General Discussion Thread


Edit 27/7/2019
Please post in this thread all your general ideas and suggestion about lighting challenges

If you have built an original scene that you’d like to offer for a future challenge (or know a person or company who could offer a scene), please mention it here, preferably with a picture.

Many of the challenges should be “simple” scenes - scenes that people could light in many different programs, or that you’d use as a test if you were getting yourself going with new software.

Some of the challenges should reflect common challenges of lighting in production, such as lighting animated characters, integrating 3D objects with real environments, dealing with hair, fur, reflection, transparency, water, etc.

If you have any request or other ideas about lighting challenges, this is the place!


I though of maybe doing a simple indoor scene. Like a sofa/chair propped next to a lamp stand/wall. And maybe a poseable character (very simple…cartoony most likely) to add character lighting to the mix. But it may have to be posed before people download for software compatiblity.

I can contribute a scene if time allows. Or maybe 3dcafe might have some full scenes. Just my .02 cents.


how about a challenge to depict a certain emotion using only lighting? no texturing, pre-defined camera angle, now create an image that says “the horror, oh the horror”, or “I’m in love…”.

film noir, 'nuff said :). create an image from a simple scene that reflects the aesthetics of the genre, which was pretty much defined by it lighting (am i correct, i think so).

overall, ideas that steer people away from texturing skills. i recognize lighting nad texturing go hand-in-hand in real life, but i think it can be done ntl.


Maybe something practical like product shots.

Another idea might be a multi-stage challenge where you have to light a scene for say 3 different times of day.


OK, I’m working on one like what you guys are saying. I’m getting the scene together for a “Four Scripts” challenge, where you start with the same 3D scene each time but a description of the location taken from different film scripts (with different genre, mood, and time of day possible), and you light the scene as you interpret the fragment of the script that introduces the location and what’s happening there. People have to do at least one for the challenge, but I suspect some people will do 2 to 4 of them.



Sounds pretty cool


i am hoping to get to this scene as soon as my next semester starts…though this isn’t an idea for future…i am hoping that they remain open even as new challenges come up…i especially am interested in this fruit scene…already working on some grapes for one of my projects and at this time i only have access to maya at the campus and we’re on semester break! great to see this thread and challenge developing!


Reven… if you want to play on break, download the PLE version. Watermarked ofcourse, but you can play in the meantime. I’m pretty sure the challenges will remain open. No real reason to close them.


i only have 256 mb ram on my lap top…thought i need 512?


Yeah… that’s pretty low in the RAM department. It may run, but it’d be slow for sure.


yeah, for a brief moment i was hoping i had made a wrong assumption that ple would use less…well i have only two more weeks of break and hopefully by the end of the semester, i’ll have a better option for Maya! thanx


Yes, the Fruit Bowl challenge will remain open. Around February 1 we will start the Four Scripts challenge, but if someone wants to post another fruit bowl image, there are people here who would still look at it and could reply with a critique.



I think the scripts challenge is key. It’s one thing to do a product rendering, which is a great challenge in itself, but to take a scene and depict the words visually would definitely stretch the skill set. Many of us might benefit from it. It reminds me of a project that I had to do once for an English class, in which we had to draw a specific scene from The Great Gatsby. This is taking it that to the next level.



There is a certain book plenty of concepts and exercises that can be used as guide for future challenges. Besides it would help people who have bought that book. I won’t give names.:slight_smile:

 I'm particularly interested in compositing ([b]Rendering in layers[/b] and [b]Rendering in passes[/b])

Rendering in layers has helped recently to finish a scene in time.

An exercise about animated lighting or animated shadows would be funny.


If people have any issues with file formats, I hope they can address them here. For example, are people finding that all the models are run together into a single object when they are imported? We should look into whether things could be better organized when transfered to different software. Also, it would be good to know how many people can import NURBS .igs files or something instead of all polygons.



I would think obj is safest.

I’m using Modo and LW. Modo opened your last object as over 100 layers (I’m assuming it was some kind of history that it was seeing). LW Modeler opened it with a few seperate layers.

LW doesn’t do nurbs.


well, feb 1 sounds very close from now. . and very short in my case as i could only spend some part of my time after work. I think i should take the next challenge a bit seriously and be prepared myself and plan the time. But u r doing a great job. .


How’s the new challenge coming along? Cant wait for an update, getting jittery! :drool:


We should have it on-line within 24 hours. Really. The writing’s done, I just have a lot of modeling to do getting the set together.

Importing the .obj file into different software, how many people found that all the objects got merged together into one big object? One lightwave user complained about hours of work separating polygons before materials and textures could be assigned. :frowning:

Would it help if the .rar held a directory with 10 or 15 .obj files, like walls.obj, trim.obj, table.obj, etc. so you import each of them separately and can group them however you want? (Or do we need “file format volunteers” to do conversion for more specific formats for Max, C4D, etc.?)

I think everyone should start their own thread with their entries for the next challenge. Some people might be making up to four differently lit looks for a scene (or differently comped looks…), each look might have multiple revisions, add a breakdown and feedback and that’s enough for a separate thread for each person’s work, right?



I think that the multiple .rar files will be helpful for the people who faced the problem, but many of us didn’t. If storage space on the server isn’t an issue, both would be the best option. If you need a mirror let me know.

I also think that each individual starting a thread will be beneficial, so that participants are more likely to get feedback and critique, some got passed by in this experiment.