Lighting Challenge #20: The Shop Girls


This is my latest render, still sucks :stuck_out_tongue:


its looking better…but see the ear …




Hello …

I’m new in these parts and I thought I would start satisfying my obligations to get an Avatar (lol) by introducing myself in my first CG Challenge. I like the concept, it’s right up my current talent speed (which is somewhere just crossing leaving Newbie and ‘not-bad’ Intermediate).

I’m on 100% Zen-mode when it comes to 3D work and you’ll find my postings will be rather philosophical in context: I simply want to improve and accomplish tasks I set for myself. Kind of like a martial art … daily efforts to improve self … even if you never do battle at all. In my opinion of my talents, I know NOTHING and I constantly seek perfection … even if it’s never found.

This is what happens when you turn 40 (lol) … the whole perspective-thing changes.

Unlike most of you pros, I don’t work in the industry. I have a regular job at Delta Airlines on the ramp pushing in and out planes and loading luggage. I think out of all the jobs I’ve had in my life, this one has been the most exciting. It pays the bills, helps support my family and allows me to buy that Quad processor for Christmas. Dang renders need to bump up.

In regards to working in the CG industry, I honestly, I never had the discipline to do a ‘creative’ art and be at the whim of an employer. To me, it’s like raking hot coals through my throat when you spend 48-hours working on something for a client, only to have the client (who has no idea what you went through to make ‘whatever’) ask for changes that boggle the mind. Not my shtick … but I do appreciate those who have that patience. I probably wouldn’t mind doing some freelance work as I relax more with age.

So, anywho … staying on thread … I wanted to say hello and start the ‘In Progress’ postings toward my final render for the challenge. All comments, concerns and complaints are welcome as I see all of you as mentors toward my final goal.

My system:

Windows Xp Home Edition
Pentium D 3.1 ghz, 3.0 gigs of ram
3DS Max 9 <------- Weapon of choice.
Vray 1.5 RC3 <----- Ammunition

You should know FIRST AND FOREMOST … I SUCK as a modeler. Over the years, I’ve struggled and tried my hardest to overcome that failing in that segment of CG skills. But guess what? We can’t be everything in the Pipeline of CG development and I’m not and never will be in the modeling department. And that’s a shame, too … cause I have a secret lust for ZBrush and I so, SO, SOOOOOO want to be good at it. Unfortunately, I have ZBrush and if I had to represent the company developing a slick model, they’d go bankrupt.

So I’m the world’s greatest model hunter (lol). Models that I use will be credited each and every time … including the program I use.

The model’s used in my work for this challenge will be from Poser Pro (V4, Akio 3 and M3).

I used to pull my hair out trying to connect 3DS Max and Poser properly, and I found the most definitive, workable and material transferable method possible. I’ll gladly share if anyone is interested. Also working on this skin-improvement technique to enhance Poser skin tones. No, I don’t use Daz Studio … and probably never will. The interface and I never quite get along.

Other models used are from Archmodel collections, to spruce up the scene a little.

As it stands now, nothing is done, but I’m going to try to do something with the characters that came with the supplied challenge (and thank you very much to the creators) and generally have a lot of details to do. It’s early … we got till October 26th so I’m taking the time to really focus on areas that are foreign to me. Particularly Incandescent Lighting (or self-illumination depending on what tutorial you hunt for) and mixing it with common lighting to have a consistent image of the thing that is lit and what it is lighting.

OH! And goodness me … the customer has a little bit of breast (mesh) showing. Keeping it there looks kind of hot … that torn clothing look. Decisions, decisions.

Cheers to one and all and may we all learn something new daily.


@subhankar- Thanks for your comment. I will surely look into it. I think you have a good scene going on. You can try to tone down the reflectivity of the showcase as its looking transparent to me. But follow my advise at your own risk! :buttrock:


my new one image …thanks prasun for your comments …next time i will change it


Nice image…I like the materials you have chosen…Are you using brdf reflections? You might want to add a little gloss to the case and the glass to get some reflection fall-off.


[left]Just trying camera layout and also posting to the site. Still going.





This is a update render. I have to say that make the tv screen is not easy :), i don’t apply the ambient occlusion or any color correction yet .

 I try to follow your advise jeremy, i made the tv screen reflective, the black part is  not too black because the reflection, and the white part i try to make more bright, there is scanline, but the camera is far that don't see it.
 Maya 2009
 Mental Ray - Direct Lighting.


Trying another angle out, adding characters in (maybe), and using some inspiration from a Jeremy Birn render.

-> Great looking models CGMagicman.


just some small tweaks:


Adjusted the arms positions, as well as their proportions. I tried to get more depth in the scene and focus more on the girls with the foreground element.
Smoke is a 2d fluid with color correction in post. I’m not happy with it yet.


Hey everyone, I haven’t posted anything as of yet but am working on this challenge none-the-less. I’ll have something to post up here pretty soon though.

I own a 52" Samsung 650 series LCD HDTV (I love my TV :slight_smile: ) and recently shot some reference of it to help myself out in figuring out what a TV would like photographed. I saw that Jeremy posted up some awesome reference earlier and thought I would share some reference as well. It helped me out so I thought it might help others as well.

A few things to keep in mind:

  1. My camera is 5 years old and not very good at focusing in low light conditions. As a result some of the shots aren’t as crisp as they could be with a bad ass DSLR camera with a fast lens.

  2. Most of the images are pretty grainy because I had to crank the ISO up to get a decent exposure without a super long shutter speed.

  3. The shutter speed is STILL fairly long in spite of the high ISO and as a result most of the images on the actual TV are blurry due to motion (something to keep in mind perhaps when creating our own images).

  4. I shot images tungsten balanced and daylight balanced to see the different effect it would have on the TV. As you can see from the photos, there is a fairly drastic difference between the two. I also shot some images at night and some in the morning to see what the tv would look like with pure tungsten light and with a tungsten/daylight mixture.

  5. Almost all of the images I shot (even the ones I shot in the morning with light coming in through the window) are fairly low light and the low dynamic range of the camera forced me to under expose the rest of the image to get the values in the TV in the correct exposure range or over expose the TV to bring the rest of the image to the proper exposure level. Those are also some things to think about when crafting our images as well.

Anyways, I hope this helps others out as well. It definitely helped me out. :slight_smile:



Slowly chugging along. Thanks @Waters for the compliment. Models from Poser, I’m just trying to make them look better (lol).

Recent changes:

[li]Swapped out the Clerk behind the counter and finally settled on the final camera angle.
[/li][li]Added light in the backroom
[/li][li]Terribly poking around at placing maps on the TV screens. They suppose to have an image of Batman on them … supposedly. Where’d they go??? Working on it.
[/li][/ul]I’m basically adding scene objects slowly and messing with materials piece by piece. The plasticy-feel of the characters will go away once I knuckle down on the materials later on.

in the end, I’m going for a natural shopping experience. As much as this is a lighting challenge, I figure ‘what’ is being seen is as important as the light shining on it.

I want to add merchandise in the glass case behind the guy.

And those TV’s are irking me. What happened to my Batman?

Ah well, hope all of you are well and blessed.



thanks for your comments bezzeler2000 …
no this is not a brdf reflections …i am using a simple blinn …
ya next time i will change it …case and the glass…
again thanks for your good comments …

CGMagicman your model is so good and nice …
really its looks nice…


Hello Everybody, here’s my Render… wouldnt call it my first try for this scene…but still lots to do to reach the final stage. Have used mental ray but no GI.
Everybody’s come up with great outputs and has really inspired me to work on this scene and even upload it here too but do not know whether its worth uploading here.waiting for comments !!!


Done a little bit of tweeking. I have observed the reference of the tv in darkness and have tried to match the effect. Please help me out.:sad:


@djprasun : Are you talking about the reference where in the screen colors seems blown out coz of darkness in room? If yes then have you tried tweaking the saturation level of that map separately in photoshop? u could even add lil diffuse glow and then play with the saturation level.
I dunno If this is what u looking for…!


djprasun: Great update. I like the changes you’ve made to the TVs however, different TV’s have different refresh rates and will refresh at different times. That being the case try making the distance between bands a little different for each TV as well as make the bands be placed at different points at their refresh time. Also try playing with the angle of the gunman’s shadow. As opposed to having it completely horizontal try to give it a little turn so it would look a little more interesting.

lilnamz: Good start! Try playing with the camera angle until you find something a little more interesting, or move some more objects around in the scene.

CGMagicman: Nice scene you’ve set up. You definitely have a realistic lighting setup and great start with materials. Though I think it would look a little more interesting with some more contrast and some play with the color of the lights. Keep going!

Resand1080: Thanks for the great references!

lunat1k: Nice fixes. I’m still seeing what appears to be banding from depth maps on the white object the smoke looks like it’s coming out of. The red rim light on the woman behind the counter doesn’t feel completely right to me. Having a thin rim of red on both the left and right side of the characters head when the exit sign is a little screen left compared to her looks a little odd. Maybe using the the more whitish light from screen right would work a little better.

Waters: Good work! I like the way the ceiling is looking. I would expect the floor to be much brighter than the ceiling when the ceiling is providing most of the light. The exposure is a little odd in the scene. It appears that the light casting the shadow from the character is outdoor light but, the outdoor light is darker than the indoor light. It may just be the material on the floor, you may have to place a light card outside to create a bright reflection.

eduroam: Gets better every time =) I like the addition of some specular reflections. If the TV is not looking the way you want from further away, you may want to exaggerate it so it appears from far away.

bezzeler2000: Good start, keep going! Try not to have your main light source come from directly behind the camera.

subhankar: Good work. Try adding some bump to your reflective objects to break up the reflections. As well as adding some Fresnel effect to the reflections.

jeremybirn: Thanks for some more great references, and for the feedback! I hope to post my next iteration soon.

genaf1: Good texture work! I’d like to see the TV’s brightened a little. Take a look at Jeremy’s next post, he has some good references. Keep going!

Vesty: Good job so far. Sounds like a good idea to start working on the materials!


Here’s my next image. Biggest changes are: removed a lot of unmotivated lighting, add some more light bounces, relaxed the characters’ eyelids, moved some objects around. Still want to add hair and change the pose of the characters a little. Looking forward to feedback. Cheers!