Lighting Challenge #28: Captain's Log


Attempting to post but can’t upload images… I guess when this is vetted I can edit and add the images? The FAQ was a big vague on that :slight_smile:


Oh wow, time runs fast. Great submissions so far. chickenkts: yours i like realy much.
Here is my update, worked on the textures, foreground and background.
On the empty white paper, later the log will be placed there. I´m not sure, if there is now to much weight on the right side, will make the paper thin and lighter i think.
No post work yet. (sure, except the sky :slight_smile:



Hello Everyone!

It’s still a work in progress, but I would love to hear your feedback on suggestions so that I can improve.

I chose to do “August 1st, We are lost in an unknown sea. The water and skies are like nothing I’ve ever seen before. Could we be on another world?”

Thank you very much.

Kind regards,


  My initial pass, comments and suggestions are greatly appreciated.


So I’ve tried adjusting my composition as well as adding a few more lights into mix. I’m not quite done or satisfied with it at the moment but it’s coming along.


First attempt at captains log challenge. Just working on the composition at the moment. I haven’t started to light it yet. Feedback welcome.


My second pass on the captains log challenge. Started bring in some lights. I added some blues to the sky, and tried to bring in some of the colors from the sky into the foreground on the water. Feedback welcome!


here is my first attempt to the lighting challenge any feedback would be greatly appreciated.


Here is my first pass.

I’m doing the last log entry. The sky is the “sea”. So yea…any comments and feedback would be nice…


Seems there’s lots of new people still trickling in. Would everyone like me to extend this challenge? It seems like a lot of people have only done one log entry so far when it would be a good exercise to try more than one.

byronheal: Nice update. The white areas on the waves seem unmotivated, they would look better if they were similar in color to the sky. The ship itself is nearly black and could use more illumination. Here’s a an image I found that may give you some more inspiration.

Kuazi: Looking good. I like your composition. I’m curious what it would like if it were a vertical image. Your sun light is looking pretty good. I’d like to see a good amount of warm sunlight bouncing off of the deck and onto the steering wheel and railing. There could also be some more skylight and bounce to brighten those black areas.

elgnahk: Welcome! The ship could use some more definition from the sky. To do that you could try some rim lighting from the moon onto the ship. The sky could also be a little bit brighter near the water and darker higher in the sky. Perhaps the sky could use some stars as well.

myralam: Interesting concept. The sky really reminds me of the Aurora Borealis which definitely seems otherworldly. Those vibrant colors in the sky are great and should be reflected in the water. I’d also be interested to see some of the colors in the sky softly and subtlety illuminating the ship.

Andi2008: Nice update! Time definitely runs fast, I didn’t realize how long it had been since I’d given feedback. I agree with how cluttered the right side of the image is, I also don’t think it helps having a big white piece of paper drawing a lot of the attention. As far as the lighting is concerned, it’s coming a long nicely. I think the image could use a shadow across the sand in the bottom left to frame the image some more. Though there is a foreground middle ground and background in this image, there’s no easy way to realize it. Perhaps some atmospherics would help create some depth. Or maybe some DOF would do the trick. Keep at it.

pbowmar: I’d recommend using an image site to host your image like imageshack, photobucket etc… Then you can link to the image in your post with and [IMG] tag

cyrus3v: Great start, looking forward to seeing this in an environment. My one critique at the moment would be to give your sunlight shadows some softness. Just a little bit though, only so it’s noticeable when a distant object is casting a shadow.

kaizerkakeru: Welcome! First thing I’d say is to make sure your lights have motivation. Each light source you create should have a logical source. Also make sure your key lights are casting shadows.

kyhalbu: Great start and nice water material. Not too much else to say at the moment. Keep at it.

Pillowfiend: Welcome! Off to a good start. I’m finding the image a little confusing. Where is the light coming from? I’m gathering that the water is supposed to be illuminating the boat. Maybe you could try looking at some images of pool lighting at night to get some ideas.

halfpintmike: Coming along nicely. The left side of the image has a nice quality to it, the warm soft colors are working well. Then the green light splits the image in half. If I remember correctly you’re trying to have the water emitting green light. I think to really convey the water as a light source the boat could be much brighter near the water and quite a bit darker near the top. Keep at it.

Hamburger: Looking awesome! The bright gold areas in the windows of the center ship seem a little out of place. I’m not sure what would be causing that. The sails of ship could use a little less diffuse light and more translucency from the sun. Again, great job.

Andarra: Coming along nicely. The water looks a little bright overall. If your water has some diffuse value it should be extremely low if any at all. The sails could use some darkening, at least so they’re not blown out to white. The sky could also emit some more light, the shadow areas are getting al little too dark for the day time.


Hi Everyone,
I love these challenges. :bounce: Thanks to all those responsible for the modelling on these challenges. :bowdown:

Heres my start. Still texturing at the moment and contemplating which lighting scenario I’ll go with.

Software: Electric Image Animation System (, Photoshop & Silo.



Here is my latest pass on this challenge. Brought some more lights for the ship, and tried to bring in some of the reflections from the sky onto the water. Feedback welcome.


Taken the suggestions into consideration, this is my second pass with some post.
Thanks for the feedback.


Nice submission Khang, although I think the boat might be a little too dark. Perhaps a rim light from the moon might help define the boat from the background a little more?

buggsy, very good but I think the waters secularity looks a little “plasticy”. It reminds me of the hot weather log.

byronheal, I like the warm vs cool colour scheme. It’s difficult maybe but the thing that stands out to my eyes is the lack of whitecaps or sea spray in the violent waters but it’s a good render still.


I know theirs a lot to be done with this image specially the sea>>>
also the ship lacks depth>>
need your feedback>>
plssss :slight_smile:


Shading wise it’s actually not too bad. I’d try to use a different camera position though. The image lacks a bit of drama. your horizon is too close to the center.
i’d propably move the camera down to the level of the ship, somewhere where you can still see the deck, and would show a LOT more of the sky, because thats what you’re trying to show (as far as my assumption is correct, that you are going for the night-sky log.)
After that, i’d go and improve the sky. have a look at this picture and the amount of stars. and that is during sunset :wink: If you’d take a picture of the night on the open ocean, you’d propably see even more stars! (btw. i love how clearly you can see the milky way on that picture;) )


Thanks kanooshka for the feedback. At the moment I’m working with light but maybe tomorrow I will post some WIP images.

I think that isn’t a bad idea to extend a little more the challenge. I only discovered these section of Lighting challenges last month.



Hi all>>
Firstly, thanks a lot Holzi for your feedback.
This is my latest WIP image after changes in the sky and camera angle>>
What else can be improved???
Looking for more feedback>> :))


Hello, long time reader, first time poster.

Here’s a WIP, the idea being a ship in an hour glass. We’ll see if I get time to do sand or water :slight_smile:

Ship is mostly textured, hourglass obviously incomplete.

Does anyone think this works? One thing I’m wrestling with is when the camera is close enough to see the ship, you can’t really tell it’s an hourglass. That’s the more pleasing image though.

Colour-wise I’ve done the ship textures in very low saturation, lots of greys and subtle browns, contrasted with the blue sky and a blue-ish sky HDRI. I didn’t use any wood, as I was going for a “ship in stone” look. That needs some work as well, clearly.

Comments welcome, especially how to highlight the “hourglass” attempt but make the ship front and centre in the image. Colour comments always welcome, it’s my weakest area :slight_smile:



Link to pics


This looks a lot better already! (though you could even go more drastic and dramatic with the angle, but this one is good already) I also like the darker look of it.
I’d still go for a sky that has a lot more stars (talking about millions more). And then start lighting the scene, add some really warm-colored lights at the back of the ships (i think i saw some lamps at the back of the ship). Also inside the captains cabin etc. Add a bit of mood to the scene :slight_smile:

I’m actually tryin myself ATM but i haven’t used Maya and MR in over a year, and since my daily work is VRay and Max I’m not sure, I’ll be able to produce anything good looking :smiley: (And i’m doing this in maya, because I only own a student version of maya and MR and max and my macbook wont work together :D)