Lighting Challenge #1: Fruit Bowl


Just found out about this, this weekend. Quickly put some shaders together and lit. I know the shaders are horrible but the lights didn’t turn out too bad (for 3 days work). Needs some more hilights and rim lighting (maybe another shadow pass or two). Just wanted to post it before it was too late and maybe get some critique.


Interesting question - I acutally checked by searching the online phone directory for Eskilstuna, but it only said “more than 1000 hits for ‘Andersson’, only displaying the first 1000”. So I don’t know. :wink:



Anyone got some import tips for bringing these challenge scenes into 3dsmax? When I import all the objects seams very facettet. A smoothing fixes some of it, but if someone has some tips on this please do tell. :slight_smile:

Want to try this fruit bowl scene.


Here is my attempt at the fruit bowl.
Electricimage Animation System v6.5

Let me know what you think.



hi buggsy,

nice to see another EIAS user around here :slight_smile:

very nice image. btw. - i like the delicate diffuse light in here. yet the fruit bodies are ‘solid’.

two little things i noticed: maybe the bowl could be just a bit more ‘grounded’ and the cherries need more specularity/ reflectivity. did you use GI or illuminators/ light rig to get that soft look?




Thanks Markus.:thumbsup:

EI 6.5
For lighting I used the “Lightplane shader”, A “Secondary” light for reflections instead of letting GI calculate it and a “Radial” light with raytraced shadows to get some SSS in the grapes. The lightplane shader doesn’t aid in the SSS so I needed to get some light to provide SSS. The “Skylight” also doesn’t provide any affect for SSS.

I agree with you about the cherrys. I have some reference photos which I should go back and study to update my rendering. I wanted to get that “window square light” specularity and should do a few more renders to achieve this with the cherrys. I think that would help them as well. The EI specularity is a little to washed out for my liking. Note sharp enough.

I was eating a banana the other day and noticed that it would do well with SSS to give it some more life.

I started this lighting challenge with the orange being the first port of call but ruined it when I got to the end with all my lighting setups. I should go back and fix it as well.



I just love yours Floze the best! I think it’s because nothing is too bright and harsh on the lighting front. Can you give us any more information on the lighting setup? I know you used the IBL but how many extra lights after that? Render Settings? Nice job on your shaders too!


Thanks Mr. Positive. The lighting setup is really pretty simple:

The sphericalLight is attached to a pointlight at the origin, not visible in the screenshot. The light you can see there is a regular spotlight turned into a sphere shaped arealight, with very low opening angle to ensure it does not spread all over the place, but to provide a very subtle additional key light and soft shadow.

The HDR image that I used for the IBL was the kitchen probe btw:


You rock the house Floze! What I like most is your research into the various lighting techniques, shaders, etc. paid off in a phenomenal render in a challenge. Bravo! I do have one last question however. Can you explain why you prefer the IBL spherical light over the default IBL in Maya? and Thanks again, Cheers.


Hmm, I cant tell you exactly what I dont like about the default Maya IBL, since it usually behaves quite unpredictable, making it difficult to see which part didnt work out again… :wink: what I like about Jeremy Pronk’s IBL Tools is that it does behave predictable, thus it is controlable and ready to use for my day to day stuff. And although it implies some additional steps (pulling lightmaps off the HDR images, setting up the sphericalLight itself etc.) I always know what’s going on and hunting down problems is easier.


yaaarrrggghhhh…welll for all the LW’s out there, the “black pearl” sails again. i was just setting up my lights and used this as a test preset, there is no GI and render times were under a minute…

just thought it looked cool, anyways thx.


richardvacheresse -

Neat. The “prunes with bright rims” look is actually working well in some places. It doesn’t seem to work on the orange, where it just makes it look furry, so maybe you could get rid of the fake rim on the left side of the orange. Some of the grapes look as if they couldn’t be back-lit and could lose the rim as well.



Floze -

Thanks for the extra info. I added a link to it as a breakdown in the challenge gallery.



Floze, I’ve been following along and the only lighting I’m seeing from the Pronk plug-ins provide is just a sphere with directional lights pointing in.

Can you post a link on exactly what you did to provide that light setup using the Pronk IBL plugin?


The sphere with directional lights is the alternative to sphericalLight, they both provide basically the same lighting - except that the sphericalLight has some more features like occlusion shadows and low-level sampling to boost reflection/finalgathering. But all I did was following the instructions on the lightMapGen and sphericalLight pages:

You can see what settings I used in my screenshot above. I still have the plan to create a tutorial on all that stuff, I’m just busy as hell lately… :wink:


awesome. I’m trying to light a multi-level environment, do you think this is the best thing to use?


I render this with 3DS max 8 SP2, Mental ray , 1 M_Arealight + 1 skylight, 100000 photons, 1000 fg, + some others features of MR, Athlon Dual core 4400, 2go ram,
Time render 7 minutes.


I am a little late to the party, but here is my render. I used XSI 5.1, MR, FG.


hey this wat ihave rendered plz pass on sme comments regarding the lighting and shadows and tips to improve if possible


hey guy’s this is my render can u plz give sme comments onthe lighting & render and give me sme tips on how to improve this scene,I have used here is the three point lighting method.