Share your studio ligting with us...


Hey, was thinking if any one want to share their studio light set up.

Mine is simple, light from a bow, indirect light from a bow, and 1 on each side of the scene.

Vray 1.5, and max 2011.:bounce: And a version for Max 2010


This is very interesting to me and I hope others contribute.

In this case, what would you do for reflections if you had some glass or other objects? White reflection cards? A single environment map image?


HDRI image would work good in that case, in the vray enviroment.


No one that wants to share the studio light with us ?
I relly want to learn more about it, and best way is to see what other do :slight_smile:


Thanks for sharing your setup, does anybody know how to setup a similar scene using mental ray? We’ve played around with VRay at work but, even though the visuals tend to look better, it is a little too slow for what we do so MR currently suits our needs better.


This is nice initiative, i will get on done for mental ray as soon as i get some time. im actually doing one right now but is for glass objects mostly. but i like to make mine with lots of trickery and not too physically correct.


Yes please do! The glass work will be of great interest.


Nice one Jeb!

Here is a basic one also in Mental Ray.

There’s also two HDRI files being used, one low res for lighting and another high res for additional reflections.


Out of curiosity, to produce these types of scenes/visuals is it preferable to use standard lights or photometric? I’ve tried creating scenes with sweep backgrounds but always get a “pool” of light where the curve starts to sweep upwards.


I can only speak for my workflow, but almost always use photometric lights and try to use realistic exposure settings. iso 100 shutter 1/120 aperture 5.6 for example.


I like this studio, have tryed to copy it but without any good result :frowning: Well i used Vray and not MR.


I really like the outputs from this studio lighting setup.

I’m looking at this wire but I’m not quite understanding what’s going on. It appears you have a skylight outside of your ‘ceiling’. Then you have another light directly below this (above the objects) what’s this light?

What are the HDRIs? Did you make them yourself or are they available for download somewhere.

Oh and don’t forget Max comes with a fairly robust studio lighting set up, provided by Jeff Patton (who kicks around these boards regularly) just go to your DVD2 and browse to this directory “Samples\Scenes\Design Visualization\Studio_Scene”


Ok i Uploaded the light setup file here

let me know if the link works.

so its filled with trickery basically made to suite that specific situation. only 2 maps, the orange thing and an hdr. its in max 2011. it has a little animation too. its a small part of a project im working on right now so please try to keep the file for learning purposes.

if anyone has any questions just ask.


Oh also i found this one i did long time ago, ill try to search it in my dusty drive and update the maps to post it.


Jeb - Love that last one. The textured BG and DOF are great, not to mention the water drops. Perfect!

NSF - The skylight is just there to hold the HDRI for lighting while the HDRI for reflections is in the Environment slot of the BG. You can put it anywhere but I just put it there. The light below that is a photometric area light. The HDRIs are the “Desk” ones right out of the Max/maps/hdri directory nothing to special there.

Here is the Max file.

Link Fixed!


Thanks for the explanation, I will have a crack at it.

Oh and btw, your link is dead for whatever reason.

@Jeb: Wow, your scene file is fantastic! How good is the SSS orange! Wow!


The problem with “sharing studio lighting” is that it all has to be customized to the subject matter.

So much of product ‘photography’ is in the reflections and placement of highlights. I often don’t finish lighting until well into the composite stage and 90% of the lighting is driven by the shape and form of the product.

Just moving the camera slightly will turn an accent highlight into a large ugly streak through your object.

My advice for studio lighting is as follows:

Always seek to communicate the shape of the product. Find the key silouettes. Pretend you’re going to do an ink drawing of the object (or don’t pretend and actually draw it.) If you have a great drawing of the subject then you’ve identified the key lines. Make sure all of these key lines are communicated with your lighting.

Gradients are sexy. The more contrast and gradation you can add to the subject the better. highlight -> highlight offers no contrast so try and get your highlights to gradate out before your next highlight. This becomes something of an intuitive puzzle to keep them from touching to maximize your gradation and contrast.

The less lights the better.

Follow those three guidelines and your studio lighting will be a success.


About the setups being specific, its totally true, i never reuse them but doesnt hurt to see what others are doing under the hood and what results it gives, the fact of actually pull the knobs of the parameters in the scene makes me understand how other person approaches a problem and that helps me learn a lot.

Good guidelines though

Actually instead of posting old setups i did i think i will emulate some existing ones and see what i learn from it. Emulating a studio setup its actually really hard work, sometimes more than inventing a look for yourself, because one can cheat so much in 3d and get a cool look, but learning from someone else’s setup makes you really refine your skills, but well its for practice only so no need to stress about it, as long as we all learn right?


Very informative,thanks!



Can you re-post your scene file? I’m quite interested in yours. Thanks!