[WIP] Studio Renders for University


I was originally going to be doing an interior and exterior render for this module at university, however, I’ve decided to go for a studio instead of an exterior.

The renders we create have to be based on real-life references.

Below is a render I created just using an HDR image to light the scene:

This was my initial test render just using a HDRI of a studio which I found online. Once I had done this render I began researching how products are photographed in real life.

When researching into studio lighting for products it became clear that predominantly a 3-point lighting setup is used; often with a light above and two either side. They use neutral colours I suppose to not distract from the products being photographed. Below is the lighting setup I created based on what I had learnt from my research.

Here is where I’m currently at with the scene, I used a lightbox HDR to give the area lights a more realistic look in the renders.

Feedback appreciated :slight_smile: :slight_smile: :slight_smile:


Alternatively, I have also decided to do a car lighting rig.

Compared to the product lighting rigs, I found that when lighting cars they’re primarily lit from above. I looked at a good photography tutorial which explained some of the thought processes which should go into lighting a car. The key to lighting a car is to create smooth highlights on the curvature of the car’s bodywork. The backdrop must blend into each other by curving the floor into the walls making one smooth surface. Sometimes the walls are curved into the ceiling as well. This is the way we try to eliminate reflections of the stage interior.

Here is my basic car lighting rig, it does the job, however, I wanted to adjust and improve the setup to create a more interesting style.

When lighting the car, I used no colours/materials, I just used a reflective shader so that I could focus fully on the lights I placed into the scene. Like with the product lighting rig I used an HDR image to make the lights more physically accurate. I used both the softbox and the light tube HDRs.

I decided that my initial setup was a bit lacking and looked for some more lighting techniques which could make my scene more interesting.

Looking at some reference of professional car renders/photography, I found that they often use a backlight to create a nice rim highlight on the car. This creates a more interesting look and shows off the curvature much better. Because it seemed to be used frequently, I decided to implement the technique into my setup.

Latest Render

In this latest render not too much has changed, however, I’ve added more rim lights, both at the back and at the front of the car to give some nice edge highlights. Below is a render of my latest progress.

As always feedback is greatly appreciated :slight_smile:


Okay so here’s another update, this time is another progress post for my product light rig.

To reiterate this module at uni is for lighting and rendering, and consists of these two studio-based renders and another render which is an interior. My car and interior are coming along quite nicely so I thought I’d give these speakers a bit of TLC.

There are a few things I’ve done to this scene since I last posted anything for it. I pretty much scrapped the lighting setup and layout I had previously been using as I felt it was not showing off the product in the best way possible.

I updated the models, adding extra details so that they better represented the actual real-life speakers. The main shapes were okay it was more the small details, like the dimple on the volume nob, orange LED and the headphone and microphone ports.

Everything in this scene has changed lighting-wise, and I think the result is a massive improvement over what I had previously. I also rearranged the speakers to a new layout which I feel looks much more appealing.At it’s most basic level the lighting setup is still a 3-point system, two either side and one on top. However, I have added an additional backlight with a warmer colour temperature to fill the scene with some nice warm ambient bounce light. It’s a really subtle effect but I think it creates a nice feel to the render, especially towards the top when the warm light catches in the reflections of the speakers.

Here’s my latest render:

Moving forward there are a few things I’d like to change, I think that some parts of the render are quite dark, especially the shadow areas. I think brightening these areas will give a less harsh feel, which might look better.

Any feedback would be really appreciated :slight_smile:


Previously for my car lighting-setup, I had been using lights all of the same colour temps which look okay, however, I wanted to explore some other options. After some playing around, moving lights and changing the colour temperatures I’ve managed to create a more stylized rig which looks a bit more visually interesting.

I opted for a black backdrop as I felt it went better with the more teal and orange colour scheme. Like the product lighting setup, I’ve not found many references to anything other than neutral colour temps being used for vehicle photography. I think is because they don’t want to distract from the car’s colour. Although, with this silver paint I think it works nicely to give the scene some needed colour.


In my last post I felt that parts of the render were quite dark, so I’ve brightened these areas to give a less harsh feel, which I think looks better.

I’ve also played around with the position of the lights, exploring what sort of reflections and highlights work well with the product in the scene. Again I feel this is another step in the right directions, however, still, there’s more tweaking I’d like to do before I call this done.

The lighting setup hasn’t changed much and it’s still a “3-point system”, however, with a few extra lights thrown in for some better highlights. In the last render, you’ll see I added a light to fill the background with some warmer light. I also added a light in the reverse direction to emulate more bounce light hitting the speakers which gives the render a nice warm light-wrap effect.


The last render I created of the car was quite stylised and pushed the teal and orange look quite far, which was something that looked cool, however, I turned it back a notch so that the final image matched the references I found when researching more accurately.

The backdrop is still quite dark, but more of an off black rather than being black, I think it shows the car off better than being on a lighter backdrop. Because I found mostly neutral colour temps were used for vehicle photography, I’ve desaturated the lights for a more subtle effect, which I personally feel looks much better.

Moving forward I want to work on the shaders a bit more, adding some subtle imperfections across the car to make it more realistic.


Tasks Done:

  • Complete rework of the wheels
  • Added a bump to the front lights to make it more accurate to the real car
  • Fixed a few lighting issues
  • Played around with some subtle post effects, like chromatic aberration and some light film grain.

Even compared to the last render I feel this is becoming more photorealistic. I’m preferring the way the car looks with the new wheels and front lights and I think the post processing has helped the final image seem more real even though the effects are subtle.

I think my next step is to evaluate my renders I’ve done so far to see if they’re matching the research I gathered at the beginning or whether more tweaking is needed to match the desired styles.

Any advice on how to make this more photorealistic would be great! :slight_smile:


I’ve taken a step back to evaluate the renders that I’ve got so far, to ensure that they’re appropriate to styles I’ve chosen.


These renders are based on my evaluation in my last post.

Tasks Done:

  • Chrome is shinier
  • Blown out areas have been reduced
  • The car paint has been made more glossy
  • Lights have been adjusted to receive more reflections in the glass

Tasks Done:

  • The reflections have been worked on to look more desirable
  • Blown out areas have been reduced
  • Shaders have been tweaked to be more accurate to the speakers in real life
  • The shadows are lighter, although needs more work


Finished Car Studio Renders

Now just the speakers to finish and theinterior crime scene.


Finished Product Render

Now just the interior crime scene to finish.


If you have any feedback please share, I’ve got a couple of weeks to make changes if you have any suggestions.