Lighting Challenge #17: Natural History



My update.
Render time ~2h30min

Direct link to image 1
Direct link to image 2


Here’s my first 3rd try at this really challenging museum scene. In the real photos the dinosaur bones are really dark which makes this especially tough…

My favorite long shot scene so far is kiko’s latest night scene and then in a close second is phil-robert’s moon shot close-up.

I lit and rendered my draft version in Blender…

First Draft


By now, the challenge have another level…
Will be hard do something like this entry.
For me, the best until now!
4,9*s… (ends in january 5…)
Congrats! :applause:


d2fan: Great render! Your light color choices work awesomely. My one suggestion would be to fix the contact between the right archways and the ground. There’s a very bright reflection for a darker object. It could possibly be a ray depth limit issue. On the other hand it could be that your material is too reflective. Also, there is some sunlight coming from behind the camera which is emitting diffuse on the wall but it does not appear to be emitting any on the floor beneath.


if there are any max users who are still struggling with the flipped faces (or use older than 2009 max) - I am almost done cleaning the file with normals fixed and pieces named etc. The scale is still totally screwed.

Jeremy can you get big attachments? I think its less than 20megs now - I could send max2008 version and maybe .3ds file too.

This is for the late starters like myself… Haven’t even started really - But I am looking forward to it. Just hope that I will have the time.



I’d love to get a copy of the 3ds version with parts named. Would help me out a lot.


Thanks jeremy for your input, it made me notice a lot of compositional mistakes I was making. I am actually attempting a completly different composition, and its working much better, Ill try and post an update tonight. Great work by everyone so far!! And kiko, I am loving the illumination on those arches,that looks very promising!


Progress? :wink:


Thanks Jeremy for your comments. Here is another update. I have changed the composition and overall shading, trying to make the image less confusing, still dark looking. Some shading and texturing work has began. DOF effects are more subtle. I hope you like it.



PM me with your email and I’ll send it tonight - if I get to it.

prefer max2008 or .3ds?


Hi Samo!Thank you very much!

I use 3ds Max and could open the rapidshare site.

Thank you very much another time! Waiting for your good news!

Best wishes!


A little update , i’ve changed the scheme of lighting , Jeremy thank you for reply. I see a lot of mistakes in this render and i will correct them in next preview.


Hi Jeremy,
This is my first post in cg society,since i 've logged in. Thx for the lighting challenge…really nice to have such frequent challenges coming up regularly…
Well I tried to match the render with this image i found in flickr… this is a preview quality render just to check the lighting settings. I ve used a directional light for the sun, some area lights for the windows & used FG for the rendering…
color corrected & added the background in photoshop…
C&C welcome…
happy lighting to all…


Hi every one this is my work on natural history challange congratulation to all for putting such nice and creative works here, and in the last challange.

This is my work, I gave it very oldish eve look(I wanted to create image of the museum the way it will be years later on this earth.).   I made whole museum history with massive distruction on the model(sorry for the modeler).but I can say it is best model on lighting challanges so far .

I used maya 2008 for texturing and lighting and Shake for compositing.

please give my your comment critics and feed back


                                                                                                    Thank YOu
                                                                                                  Punyt Joshi



Here you have the 3DS file >

although kerosene is offering a cleaner and tidier version, maybe you should contact him too.


Hi all,

I’ve only lurked in the past while checking out the lighting challenges, so I’m going to jump in on this one even though I’m late to the party.

In addition, I wanted to challenge myself and not use any GI, and light it “old school” 8)

Cinema 4D, with lots of area lights for fill, and a spotlight with volumetrics for sunlight.



it’s always nice to see c4diers (& old schoolers) in these challenges!
looking good already, expept for the foreground part, in the stairs.
they are a bit underexposed. perhaps you could add a fill light in front of the camera, or add a specular only light in the main exhibit area pointing at the camera and define the shapes more clearly.


Updated version with bone dust added and area lights for fill…
High Res version on Flicker


I like d2fan’s entry as well except a few minor issues that seem to stand out:
I think the floor could use a different rough texture. The column to floor point seems unrealistic and doesn’t seem to meet at the floor on the right side…
And I think the dino texture could use less normal displacement.
Other than that I think it looks fantastic and I really like the exterior window views, well balanced lighting, view point and the sun angle choices… Very nice!


Hi everyone. This is what I have so far. I have used 3d max and vray for render, and photoshop for adjustments like contrast/brightness and bloom. Volume lighting is done in max itself. C & Cs are welcome.

By Neha_kakkar