Working on the lighting

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  04 April 2013
Working on the lighting

Hey Guys!

I need some help.

I'm trying to do the lighting in this room and having some trouble getting interesting lighting. It probably stems from a basic lack of understanding on my part, but I would love if I could tell you a bit about my project and maybe get some feed back.

The first image below is a concept that I made. I used photoshop to get the lighting looking what i thought was interesting and I think it turned out pretty decent.

The next image is a shot of the actual room straight from Vray. I am trying to get the lighting to be more interesting and wondering if anyone has and tips/advice.

Also side note. How many lights is too many? I am planning on having some LCD screens, and and a holographic projection down at the end of the hall way on a table. But knowing very little i feel i might over kill it way quicker than I mean to.

Thanks guys!

  04 April 2013
why dont you get some screen grabs from sci fi films and use them as reference. see how the masters do it. alien,moon,space odessy etc, they might inspire you in different directions. thats prob what i would do.

where do you want the viewer to look? ttheres no real clear focus point in your cg image as opposed to your photoshop one.

  04 April 2013
@patrickrowan good call! I'll see if i cant find some shots I love. Thanks
  04 April 2013
Still making some tweaks, I think that i want the tarp to have some transparency. I would like to be able to maybe see just a slight bit of clouds or the sun rising in the distance out side. Not positive just yet.

Please hit me with some crits if you have any. thanks guys!
  04 April 2013

Your scene looks pretty sweet so far - lots of detail.

I'm by no means a lighting expert but I'll try to give some crits. Are you using global illumination for your scene or are you lighting with fill lights? If you are lighting with GI, I would definitly add some LCD screens as you proposed since this will break the monotonous white lighting a little and definitly add an interesting effect. If you are lighting with fill lights, try adding some color to them to, once again, break the white a little.
Software Used:
3D: Cinema 4D, MotionBuilder
Finished Work:
  05 May 2013
Still making some progress. I plan on bluring most the stuff in the distance to the right, and i need to add the hologram to the table in the distance, but just wanted to get ya'lls thoughts?

Could anyone guide me if they think the lighting should be different?

Also, how many lights is too many?, because I'm using kinda a lot i feel like.
  05 May 2013
its really coming along.

at the moment it seems very evenly lit. if you skwint is hard to find a place for your eye to rest or focus.

whats the storey you are wanting to tell and where do you want the viewer to look?

  05 May 2013
Well i don't know how much of this is possible to tell but here's a small list.

1. It's early morning.
2. You floating on a rock high in the atmosphere.
3. This environment is in working condition / kinda want to show it alive with activity, despite no characters in the scene.

I don't know if all thats possible with the lighting, but i think i need to brighten up the chairs/hologram area, i'd like the focus to be there
  05 May 2013
I really like your renders so far, but I think that the last one is over-saturated (remember that as you go into the distance, things gets more and more desaturated (for example: that blue thing on the middle-left looks closer then it should be (all because of saturation, imho))).

Originally Posted by Jdunay: Still making some progress. I plan on bluring most the stuff in the distance to the right

If you mean Dof - then don't.
Dof is strong only on macro shots, not on the wide shots like yours.
I think dof here would look very unnatural.

Originally Posted by Jdunay: 1. It's early morning.
2. You floating on a rock high in the atmosphere.
3. This environment is in working condition / kinda want to show it alive with activity, despite no characters in the scene.

1. Well, right now it looks like it's night. Try changing the overal (diffuse) color from darkblue, to some yellow-orange-pink color. It's really hard to capture morning feel (at least for me), so google some samples, and try to study them.
For me, these two captures the morning feel:

2) Where is the fog then? I think you should put some fog, and it will make your scene bigger, and add an atmosphere to it. Some volumetric light (subtle, not overused) through the fog, could also add on the atmosphere.

3) Maybe some particle dust in motion blur? or small flies. Neon signs with letters (but only one letter glowing). Perhaps few spaceships in the distance flying.

You could also think adding some strong light (stronger then others) to define the shape of the objects. You have something like that in your concept (which is great btw).

Hope you will get some of what I wrote usefull. I also often struggle with light.
Now it's the time to be extreme!
  05 May 2013


I never would have thought about the saturation, but now that you mention it i see exactly what your talking about.

Also good call about the DOF, I'm planning on doing it in post so i haven't seen it with that just yet but soon hopefully.

I'm working on getting some God rays (?) atmospheric lighting going on in the scene right now, having a little bit of difficulties, but I'll be sure to post some stuff when I've got it.

  05 May 2013
I'm also working in maya and rendering with Vray, and I'm having the hardest time assigning a ramp to control my environment fog density. I just seems to take it all away when i try to do so.

Anyone have any experience with this?
  05 May 2013
Updates for today.

Cut out the lighting of the Holograms to get some of the early morning lighting working. Also pumped up the samples and the threshold, trying to finalize my quality settings so I can render out this set of frames and start the work on the composite.

I'm working on some environment fog and lighting in a separate file so that will have to wait for post. Also obviously the tarp has been pulled out just so I can better render times and have a little more control over the light.

My initial thoughts are that I need to bump up the shadows a bit and drop the lighting on the floor a bit just to give it a little more early morning feel. Also I'm slightly embarrassed about my render times per frame, right now I'm just slightly over an hour for what you see. Does that sound like way too much? If so maybe I need to optimize more.

The advice I got last time was so helpful! Hopefully ya'll have some more tips for me! Thanks!

  05 May 2013
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