Lighting Challenge #20: The Shop Girls


This is my updated Version. This scene is completely rendered using Maya Sofware render and composited in photoshop. i have a long way to go to finish this image. right now i am not sure whether my lighting looks good. please tell me what are the things i should improve in my next render. thanks in advance


udayavel: Looking good! The hair on the customer is working very well. I’d like to see some more specular highlights, especially with such a dark environment. With such a bright counter I’d like to see some bright warm light bouncing off of it onto the characters and handbag. I’d like to see some reflections added to the scene!

lunat1k: I still really like this one. For that shelf that’s not touching the edge wall, that’s an error on my part. You’ll probably want to lengthen the shelf to touch the wall. I’d like to see some variation in the florescent light and the exit sign.

Vesty: Welcome and good start! Try not to make your lights too bright and blow out to white. Keep going!

Waters: Looks good! Looking forward to seeing the characters in there.

brookselliott: Getting better! I know you’re going for an apple store look but lightingwise I don’t think that’s necessarily the most interesting. Try adding some variation in light color, maybe the back area can be a different color than the counter area and the outside area can have different colored light than the inside area. Also, keep in mind that the floor is getting a little too bright white, try toning it down a little bit.

eduroam: Looking great! I’d like to see some brighter specularity on some of your objects, in particular the black lights, televisions and cash register.

fuzzylizard: Looking better. I’d like to see the characters added in, maybe that will give you a little more inspiration. Try doubling the amount of light from the spots and see where that takes you.

Voigg: I think I’d have to say that I’m partial to the second image. Some areas of the top image appear to be glowing. I’m guessing you’re using GI, make sure your photon intensity isn’t too high. You may want to think about how bright the door in the background is. Generally speaking having the brightest part of the image right in the middle can be distracting.

SusanLinnenbrink: Keep going, try working on your materials and creating contrast with your light.


Thanks kanooshka and Jeremy for the feedback. I really appreciate it. Here is another render and I think I am starting to get something that I like. I have added the people back into the shot, although I have not started to texture them. I have added a few spots to the background and I think it is actually starting to look nice. Let me know what you think, feedback is always welcomed.

Now onward to texture all the product boxes and the people. I may also remodel the centre display unit as I think it carries too much weight in the scene. Maybe replace it with a table or something with some products or computers on it, don’t know yet.


Hi jermy this is latest upload…plz check it give me the feedback


Found time for some more progress. Thanks all, for the feedback. Added some more textures, tweaked some lights and fixed the shadow issue. Some things I’d like to update for the next image is adding hair and changing the floor in the foreground to be more interesting and/or zooming the camera in a little more.


Looking good, kanooshka. Maybe instead of zooming you could try tilting the camera, so that their heads are not touching the top of the frame.

After discussing with some colleagues here I’ve toned down the distracting lights in the stands. kanooshkas’ suggestion about the exit light helped to make its’ intensity lower. Also zoomed in more, I think it focuses more on the girls (this one goes to Jeremy). And finally rotated the camera for better framing as I was loosing the ladies to the right:


nice frame lunatk


lunat1k - You have an interesting “Corpse Bride” meets “Blade Runner” vibe going, but I think the hands are too flat and zombified to work, even for little doll figures. Either put some objects in or around the hands, pose them more naturally, or at least don’t highlight them so much with the lighting. The steam is looking a little posterized, make sure the steam gets lit by the colored lights near it, and don’t get parts of it go too black in the middle. Maybe some more surfaces could be reflective, to help bring areas like the left half of the frame to life more?

kanooshka - Coming along well. I’m not sure where the light is supposed to be coming from that’s hitting the front of the customer’s white pants, or hitting the face of the counter in front of her. Customer looks glowy under her hair, maybe there’s a light that isn’t shadowing? Some reflections could give some presence to the glass on the left side display case. Keep going!

ramlighthunter - Good start with shading! Move the camera in to frame a nice shot, and work on lighting now!

fuzzylizard - Looks very evenly lit, keep going with it!

brookselliott - See my reference images I linked to for floors a few pages back, I hope some of those give you ideas. Make sure the doorframes cast shadows so it won’t look like light is leaking through them.

Voigg - The bottom one (without the lights in the bags) looks better. There’s some extra light in the exit sign that looks like a mistake. You could play-up the light from the door more, add a highlight or reflection from it in the monitor above the cash register, maybe some rim light or kicks from it in places? Make sure the vegetation looks translucent where it gets back-lit.



added the females and started to light them.

I haven’t really touched the surfaces yet. I think I’ll start to work on those some next. I’ll probably change the color of the clerk’s suit since its really similar to the background color behind her.


The FBX file seems to be missing… any ideas when it’ll be back up Jeremy?


Thanks for the feedback Jeremy and Dan. I put a a small ammount of free time into putting rigs on the characters and trying to repose them and smooth them out a bit. I don’t know if I’ll put them in though. Not trying to be a jerk, but the characters are extremely rough and trying to make them look good would be a modeling, texturing and fur/hair challenge and I’d rather just get some practice in lighting and rendering so the set alone suits me just fine. I know having characters lit correctly would be a great added challenge, so maybe I’ll drop them in and try to light them without tweaking them much at all.


@ Waters and also to others :wink:
yeap since I modelled one of the character i know it. riggirn, texturing, adding fur, can be a competition by it’s own. I also modelled teeth for example but if you dont’ rig the mouth you don’t see them, the eyebrows are not modelled (just a bit) since it was supposed to have them textured, then also come up the question how should we model hair and keep them simple ? that’s how I modelled some strain that can be furr and or mapped with opacity. I didn’t unwrap uv (I just created a obj) and also also can requite a looooot of time (even if with unwrealla or similar tools things can go better) but painting can be crazy (just thinks about how many maps you must have if you would like a realistic SSS).
Finally we decided for having a character look like a doll (the bratz where the idea) with low poly. so if soomeone choose the photoreal path of course this are not “good”. I had in mind the idea of some “plastic” lookalike character. I think that for having a realistic character we would have gone the poser way (but in that case we wuold have the poser look :wink: or just to make a challenge for that (with pre exsistent texture for example and unwrap uv already done). but I hope in some way that people liked the challenge also as it is :slight_smile:


Hi everyone.
Jeremy thanks for your comments
Corrected light. Сontinue to texturing and shading.


TV screens have a “texture” of noise and scanlines. Even HD sets.

Sometimes the camera’s shutter captures a set mid-way through refreshing a frame, so that the top part of the frame appears brighter, then the bottom is darker or only shows one field:

In a brighter room, often the picture looks dim, and the reflections can obscure parts of the picture. The black parts of a picture don’t reach a true black if there is screen glare.

When a picture is taken of a TV in a darker room, often the picture on the screen gets overexposed, so parts of it get blown-out and lose saturation.



my first attempt …


wow !!! … nice work :applause:

i will start in the lighting and show you :slight_smile:

best regards :wavey:


@jojo Thanks for the work, it’s great to have something to texture, light, and shade without starting from scratch. What you say is very true.



This is other test render to artifitial light rendering.

I will start to work with the TV screen, thanks jeremy for this advice. I will try to apply it.

This image doesn’t have any correction or ambient occlusion yet.

Maya 2009
Mental Ray - Direct Lighting



nice work…