

I really don't want this to seem like I'm having a go at you personally because you posted it to be encouraging, but honestly, when I see comments like this in threads like this, it's very frustrating. While encouragement is obviously important in a WIP, a comment like this falsely inflates the artist's perception of his work and his idea of what constitutes "great". A WIP forum is a place of learning and comments like this, while well-intentioned, are unfortunately harmful to the learning process at the end of the day. It's important to be nice, yes, but it's just as important to be realistic. All those people who embarrass themselves on American Idol type singing contests were no doubt told at some point that they're "great" and look what good it did them.

Most of this isn't his model, for a start, so no need to comment on it, although if it was his model, it's a very average one. It's neither good nor bad. The same goes for the chalice and rose - neither model is exceptional. I guess they do the job he's intending but doesn't that mean the image, ultimately, will be forgettable? As artists we should strive to create images that stick in people's minds. While a chalice may indeed be a simple object, surely the Holy Grail should look a little more unique? Ultimately that's the artist's individual choice and of course the lighting, shading and textures could elevate a plain model to something more special. But what I'm getting at here is that to call his model great would be misguiding to the artist. I know that sounds harsh but this is a place of learning and we, as commentators, should strive to keep things in perspective. The modelling is okay. It does the job, for now.

The lighting, however, needs a lot of work. Lighting is an artform in itself, and one which people specialise in, because lighting isn't simply there to illuminate things, but to add an additional element of beauty to the scene, to highlight the focus of the image and to set the mood. In the real world, photographers spend ages setting up careful lighting to sets like this, to ensure the final image is something beautiful, something memorable. They don't just light an environment so that their cameras have something to focus on. The same applies to our jobs as CG lighters. You need to think about what you're trying to communicate to your audience, and light your scene accordingly. The colours, positions and intensities of the different lights in your scene should all be motivated specifically to play a certain aesthetic role.

Right now, your lighting fails to draw the eye to the subject of your image - the Grail. It's so dark that it doesn't even stand out. This is the first thing you need to address - illuminating your subject so that it's actually properly visible. Secondary lighting should then be there to provide, perhaps, some nice rim highlights and specular hits. If you're wanting to create a sense of awe, consider adding in volumetric lights which not only add to the atmosphere of the scene, but also provide a directional cue to additionally draw attention to the subject from above.

My advice to you would be to study some religious paintings and some atmospheric photography to understand how artists use lighting as both a tool and an artistic element to set the tone of an image and to draw attention to the main subjects.

Look at the following image:

Notice how light is used very effectively in it - it not only provides the necessary illumination to allow us to actually see what's going on, but it also lends the painting a distinctive atmosphere, it highlights the main subject, and it bathes the surrounding people in a glow. The lighting here is a critical element of the painting, as important as every other element within.

Because of the nature of CG, there's a tendency for artists to treat lighting as a kind of afterthought, whereas painters (as well as photographers) don't have this luxury of being able to do things in whatever order they want; the lighting has to be incorporated right from the start, and that's why lighting is such a prominent element in these types of work, whereas CG artists often tend to just chuck in a few lights before rendering. Don't work like this. Plan your image beforehand - gather references of images that inspire your own work and work towards emulating their ideas into your own. Do a few quick concept paintings on top of a rough grey render to plot out how you'd like the light to behave, and then set up your lights in your scene accordingly.

A scene like this could have such a strong impact with a more thoughtful lighting setup. Considering you set about this as a lighting exercise, you need to buckle down and work more at it. Your first, most important next step, I think, would be to spend some time on Google finding a bunch of cool references, then spend some time analysing why the elements of those images are successful, and then you can think about how to go about incorporating those into your own work. Never work without references - you always need something to aim for, to emulate, to provide direction for your own work.

The best artists are the ones who always push themselves to create images that maximise beauty. Your chalice and rose are your subjects, so you need to make them look as beautiful as you possibly can, so that your audience will feel an appropriate sense of awe and wonder when looking at them.

Good luck.
  01 January 2013
Thanks for that, Leigh.

Some really great advice there that applies everyone's artistic endeavours.

  01 January 2013
To help you start off, here are some photos that may inspire you. I'm posting photos instead of paintings because photography has more in common with 3D rendering than painting does, in terms of the process of actually lighting things.









Notice how striking the lighting is in all of these shots. In some of them, the photographer has obviously intentionally set up the lighting for a specific look, while in others the photographer has simply exploited available natural light for artistic effect. While the subjects of these photos are obviously different to yours, the same principles apply - lighting here is clearly demonstrated as an essential element of the success of the image, and the reason for this is because the lighting in this photos beautifies the subjects in very striking ways.

Understanding how photographers use light is absolutely critical for learning lighting - light is, after all, essentially the photographer's medium, even the word photography means "writing with light", because light is what a camera's sensor captures. Light is everything to the photographer, and as such, it's absolutely essential for anyone studying lighting to understand photography in this way.
  01 January 2013
Hi Leigh

I see age hasn't improved your bedside manner.

One day maybe there will be a seat next to Jesus for me too, so that I can be as perfect in every way as you.

  01 January 2013

Leigh has some good comments for you; but she also has some pretty discouraging ones too. Take the good ones and use them to improve your work. We are all trying to improve ourselves here and also be encouraging to each other. Some of us are further along the path than others. I am still on the starting blocks I'm afraid. But that doesn't mean we can't comment on each others work and discuss it (politely).
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