Lighting Challenge #24: (WIP) The Cabin




Hi this is my fresh render in Maya mental ray. Critics are welcome


@ KAY Thank you for your comments. I have tried few variations please check them. I’m just fiddling with the theme. texture will be done later. Since I’m starting out, help will be much appreciated.


aran69in: You have some interesting back plates to work with but I think you need to really work with matching your lighting to it. In both images it’s very cloudy. Because of this, I’d expect there to be a very soft ambiance. The color’s could also use some work. It looks like you have your direct light colors okay but the ambient light should be pink and purple in the top image and pink in the second.

banigandlapati: Nice work. You may want to think about brightening the sky up a bit, it looks a little odd with the ground brighter than the sky at night. If the moon were illuminating the ground this much it would be brightening up the sky as well. I’m having a little difficulty determining where one tree ends and the other begins. Perhaps making the front tree’s leaves more translucent will allow the moonlight shining through to define it’s shape a little more.

amitlighting: Interesting atmosphere. The tree in the foreground looks a little odd because only one side has bright red leaves. Perhaps they could be a little more evenly distributed. It’s a little difficult to see where the left of the chimney ends and the tree begins. The tree in the foreground and the front of the cabin’s porch is a little too blown out and could use more of a gradient as opposed to such a sharp terminator.

KayPoprawe: I really like this one. My one critique would be about the relationship between the clouds and the character on the roof. Solely because the color of the sun on his back and on the clouds are so similar. Because of this he gets visually lost a little. If you were able to adjust that portion of the clouds so that his back would be in front of the yellow sky instead of the clouds this image would get pushed even further. Great work.

pauldryzen: Nice work. I can’t help but feel that the orange light on left try looks a little strong. If you comparing the intensity of the light on the porch to the warm light on the tree they’re very similar in intensity. It may work if it’s much more subtle. The saturation of the lamp is a little intense and could also be dialed down a bunch, maybe even 40%-50%.

ashutosh8323: Good job. The trees could use a little more translucency, they’re very dark on the underside which makes them look a little too opaque and solid. The bottom of the staircase seems to be floating. The wheel’s on the side of the house look too bright compared to its surroundings and therefore look a little out of place. The fence works really well, I can clearly see the different sides through the shading. Finally, you might want to look into adjusting the water a little bit. Right now the water is very blue compared to the more greenish sky. The water would be reflecting the sky and therefore should be a little closer in color.


Thx for the comment, kanooshka. i will add it in the next version…
update on this one. added dead cow and ravens to the scene. pretty much of the rest is the same, coz of a shader update, i have a error in the trees and my shadows are missing, and the chimney has a bumpmapping problem. hopefully fixed in next shader version tomorrow.

good night, good day or good morning…


Update with a little detail fixed, the rim light.
Suggestion are so welcome. :slight_smile:


@ Kanooshka Thank you very much, yes i havent worked on the colors of neither the fill or bounce, will work on the ambience, also will finish the texture up and post it.


here´s an update added a few more lights to the scene … it looks better against a black background and in full screen mode…

click the image for higher resolution and download the image if posible

ill try to give some comments… please give me suggestions on this im running short on ideas the deadline is coming :hmm:


Thanks kanooshka for your suggestion i will be fixing those things in my next version and its really help full for me to improve thanks again.


ill try to give some comments… please give me suggestions on this im running short on ideas the deadline is coming :hmm:

@Leotril: I feel your pain! Deadline’s coming, and tech issues are keeping me from any progress. I fear my best work has already been posted, and I’m far from content. Maybe 25% content, at most. Barely even touched on lighting “techniques” before mental ray kicked my teeth in again. What this means to me: failure. Another person would have nailed that “job”, and yet another reason to ditch mental ray for Maya as if there weren’t already enough of 'em.

Anyway, here’s my analysis of your scene, which is ultimately way too dark. The color black takes up a vast majority of your image. Sure, it’s best when viewed without any other light elements such as borders and such, but that doesn’t mean you should be using black as your primary color element. Contrast is important, and you have little in your scene. I’m not trying to be harsh: look at my scenes here and you’ll see the exact same problem. Mine are even blander than yours, although black isn’t my primary color.

Here’s your scene’s levels as posted:

Note that most of your pixels reside in the dark range. This is monitor-independent, and leads me to believe your monitor(s) aren’t calibrated. And mine suck too! Don’t feel bad, just sharing a concept with you that others have shared with me. It’s a hard thing to fix, and I’m failing myself. Just hoping that making you aware of this issue will help you in the future, too.

Here’s a minor adjustment in the levels:

This isn’t a “final fix”, but a starting point the equalize lighting a bit. At this point, you could go in and darken/lighten areas that need to be true black and true white, or variations there. I think having a smoother level curve is one key to more dynamic and expressive lighting.

Just some ideas, hope they help you! And I hope you finish your piece before I fail at mine and cry myself to sleep… (grins) Again!


@InfernalDarkness … thanks for that extensive explanation on levels i think ur right and i should look into that … i didn do any color correction on the scene it is the beauty render with no occlusion… i should try activatin fg to see if i can reduce the black areas that im gettin … i hope u can fix ur problems my suggestion after some failed attemps the sun & sky system in mental ray is that turn it off and add the lights manually direct and indirect.

@tuovni… i like ur scene specially the myst in the foregroun i think u can add more rims and highlights on the house roof and metal materials .

@KayPoprawe… i think ur succesfully incorporated the story elements into the scene and extended nicely… lookin great i hope u can improve it even more

@aran69in… nice start u shoul add more bounce light into dark areas also add more layers of fog between the backgroun so i will look more natural … agreed with kanooshka look into that

@banigandlapati… looking good need the occlusion into the scene … the camera is starting to distort a bit to much look into ur focal lenght and camera values

@amitlighting… nice scene … i think u need some water in there so continue working on that and incorporated that … probably that blue is to intensive and i doesn look that natural specially on the bounce in the tree

@pauldryzen… i like it a lot… ur probably need tone down the blue a bit in ur scene maybe… agreed about the texturing on the roof is repeatin… also just a hair of less contrast in ur final look …ill wait for ur next render

@ashutosh8323… i like ur jungle theme a lot … ur probably getting that miniature look but it looks intentional … agreed about the translucency incorporate that in to the leaves … like ur texturing a lot… nice work


Hello there, here’s my next update. Worked on it this week end. I’ve not done much as I can only get access to my computer on weekends. But I did work on the suggestions the others gave on this.
Here’s it

Here’s the larger version.

Do give the critiques for this. Though I think I can work on this image only once this weekend before the deadline.

As for the other entries I’m really blown away. Makes me humble! I really liked your work KayPoprawe, pauldryzen. They’re brilliant I can’t find any critique about it.

Thanking you,


hello every one!
This is my second render, by night this time. I prefer that one and i hope you will like it!
Maybe i’ll put a character sat on the staircase.


It is my fresh Render in Maya mental ray. Thank you for your suggestions Mr.Dan Konieczka. I will update with DOF in next update.



thanks for all the comments on my latest image. Here is now the updated version.
The part in front of the house is now less saturated and has a better separation for the light of the lamp and the light which comes out of the door.
The light on the tree is reduced to the original intensity of my 3D rendering
I´ve also changed the coloring a bit in the whole picture.
The roof still has the repeating texture, no time for rerendering, so all is done in comp :slight_smile:


Wow. I really like your concept and color contrast. The Soft orange light makes the scene stand out against the blue backdrop.

I would tone down how many starts you have in the background. Its a little distracting and takes away from the picture.


Guys this is another try, a different mood, i’ve already posted two of my attempts, i will work on them asap based on the corrections. Thank you for the response. Do help me out on this too.


KayPoprawe & djprasun both of your image are my best till now…Ashutosh8323 your image gives me jungle book made in 3d type of feeling …n rest of all great work…

here is mine image comp in photoshop n done some Vintage effect work in Nero picture style editor.hope u all like it[b]…:slight_smile:



this is rendered with mental ray maya no FG and GI. Critiques are wellcome :slight_smile: Becouse I’m new in this


This is my fresh render. hope all of you like it.