Lighting Challenge #17: Natural History


cinema 4d 10 :5 spot and 1 omni and Ambient Occlusion.+photoshop.rendertimes 1h32min.


Shot 01 with somewhat better defined glass, now I’m done for sure :wink:


Used Cinema 4D, version 10.1. No GI, AO set to a low accuracy, experimented with sub- polygon displacement on the closer areas of the stone walls and some of the dino bone- that slowed down my render time to around two hours.

Thanks for the challenge and thoughts.



My final version:

Lightwave 9.3 + Kray OB8
Q6600 @ 3gHz, 8Gb RAM, Vista 64
Render time: ~1h10m

Setup: GI dome, Sun, some luminous balls to lighten up the side corridors, 1 big aera light behind the Trex.
Kray render: Photon mapping, Skyportals at the windows
Separate render passes for volumetric and mosaic windows (native lw renders)


well… took me 45 min in mental ray and 3dsmax using only sunlight with final gather and global ilumination, composite with Ambient oclussion later over photoshop, i hope i still have an hour ti finish details, hope you guys like it.


My colleague did Anthony Cortez did much of the texturing here, based on some photos I took - luckily I happened to be in London early in December and swung by the Museum with my camera…


Hi All,

Here’s my last entry, this was a very fun challenge and I look forward to the next one! Congrats everyone! Happy New Year!


Final image, hope you guys like it


Hey guys, this is my first post here, I just realised that the deadline was today, I was very busy so I was unable to post this earlier. This scene nearly crashed on my computer because I did’nt had a powerhouse.

Did this with only spotlights, 3 minutes to render. Maya 2008. Took about a day to do everything, so I can’t say this is very refined.

Edit: Woops sorry I uploaded the wrong link… just fixed it :smiley:


My Final Render

Modeling By
Alvaro Luna & Joel Anderson Thank You all.
Lighting, shading by Texere
3ds Max, Vray, Photoshop, intel core 2, 1 hr render.


Hey Everyone, this is my final rendered image. I’m still not 100% satisfied with the results, but I feel that I did the best I could with the time that I had.

Lighting Artist: Daniel Pendich
Software Used: Maya 2008
Rendered Using: Mental Ray + Final Gathering
Render Time: Approximately 3 Hours


Here are some minor improvements in the work .
Will be looking for C&C


punytjoshi - Interesting image. Some of the textures need work, looks like too deep a bump map in places, and some of the geometry appears to be floating, but you do get the idea across.

dpendzich - Nice job! I don’t know what the white thing is at the far end of the windows, it looks bright enough that there could be more light from there onto the rest of the scene. The dinos look a little flat and plastic.

texere - Good job. Maybe all the seams in the glass don’t need that bright a highlight. Some more shaping on the dino would help, especially if the third of his head were brighter than the bottom of the chin. There could be more soft illumination coming from the same direction as those sunbeams, too.

Eastwood - Really good! I recognize some of those signs from things on the museum’s website, makes it look authentic.

AnthonyC - Nice job! Shame about that seam on the back staircase.

jczet4 - Good job. If the sunbeams were that bright, I’d expect more spill around them and bounce from them, though.

- Beautiful image in places. Those people don’t look realistic. Most of the architecture looks good, except it’s a bit flat in places. Look at the area straight above the hip of the t-rex. You look through the archway, and the walls and ceiling you see all have very similar tones, that doesn’t seem as well defined as it could be, especially if the side hallway has differently colored windows. Nice textures on the ceiling.

- Nice job! On the last one, that area above the head of the right dino seems to go very quickly into blackness, which stands-out in a set that’s otherwise mostly fairly uniform in tone. Some areas, like the edges of the sunbeams, looks really realistic. Your image in post 556 is excellent. The next one looks kindof washed-out and lacking in contrast and interest to me.

dcbeatty - Good job overall. The view through the window doesn’t look like a convincing perspective match, especially with the verticals of the buildings not matching the vertical lines in the set. Double-check that all your lights are casting shadows well. The dinos look as if they might not be casting shadows in the lights that illuminate them, which is strange because I see an extremely dark shadow of the t-rex on the wall.

- Welcome! That’s an interesting image!

benjaminbattais - Welcome! That’s a nice scene. It looks a little washed-out to me, I wish the foreground got a little darker, so only the more distant parts lost contrast. The composition seems to use the lower half of the image for empty floor, maybe it could be framed more tightly around an area of interest?

tempus - I think lets you post high-res images. So does A lot of surfaces look very flat-shaded in your images, it’s better to have variety, gradients, occlusion, something other than large areas with the same tone.

earwax - Welcome! That’s a good start.

Nelly68 - Nice job!

casagan - Nice job! I think the composition and lighting leads people to focus too much on the upper part of the frame. Maybe darkening down the upper part of the set, and also tilting the camera down a bit, could make a stronger image. You might even use a more wide-screen aspect ratio to capture the dino, with a little more space in front of his head, and get rid of the top part.

tuqueque - Very nice job! But, BUT, 43 HOURS to render that??? That’s insane. If images were taking that long, I’d re-think my approaches so that I could turn-around changes and tests a little faster.

Kunotaku - Nice job!

- Nice job! Those people pop-out from the scene with their higher contrast, but overall it’s a great scene.

sampad - Welcome! That’s a good start.

chithradr - Nice job!

- Nice job!

ajju4i - Nice job!



This has been a terrific thread!

A gallery is on-line of selected entries:




Been working on this challenge when time permits; originally considered a projection approach for the textures … ended up cleaning the scene (geometry, uv’s, etc.) to allow for texture maps.

Straight test render with no additional post render work done; some work-in-progress renders here. A few more todo’s like volumetrics, depth of field, few more scene elements, etc.


Looking very solid there hgagne, be interesting to see the finished product. Looking over your wip images, I really like the bone textures on the T-Rex. Can we see the texture sheet for it? Looks very convincing to me. Also I see you went a lot of different iterations of lighting styles, did you not have a specific plan for the lighting look before you started? Just tried a few different things before settling on the finished look?

Good job!


Hi ragupasta,

Appreciate you making time to comment and the kind words; I’ve been using this scene to learn more about PBR workflows and improve my texturing and camera-related knowledge. I have also been trying to stay as true as possible to the extensive reference images that I found. :slight_smile:

Looking over your wip images, I really like the bone textures on the T-Rex. Can we see the texture sheet for it? Looks very convincing to me

I’m using the same bone textures/shader on all of the exhibit bones at the same UV repeat. The main exhibits have a VRay layered shader applied to them with a “varnish” shader. Here’s a link to the base texture I started with:

Also I see you went a lot of different iterations of lighting styles, did you not have a specific plan for the lighting look before you started? Just tried a few different things before settling on the finished look?

During model cleanup, I was as using the lighting to reveal “leaks” as well as to see how I was progressing with textures and Fresnel effect.

I intend to use this scene as part of a lighting reel (camera fly-through); some of the criteria for my test lighting has been to ensure that the lighting will remain as “true” as possible in all areas of the scene as I’m intending to only adjust time of day and camera settings (f/stop, iso, shutter: 180 or 144).



Thank you for explaining that. Always nice to get a feel for other peoples workflows.


Finally getting around to posting these.




Thanks again; this was a fun scene to light.