Interior Architecture: office building


Hey. This is my first architectural environment. Right now all that has been modeled is the basics. I am concerned with the lighting. I could really use some tips on lighting. Thanks.
Here is my render so far:


Thats really good man. Sorry i dont know much about lighting or i’de help you with that. :smiley: so far so good! Please keep us updated.



Yeah, I agree with Tadus. The lighting is lacking. It’s such a bright day outside, but a little too dark inside.

From the picture it looks like you have spotlights coming from the top. You should have some more come from the window… sounds kinda obvious, but that’s where real light would come from. Although I’m no expert either, I know everything needs to be played with a little bit to get the desired effect. Just keep playing with it… add more, move around.


Thanks for the comments… does this update improve the lighting?


But your scene misses some shadows coming from the main light.
Try to use a big area light for it (dont know what program you’re using) and make it to cast shadows. then add a point light(omni) inside that places. This is the base lighting, then you could add extra lights ie coming from the left wall to simulate bouncing light and so…
Or your a Global Illumination rederer , Final Gathering, or something from your program that doesnt indirect illumination for you.


Hey Waters,

Reaslly nice work there… I like the way the sharp angles and the color palette contribute to the cold atmosphere.

I can’t offer much advice in the way of lighting… (looks like you’re getting good stuff from some others, though)… I might suggest two things:

 1) Have you considered any art on the walls?  It might bring the picture to life a little more.  It may be nice to break up the gray with some color.  Especially if you find the right art... the kind that's usually hung in office buildings.  (pretty enough, but not too distracting/muted/usually a series of pictures)

Plus, you’d probably get some interesting reflections from the glass in the pictures, to underscore the overall lighting.
But then, I don’t want to anticipate what you’re trying to accomplish here, so adding art might take away from your intent.

 2) Though it's kind of tough to tell (so I may be wrong), the walls seem kind of thin.  It's apparent where the outside windows are.  I think the ledges in structures like this are usually between six inches to a foot thick.  Right now, it appears as though they're three inches or so, which suggests very thin walls. 

It’s a subtle thing, but it may help contribute to the corporate-fortress feeling.

I’m interested to see where this piece is headed… good luck!

  • M


Mooncalf - Thanks, I appreciate the coomments. I have considered putting some art on the walls, as a matter of fact I am working from a sketch I made, I just haven’t finished all of the modeling yet. I am trying to get the lighting down before I add a lot more detail, because the render times are going to go up, and it will take longer for me to get updates as I tweak my lighting setup. I was actually considering making this sculpture with water flowing down it in the central empty area.
The walls do seem a bit thin, I need to work on that, but I am not too worried about that because I am considering taking some of the windows out, and putting in office space, with windows that look into the office area, probably with curtains.

Lazzhar- Perhaps you could point out the places where my main light is missing shadows. At this point I am not using any lights, but everything is object based lighting with mental ray for maya. Right now there is a glass roof on the building so sun light is coming in through the top and the sides where the windows are. There are about 6 objects in this scene that I am using for lighting.

Tadus - Thanks.

Is this new render an improvement?


here is another perspective:


I think those dark shadows in the corners and ceiling shouldn’t be there. Remember that the radiocity will cause light to bouce around into all the corners and show at least some degree of light.

Also I noticed some faceting around the top of the window on the left. Nothing a little chamfering can’t take care of.


4 low - Hey, ya I thought with mental ray’s final gathering and global illumination light should be bounced into all of those corners, at least a little bit. But it doesn’t appear to be doing a good job of that, I had to fake the bounced light into the hall ways to either side of the main open area into which the light is spilling. It would appear that light is only bouncing so far, is there any way of increasing the number of bounces within mental ray? ( And yes I have turned on final gathering and global illumination in render globals, and the settings are correct ).


I’ve never had a chance to mess with Mental Ray, so I really don’t know. You might search around or even post those questions in the Application Specific forums…


Ya, I’ll try that out. But so far I like the lighting for this scene. Those shadows should be there, as they are areas where the light from the sun is being directly blocked by an overhang, but I think I will just use a fake to make the shadows less dark.


another update:


I supposed the Key light is coming from the windows. I undesrtand you’re looking for a soft lighting of your scene, but the shadows give some depth and a sense of orientation.
I’f I want to use a GI or FG I’d start by just one light that cast shadows, then when I’m happy with it I’d enable the GI/FG for the bouncing lights. I could add some extra lights to illuminate some areas that didnt get enough lights.
Good luck :slight_smile:


lazzhar- The key light isnt coming from the windows. The sun light is coming from above at an angle. Could you point out where I am missing shadows?



another shot, w/ windows:


You’re using an indirect illumination, that’s why the shadows doesnt appear an your scene and because it’s very soft . I suppose the light source coming from the sky is not hiting directly the indoor? If it is so there should bet some shadows on the stairs, and the nearset carpet(moquette) should also receive shodows that casts this glass (sorry my english is not so good in describing)
I’d like to see a rendering without any FG with the main light cast shadows.
Good luck.


Without FG the scene would be black. The scene is entirely lit by fg and global illumination, there are no lights.


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