Kitchen lighting


Hello, i’ve created some scene and i need some help about lighting. I was wondering how can i improve my scene ,i wish to achive more realistic look, i know i’ll have to spend more time on my materials ,and another thing is how to get rid of those horrible color bleeding spots for example over the microwave oven ?
If someone could help me i would be very thankful.


textures and lighting help a lot when you’re going for realism. I dont use Max so I cant give you any specifics, but I’d say one thing is that your lighting is too ambientish. The front green and purple walls are really intense, the blue is slightly less and the back green next to the fridge slightly less still. There should be more falloff on your light so it dies out as it passes back into your scene. Use some sort of ambient light(such as final gather and global illumination in Maya) to spread light throughout your scene.

Try using ambient occlusion; it shouldn’t be too dark but will help ground things like the floor trim. And dont forget about depth of field; your scene isn’t real deep but some subtle depth blurring will help. I dont know the max terminology for these things.

Oh, and look at tons of real life and 3d reference; like this:
Its a good example of a single light source along with using ambient light to fill in the rest of the scene.


Thanks a lot for your help. I’ll try to use AO i hope that will help a little, and i will remember about DOF but it’s like test render but unfortunately when i’m increasing render setup that looks even worst ;/ there is more color bleeding and weird things, i’ll upload some screen shots later so it will be easier to understand what im talking about.


Use a slightly blurred reflection on the counter top.


I’m still trying to figure out how to achive better look of that image. I’ve been testing some GI options but still can’t find good one. i think i just need to tone down colors like green one, one wall is more saturated than the another one. So can someone tell me how to fix that ?


What I very often do (and I advise you to try) is I am giving a gray material on everything, set up the lighting, and then I am going to materials.
It’s handy because of several reasons:

  • I know it is gray material, so I know when the light is too dark, or too bright.
  • much faster to render, and I have a good preview for lights.
  • After I start texturing, if something is overbright, or noisy, or whatever problem there is, I know that it’s an material issue, not the light (because on gray it looks good).

Here is one of my old works with that workflow applied:

I know it’s far from good: AO is pretty intense, shadows are weak, but I didn’t used any GI solution, it’s just lights everywhere in the scene (and AO over the top).

Here’s the render with textures:
Again, far from good, but I am not showing you beauty of the renders, but principles on how I work.

So, try to make everything gray. If you can “pull out” some interesting results with it, then I bet that with materials it will look even better.

As for your render, I agree with the above comment, that your scene look too ambientish.
Think first if you want day or night? Whatever you choose, you can make your scene more interesting then this. If it’s a day, place some lights from the sun (through window) on your kitchen desk. If it’s night, turn on many small lights and it will be richer.
I think some of the models in your kitchen could use chamfering.
One more tip:
When you are testing renders, try to think on big picture, and this is how you do it: Render your image in very small res (320x200 for example), make it even smaller like thumbnail, or so (you can even turn it to be black/white).
If you can recognize what’s on the picture, then you’re on the good track. If you see just some unrecognizable shapes, then your composition, contrast or colors is not working.
After all, look at those plugged stuff at the top of the site, they are all in thumbnails size, but recognizable, and that’s one of the reasons why it’s great works.

I disagree here for DOF.
He don’t need DOF here, because he’s “shooting” with the wide camera.
No Dof’s for wide camera. The less is Field of view, the more Dof should be applied (and opposite), and he doesn’t focus here on anything, and have pretty big FOV.
So no dof in here.

The reference picture you attached also proves my point.
There is no dof here, right?


I was doing my render as you sad, first i started with all gray materials and then i started to test lighting, and i thought it’s ok,could be better but it’s fine, but later on when i added some materials, it’s not so good… those very bright areas are very noticable, i mean there is a really big difference between bright and dark color of the same material (green wall for example).
So i’m wondering how can i just tone down that, i would like to have nice daylight feeling so i used just vray sun, i was trying to add also vray plane in front of the window with little yellowish colour but the result wasn’t so good.


The programs I use have a Diffuse Color % for materials. Set yours to 80%. Maybe you have them at 100%, which would make them too intense?


As above post said, you could decrease saturation both of the green and that red-rose color (or, decrease color brightness (bot not both… especially not to extremes).
Also, you could increase a little bit diffusion of the floor (so it becomes a little bit darker and richer), because the reflection “eat” all the texture.
Maybe you are going to solve that just by decreasing reflection.


First and foremost use the linear workflow ,if you are already not using.

I suppose you are also using MR then preferably use Mia material .

Your current scene lighting direction is not clear, if there is only one outside light source then rest should be illuminated by bounce light .

Your light intensity also seems to be on bit high which is giving is a flat look, reduce intensity.

I am not able to see any color bleed happening so check your GI/Final gather settings.

Reduce the glossiness of some of the materials.

#Reduce sharp edges .

Try adding portal light ,it should also help your scene.


I’m using linear workflow already.
There is no MR.

I’ll try to reduce glossines on some of my materials.
There are chamfers on edges but apparently too small in some places.

i’m gonna upload my last render very soon


I’ve been working on this kitchen little bit longer than i expected and here is result.

What do you think guys ?


There is a strange glow where the granite benchtop meets the light blue wall. Any idea what that might be?

The lighting looks realistic enough besides that glowy part. But it’s not very interesting in the scene. The composition is also not too exciting either but I think that is mostly because all the walls are bare and have a single colour all over. That’s fine of course but you need to find some way to make it look more interesting.
The fridge could use some more reflection samples too. Maybe try giving it a brushed metal look or some anisotropy. Some good textures can go a long way in a scene like this. Doesn’t have to be anything crazy, just subtle things like fingerprint scuffs on the shiny surfaces or some tiny dints on corners, just for a sense of real life use to everything


Yeap i totally agree with you about that lighting part, i have no idea why that glow happend i tried to fix that but i dont know how.
About that fridge, belive or not its the real material, i have got the same fridge, i was trying to create all the same materials as i have in real, i just need better texture for the bump on the fridge i think.


Ah ok, fair enough. Still I would suggest the brushed metal merely for the aesthetics, but if you want to use this scene as an exercise to recreate your kitchen then that’s great too.


I wanted to focus on lighting cause i think it’s the hardest part for me so i need more practise.

But anyway thank you guys for very usefull advice.


I would say to improve lighting, remove all the shaders for a flat off-white look first. From a design perspective, the colors are horrific here. The textures you’re using look pretty sweet so far, such as the floor and countertop, and the fridge ain’t bad either - but the walls and ceiling beams/structure aren’t helping with adjusting the lighting. Perhaps you chose this paint scheme in real life? Even so, the color scheme will make this scene look cartoonish no matter what you do, and also the walls don’t look like painted drywall yet. The need bump and some shininess and texturing, as well as rounded corners.

Are we looking at a Formica countertop, with wood trim edges? It would appear your wood trim edge shader has some glow to it, but I don’t know Vray well enough to help you with that.


I agree with pap87 about adding “scuffs and dings” to the shinny surfaces. Your new render looks better but I think adding some non reflective areas to the floor and the marble might help with making it look realistic. The floor could use some bump as well because right now it looks like flat image on a plane. There is also a big contrast between the ceiling and the colorful walls. Maybe try making the ceiling brighter and adding imperfections to the top edges of the walls instead of it being so straight. Also if you look at the walls in your home they do have some sort of bump and they aren’t super slick. good luck!


I used some bump on the floor but i guess it’s too small i’ll try to fix that. About that reflection on the marble, actually i like them but good point i think that in some places coulb be more reflective and in some places less, but i’m not sure if i can do that, what would be the best way to do that ? i’ll try to change them but if anyone knows good way to do that please tell me.

Thanks to all of you guys,those advice really helped me out.


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