Lighting Challenge 2 - Mafia... Honest criticism please..?



Lighting challenge 2 - Mafia by Blender Guru

This I what I have so far:

Honest criticism on the lighting only please. Is there anything I can change or improve?

Thanks! :grin::+1:


His silhouette completely blends with the background. Add either backlight, or background light for separation. Also eyelight is very small in size, so it’s barely noticeable.
If you make a strong backlight, it will look retro. If you make his background a bit lit, it will look more contemporary. If you light the background with a strip light or gobo, you can add different allusions to it.


Hi ,

Thanks for the advice, very much appreciated!

I have now added a light from behind to separate him from the background, how does it look now?

If you have any other honest critique you would like to add, please do!

Thanks once again!


Are you sure you want to leave the background completely blank? The background tells a story. Is it a nightclub? An abandoned warehouse, where mobs ruthlessly convey their evil deeds?
His coat in the front lacks lighting planes, i.e form definition via lighting.
Still, I think his eyelight is very small, almost unnoticeable.

If to compare to this well-lit image, yours is much darker. Still, it’s a pretty low-light scene. Nothing fades into complete obscurity.



Thanks again for your reply and your advice!

I have now added a background and lit his coat, how does it look now? Any better?

Regarding his eye-light, I am unsure how I can make this bigger, do you have any ideas?

Also as you can probably see, he now doesn’t have any eye-light, I added a denoise to get rid of some of the noise on his coat but that seemed to get rid of it completely…:flushed: so maybe I might have to get rid of the denoise in order to get the eye-light back… unless you have any ideas?

Thanks once again for all your help! :grin::+1:


You can just create a distant and big bright light, which has a directional value (not omni), which will just reflect in the eyes… So you will increase the size of it to make the eyelight bigger.
Those are called fresnel lights (pronounced (fз:"rnel) The point is you can control its specular separately from its diffuse lighting.
If you want, you can experiment with the background lighting. You can make the gradient with a darker side, where the face is lighter, or vice versa, and see the effect.
You can create different gobo shapes on the background, like stripes, halo around his head, shadows, stained glass refractions.
Also, you can add a kicker light or rim light It can be on either side and varying size and color, but better it would be different in color from the main light. It can be bright, or very subtle.