Lighting Challenge #5: Under The Boardwalk


Edit: This is an old challenge now. The thread is archived. If you scroll down to the Challenge #5 section of the downloads page, you’ll see that the models can still be downloaded for your tests, and also that a gallery has been made of top entries.

Lighting Challenge #5 is on-line!

The rules are simple: light and render this scene as if it were underwater. Models are available for download here:


Objects will need subdivision (polygon smoothing) before you render. You may need to move, modify, or duplicate models to make the scene as you picture it. All shading and rendering techniques are fine. The rules are to have fun, make a cool underwater rendering, and share how you did it afterwards.

Credits: This scene was modeled by Serguei Kalentchouk (known as ShadowM8 on this forum.) If you put your renders on your webpage or showreel, don’t forget to mention who did the modeling!



been waiting for this one!! I´m in… :slight_smile:


In terms of reference pictures, I just went to and did a search for “diving” and then one for “underwater” - they both revealed a huge number of images and galleries. There are all kinds of ideas there for color schemes, caustic patterns to map onto lights (or transparency map onto the water surface, however you do it), depth/murk effect reference, and looks at water surfaces seen from below!



This is going to be a fun one.



Love it!!! Thanks Jeremy… :thumbsup:

Let’s hope this one will be as big as #4


Note: Also the meshes that make up the dock, basicaly all that is made of wood is not ment to be subdivided!


Cool! Love it! Do we need to use that same camera angle or can we change it?


The models you download probably won’t include a camera angle. Compose whatever shot you want.



Note to self: don’t ever look at those underwate pictures while at work! It made me so nostalgic of Hawaii that I couldn’t get back to my work!!! I want to go diving RIGHT NOW!!!


Excellent one! If i have enough time i would give it a try :thumbsup:


Looks like a fantastic challenge, I hope to be able to participate at least a little bit in this one, it would be a shame not to with such a good topic.

Anyways, thanks again to Jeremy for hosting it, and especially thanks to Serguei for the modeling!! Great job.

Good luck everyone.



I’m animator who sucks @ lighting/rendering, hope the challanges will help… I guess this one is gonna be a tough start for me (wish I could join the previous challanges but I had no time back then). but anyways… let me see what I can do :slight_smile:

Thanks for the efforts jeremy


I love this challenge, and I’m diving into this with joy. :bounce:

Here’s the result of the first hour of setup. I’m trying to find a good angle to commit to, and the basic tone of the scene.

I need to add: Better caustic, volumetric light, particles, better shading and texturing, and well, alot… :smiley:

Kudos to Serguei for the great scene!


If I take the obj into messiah, save as lwo , it divides the surfaces better IMO.

Link to file

EDIT, still will likely need to subpatch ect… I just wanted the surfaces, grass ect… separate


Polymess it has been so hot I could dive right in your render. I like your render a lot. I like the clear water but maybe off in the distance you could do the fog/cloud thing :slight_smile:

I love this challenge, and I’m diving into this with joy. :bounce:

Here’s the result of the first hour of setup. I’m trying to find a good angle to commit to, and the basic tone of the scene.



I’m all over this one :wink:



@ Sherif.Nagib - Welcome! You can still do the fruitbowl or kitchen scene if you want. The order you try things is up to you.

@ polymess - Great start! I already have good feeling about this challenge, it could turn into something as big as the bottle collection.

@ slatr - Thanks. So this is a better LWO file to host than the one I have, because it splits up the objects into separate objects? I guess I can switch which file is there then, thanks…



Hi Jeremey, it seems Messiah retains more of the original material/surface data. I open the object in Messiah and then save as a LWO. This doesn’t really divide the model up, but it does divide it so that diffrent areas such as the fish, water ect… can have surfaces or material applied seperately. (I think I got that right :slight_smile:

See screen for a division listing of surfaces/materials to see if you agree.



edit closer up view


Thanks slatr. There is some fog in this one, but not enough I guess…

Thanks Jeremy.
Yes I have a good feeling about this challenge too. It’s such a nice scene to work with.

Had no problem with the Lightwave scene. It’s not that big or complicated, so it was easy to give the different objects new materials…



Hi, I’m new to this and would like to join, just one quick question. Is there a size limit we want to keep these renders to? Thanks in advance.