Lighting Challenge #24: (WIP) The Cabin


KayPoprawe, I mean all the lights right behind the boat, that I guess they are from a house over there, isn´t it?
And the stars I know there is a gradient, but I think that there is so much light from the moon that would clog the starlight which are close to it.

Just an opinion, and it´s a detail, the picture is awesome!!!


Little update, comments are super welcome! :buttrock:


@KayPoprawe: Great looking image! The only thing I’d like to see changed is adding some bokeh to those lights in the background that fall out of focus. Bokeh on lights at night is some of the most most beautiful stuff created with a camera when done right, I think it would add an extra layer of photographic realism and aesthetic beauty to the piece. Not to mention that it’s a night shot so probably the camera aperature is at f1.4 anyways. :slight_smile:

This is nit-picky, though, but thought I’d throw it out there regardless. And if you’d rather it have more of a painting feel it’s not needed anyways.


nice scenery and pictures. like the night mood a lot, the day time version is also really nice.
the only critic is the background plate. but overall really nice.

all that lights behind the small rescue boats, are the lights of the big ship. i know it looks really chaotic and overloads that area a bit to much. i agree with your opinion about the stars.

last critic to your picture. the 2 new hills in the backround, it looks like 2 of them are blended over, coz u can see the last background mountain behind the tree is a bit visible in the mountain that is in front. its a detail…

Thx. I agree with your opinion, but the DOF it not so big that bokeh makes sense i think. But i will give it a try. I like all that in camera stuff. maybe u mention that, but there is also a lens distortion on the picture.

nice picture. i like a lot, especially the foreground is really nice and moody. the background hills need a bit of more love, maybe take 2D billboard Mountains.

I think your oillamp light needs a bit more color, that gives your picture a bit more warmer feeling in front. a little bit more texture work on the cabin will pimp that think up. just a few suggestions.

maybe you can add some translucence or scattering in the tree leaves, coz your background have this nice looking burned feeling. I also think u can add some additional rimlights from the background to the tree bark and cabin.


Got some time today@ 2 in the morning, :D. I’ll upload my final tomorrow.


Thats for now really the last update…

  • reworked stars, less stars at the bright area of the moon. removed the orion stars, it was to much and disturbed the composition.
  • added more colored fog for the ship lights. bokeh effect doesnt worked out, coz it looks strange coz the dof is not enough.

after the challenge. i will start rendering a short sequence with animation. like my helicopter sequence on my page.

like it, the only think i dont like is the dark halo around your foreground elements. i know its a glow on the background, but in my opinion that dark halo disturbs the picture. maybe u have the time to fix that.


KayPoprawe, thank you very much, you were right, any way i´ll try to fix something more before Sunday.

I think the changes have improved the image. Your images are great!!!


well, as usual I’m late to the party. Here’s my first attempt after a few days of work. Unfortunately the lighting is looking really flat and my icicle shader is not quite what I want yet. I’ll probably have enough time to do one or two more versions tomorrow.

I’m considering changing the position of the sun to make the image less flat (and match my background image a little better). There will also be an ambient occlusion pass and a zdepth pass for atmosphere and/or depth of field.

Comments and criticisms welcome for those that are also working up to the deadline.


Everyone has been doing an awesome job! Here’s my entry thus far. If anyone has any suggestions or ideas before the deadline I’d really like to hear them!


nice winter approach. but i agree with your plan to change the lighting a bit, adding atmosphere and a bit of ambient occlusion. i just have some suggestions to the texturing of the cabin. i think reworking it a bit, with more details, some snow stuff on the terrace and a bit of wet down will help a lot, coz at the moment it looks to perfect and to clean. and u have to work on the icile shader, especially on the transition…Maybe i can inspire you with an other work from me…


you did a quite good job on it, the texturing is really really nice, the background is a bit to boring. maybe you can put some lights in the background and doing some bokeh, coz i think in your picture the DOF is strong enough to put some lights in the background in a bokeh defocus like effect. also the lighting and camera perspective is really nice. LIKE IT!


Here is an update – the image after a few fixes and some compositing. A dreamier, warmer mood (it’s supposed to be morning after freshly fallen snow). The image is still looking kind of flat to me, though. And my shadows don’t seem to be quite right, some are too dark and others are not dark enough. I just noticed the reflection in the windows is too strong – not fresnel-ish at all.


@KayPoprawe … thanks for the suggestion on the lamp the warm color really helps … about the wood and shaders i wish i got time to improve it i dunno about layering materials yet in mental ray… im using mia materials x …

final candidate


@Leotril, you are going well with your picture, I´d try to work the grass a little more. Is like saturated, maybe you can vary the tones a bit, between greenish brown and a green less saturated.
Another thing is the rim you did on the tress, is like a green lamp is outside the frame, lighting the tress.

@jonathancking, I´m agree with KayPoprawe, you have to make more detail on the texture, get out the perfeccionist. The picture is very nice, I like the colors of the atmosphere.

@Redsand1080, good picture! The first thing I see is the perfect line of the boards, I´d try to vary a bit the lenght of each board at the end.


KayPoprawe: thanks a lot for your comment. I appreciate very much your picture, it is really rich on all fronts :thumbsup: . And I understand what you mean about my background, if i have the time i’ll try to do something!

Hi everyone!
my first post on cgtalk!
I hope I can finish this till the deadline.
Just did basic lighting for the mood so far.
Great work in this thread


I enter in the challenge. I work with softimage, photoshop and fusion.
actually i’ve finish to setup all my scene: cameramapping, pass, texture, lighting
this is two exemple of my different pass:
color pass:

bump :

Now i am working around the compositing
I hope that i will finish for tomorrow :)


@toinsawyer: You have some nice lighting in the piece. Pretty cool you included a charcter as well. Vegetation is nice as well. The ground looks really CG to me, though. It’s hard for me to nail down exactly why that is without sitting down and examining a bunch of pictures of a similar type of dry-cracked ground, but something is making it feel off. I know that’s not the most help, but the only way I know what anything really looks like is by doing a bunch of research first. :slight_smile: And since I haven’t looked at any grounds like that lately, I can’t be specific. Also that piece of ground that sticks up with the dark value on the left kind of sticks out.

@Leotril: The color temperature contrast is nice! That green light from the left is really strong, though, and I can’t understand it’s motivation. Is it for an eerie sort of effect? I think varying those textures up on the house would help it quite a bit. Having everything nearly the same hue and value kind of flattens the house, which seems to be the focal point. The texturing on the beach could still use a little love. :slight_smile:

@jonathancking: I think you did a good job making it feel all cold and wintry! The hue and saturation of the piece communicates this feeling quite well. I think one thing to help this out quite a bit would be to unify the colors of the wood on the house and porch. Right now the house has one color wood and the porch another. If I was driving down the street and saw a house that had such a drastic color difference in wood like that between house and porch it would just strike me as really strange. Did you try the mia_material with the blurry refractions and reflections and translucency for the icicles? It might work out.

@KayPoprawe: Thanks much for the feedback! I think you made a great suggestion. If I can make enough time tonight I will be sure and give some more love to the background. :slight_smile: But if I can’t get it done for the deadline I’ll probably just do it anyways at some point soon.

@tuovni: Good point. In order to fix that for the deadline I’ll probably just make the direction of the boards go horizontal instead of vertical. It’s a cheat, but I think it’ll get the job done quick. :slight_smile:


@KayPoprawe: Thanks for your comments on my image. Your project “Frozen” is definitely inspiring – thanks for that. By transition, do you mean the refraction through the icicles or the transition from the ice to the roof surface? I figured out a problem with the refraction – I have it set to 1.5 now, but it doesn’t work because the scene models are extremely miniaturized. That’s why my icicles look like dark plastic, I guess. Your images are great, also one of my favorites. I actually liked the stars better before you increased their brightness. I agree there should be no stars around the moon, though – all the moonlight would make you unable to see any stars within the entire halo.

@toinsawyer: Nice color and texture. In your day version, the clouds seem very regular, like each cloud was placed individually. The tree trunk looks kind of strange, especially with the stump in the foreground that matches the environment a lot better.

@tuovni: I also agree with KayPoprawe, and the perfectionist in me wants to fix all that but my internal scheduler says I don’t have enough time :frowning: Oh well, I’ll do as much as I can before the deadline. Your image is one of my favorites. I agree with previous comments about the back mountains – I can seen the sky through them, like they are transparent.

@Redsand1080: Thanks for the comments on my image. I agree, I think the wood texture on my cabin is a little too orange, so I might change it to match the porch a little better. Icicles are using mia_x_passes with glossy refr and refl, no translucency so I might play with that. I do like your image – for some reason, it looks like a scene in a zombie movie to me, like the walking dead are going to start coming out of the fog in the background. One thing, is that moonlight creating the kick on the rocking chair? And on the window sills? It seems pretty strong, almost like set lighting – maybe that’s why it feels like a movie to me.

@ pyuupyuu: the colors of your image look great. The blue light, however, seems artificial because the moonlight should be hitting the back face of the cabin, not the side. The shadows from the lamp are a bit stark, especially on the two metal containers (what are they called?) on the wall. Some stars might be nice as well.

@jujut: your image is looking pretty good coming out of a render, the compositing will definitely help. There seems to be a lot of detail that is getting lost in scale? Hopefully your final will be larger so we can see all the detail. The white and medium brown texture on the front wall of the cabin looks kind of strange – it’s hard to figure out what’s happening with the texture. Looks like you are taking the bump from I’m guessing the red or green channel of your color pass – be careful with that, as it may introduce bump where you don’t really want it (say, that black stripe across the chimney).


Thanks for the feedback! Really appreciate that. Yea I was really going for that sort of thing, cinematic lighting done by a DOP to create a certain look. In this instance I was very much hoping for an eerie feel. So I’m glad that came across. Hopefully it’s not too artificial, I definitely wanted it to feel natrual, but natrual guided in a way. Hopefully looking better than what it would really look like if someone just grabbed a camera on auto and took a picture. That was the goal anyways. :slight_smile:


I seems be very late for this challenge… This is my first post in cgtalk.
I’m trying to create a rusty robot hiding from rain. I work with maya and ae.
I’m still not very happy with this result, and I hope i have time to modify it more before tomorrow.
I’m appreciate for any feedback.

this is the quick photoshop light concept:

this is the result: