Trying to improve my lighting in C4D

Become a member of the CGSociety

Connect, Share, and Learn with our Large Growing CG Art Community. It's Free!

Thread Tools Display Modes
  05 May 2014
Trying to improve my lighting in C4D

I posted this image here a while back and recieved some feedback, I made the changes told but still I am not getting the result I think I should be getting, Im almost there but not fully there.

Here is the image:

Now here are some examples of the lighting and render I think I should be getting: (I post this one because it was rendered in Cinema4D like mine)

So what am I missing, are my shadows suppose to be so hard on the houses? how can I make my image be more fable more myth like the ones posted, this is the very first time I light and render an exterior so lots of mistakes being made.

What do you think, how can I achieve this using Cinema 4D, so far I am using one Physical Sky that gives atmosphere and another Sky has an HDRI image castin some light, I also put an Infinite light because it was a bit dark, should I lose the infinite light, also I am not using Global Illumination just Ambient Occlusion.

Let me know your thoughts!!

  05 May 2014
I would not say lighting is the main Problem here. Colors and compositing is the main issue. I would rearrange the Scene and render it from another Perspective. Maybe add some more interesting Detail. Add Forground-Object.

I have made a quick Photoshop-Mocup
Attached Images
File Type: jpg YJ8mL0o_new.jpg (64.4 KB, 10 views)
Cinema 4D Studio MSA, Zbrush, CS6, 3DCoat, Moi
Twitter: @holgerbiebrach


Last edited by HolgerBiebrach : 05 May 2014 at 11:14 AM.
  05 May 2014

There is a lot you can do simply to make this look better.
I would not get too hung up on GI until sorting more illustrator/still methods of tweaking things.
The grass doesn't have any breakup - you should think about cloud shadows and more difference in grass colour.
Shadows are always tinted with a colour based on time of day - this will help a lot.
areas shadows are your friend.
  05 May 2014
A few things

Lose the shitty lens flare, or at the very least make it more natural. That thing looks like you travelled back in time to the early 90's to find it.

The grass has too much gritty contrast in it's lighting. The patch behind the pond shows a nice bright sunny day, but then the patch below the mushrooms has all these dark black streaks running through it, the same by the robot character's feet, those few sparse blades shouldnt make the ground go black. Sort your light shadow settings.

The specular highlight on the mushrooms sticks out and is out of place. Clearly the light is coming from the right hand side, but the roof tops have these big specular blobs in the middle as if theres a light sat in the middle of town

Holger has made a good point, your image needs a colour palette, a set choice of colours to work throughout the image, currently there doesnt seem to be one.
Matthew O'Neill
  05 May 2014
WOW thanks a lot guys Ill get to work on this right away, there is a lot to be done.

Where can I learn more about all these Color and Compositing theories clearly this knwoledge is missing, any good books perhaps or tutorials themselves.

Thanks a lot, Ill get on this right away Im really interested in getting this right!!

  05 May 2014
These seem like a good start dont they?

Just thought I'd share.

Last edited by DaveAlej : 05 May 2014 at 08:27 PM.
  05 May 2014
You already have a thread for this work:

If you can't find a thread in future, bookmark it so you can go back and add any updates easily. There are already enough people on these forums doing this, and it needs to stop.
  05 May 2014
Originally Posted by Telemachus: You already have a thread for this work:

If you can't find a thread in future, bookmark it so you can go back and add any updates easily. There are already enough people on these forums doing this, and it needs to stop.

Yea sorry about that, won't happen again!!

Last edited by DaveAlej : 05 May 2014 at 07:22 AM.
  05 May 2014
You're looking at Composition when you should be looking at Composting. The first is useful still for framing your shots but that's not what the guys are talking about, look around for tutorials on Grading and general Composting in your preferred program (AE and Nuke are popular).

brasco on vimeo
  05 May 2014
Originally Posted by brasco: You're looking at Composition when you should be looking at Composting. The first is useful still for framing your shots but that's not what the guys are talking about, look around for tutorials on Grading and general Composting in your preferred program (AE and Nuke are popular).


Thanks for correcting that!!
  05 May 2014
Hey its me again, would this be a good place to go and get a proper color palette:

also Illustrator's color guide which is similar to the above.

  05 May 2014
It sounds like you're trying to approach this as if there's a definite answer when it's more about artistic choices.

But, yes, colour theory is useful to know when designing or creating an image and Kuler is a very handy tool to find those complementary colours or to create a palette.

If you study images you like and see what they've done in terms of the hues, tones and contrast you can start to match them or at least get a base going.

A few general pointers for the compositing side would be:
- Render to a high bit depth format 16-bit/32-bit, that'll give you the biggest range to play with
- Output Object Buffers from Cinema to help isolate areas to change colours in post.
- You can use a depth pass as a fog pass in post to bring focus to the foreground same goes for actual DOF blur, usually with smaller scenes.
- Draw the eye by brightening a specific area or darkening/desaturating it's surroundings. Even sharpening (subtly) can do the trick.
- Be subtle! Grading, in general, is about slight adjustments and not to go too crazy crunching colours. Of course if that's the look your after is crunched and high contrast, go for it.

There are so many more but it's mostly about diving in and trying out different things and seeing what works best.

brasco on vimeo

Last edited by brasco : 05 May 2014 at 07:27 PM.
  05 May 2014
Thanks a lot Brasco I have copypasted all you guys suggestion in to one note pad xD.

Meanwhile here is a compositing change I made, I do believe is looking way better, thought for this one ignore the grass as I removed it for the moment cause I need to start it from 0 also I have not placed some of the suggested details like stones or dandelions I will do them later, the mountain at the back ill change it for clouds. But the main structures I believed are placed in a far more better position I mean if you consider Holger's Mocap which was of tremendous help.

Here is the image:

I think I continue from here.

Open Image in new tab to see it bigger, its just a quick screenshot of a really fast Render Region I made.

Last edited by DaveAlej : 05 May 2014 at 06:21 AM.
  05 May 2014
Try to remember that this is "your vision" ... If additional props are in "your vision", then
add them ... if it's just in agreement with comments, it's still your choice.

You seem to be wrestling with theories of color, composition and lighting ... that's a truckload
to deal with if it's not somewhat within you in the first place.

Since you've already gone this far, flat lighting is an issue. I'd recommend the old keeping it
simple approach. Start with a basic 3 light setup and move things around so you can see
the results. Maybe, turn those off and add a sun object and adjust the time of day to see what
that does ... add/turn off the other lights one at a time to see what's happening ... maybe go
back and forth till you're satisfied. At the moment, if you squint at your scene, only the tan
bare earth spot shows up and that's a good focal point, but tends to keep you there rather than
to explore the rest of the scene ... Holger's Ps example is great for wandering around. Again,
it's up to you to direct the viewer where you want them to go and what you want them to see.

Another thing is the background of trees that are too much the same size that compete with
all the other light and shadow spots of equal size and turn it into a kind of visual haze ... not that
a hazy atmosphere in this type of scene would be out of place.

Last, and it may just be me, so I apologize in advance ... but that slurpee cup is out of place
... especially for a bad robot

So ... keep going and discover your own vision for this scene

iMac 3.06 ghz Intel Core 2 Duo / 16 GB / OS 10.13.4 / C4D StudioR12 / CS6

Last edited by vid2k2 : 05 May 2014 at 11:53 PM.
  05 May 2014
The confusion between compositing and composition seems to still not be clear but I also will disagree with everyone who says that composting should even be a thought in your head at this point. Your lighting needs a lot of work.

People here are being very kind in their critiques, but I think it's doing a lot of disservice since you clearly want to learn how to approach lighting.

First, lets get the composition out of the way so we can focus on lighting. Leave the scene with the last composition you have. While the compositon could certainly improve a little, I am assuming you want to focus on learning to light, and in lighting, while scenes may be well composed initially, camera and characters move around so much that not every frame will be a good composition, so we can think of this as just a random frame in a scene. You could always fix the composition of your scene once lit, it may require a tweak or two to you lighting but nothing major.

Vid2K had the best suggestion so far which was to throw out your lighting and start with a simple three point light setup. I absolutely agree that you could be stuck for ages trying to tweak what you got, not to suggest that it is so bad nothing can be done to fix it, that isn't what we are saying, but often especially if there are too many lights or too many things going on, it can be harder to fix than to just start over with something simple. Really I'd actually disagree for this specific situation, with Vid2K in that I wouldn't even start with a 3 point lighting setup. too complex for a scene that won't really work well with that type of setup. Studios, single objects, those will benefit form a 3 point lighting setup right off the bat, but here I'd start with on light. so literally get rid of everything and get your first light set up.

This first light will be your key light to the scene. Where do you want this light to be? well that really depends on two things, the first being, is there a definitive source of light in the scene, like the moon or sun typically. If yes, than this will most often be your key light. The other factor to consider, that may sometimes override the idea of using a sun or moon as your key even if they are in the shot, is the mood. Perhaps you want something where the sun or moon should only be an accent or rim because your trying to create a very specific mood, so something like a fire or a bounce of light is the more important light to establish your scene. I'd say as a beginner it usually will be better to focus on the strongest most prominant light being your key. By the looks of your scene it has been a sun, but in your last image it looks like you may have a moon in the BG? Figure out what time of day you want this to be as that will decide the key light's color and intentisy. If it is a sun it will be warm in color and quite bright. If it is a moon it will likely be cool in color and dimmer, probably with a slightly softer shadow Dusk or dawn and your going to be pushing even warmer with the sun into reddish orange.

Get a render of that and post it here and we can critique that, figure out what is working and what is not before we go onto any other lights. It will mean you have a somewhat dark render with areas that are in total darkness, mainly shadows. It should however mean that we can see most the scene and that there is some shape. If you first light isn't getting a clear shape, then we'll know there is something wrong with your light or your shaders.
Quote: "Until you do what you believe in, how do you know whether you believe in it or not?" -Leo Tolstoy
Kai Pedersen
reply share thread

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Society of Digital Artists

Powered by vBulletin
Copyright Š2000 - 2006,
Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Minimize Ads
Forum Jump

All times are GMT. The time now is 12:33 AM.

Powered by vBulletin
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.