Lighting Challenge #1: Fruit Bowl


hey guys plzz give sme comments on this scene i’ve rendered and sme tips on how to improve it ,I have used here the three point lighting method and i have rendered this using final gather with mental ray in maya.


The contrast on that image looks very strange. Parts of it are very brightly and evenly lit, but then the grapes are almost black so you can’t see them except for the highlights. Probably the materials/shaders have too much contrast, some are much brighter color than the other, and they should be made more similar.
It’s hard to tell if the apple is reflective, it appears to be reflecting some highlights but I can’t see a reflection of the fruit near it. The fruits behind the apple could use some bounce light, the bottoms of them don’t appear to get any reflected light bouncing up from below.
The background texture appears to be projected from above, I can see the texture on the background stretches out vertically on the vertical parts of the backdrop; maybe the backdrop could be textured using the surface UV’s instead of a projection through space.




Thanks for making this challenge …here is my first progress .I am still tweaking on the shader and trying to get a better SSS on grapes.
Feel free to critique.


Sai -

Nice “folk art” sortof look. Fresh, bold colors are nice. Maybe some of the colored rims, like the purple on the pear seem a bit off.

Do you know what could be causing the black outlines around the fruits, especially for the bananas?



I maybe know.
Those black outlines are premultiplication problems, aren’t they?


They look like some kind of a compositing problem. If you’re layering things together using their alpha channels, using Adobe Photoshop or Adobe After Effects, then maybe turning off premultiplication in your render is safer. A lot of people render all their layers premultiplied and don’t get black matte lines like that though…



I had to turn off alpha in composites mode to get rid of the black outlines.
here is edited version with some minor tweaks.


I love that light you’ve got now. It’s a really warm flat light but I think some of the fruit needs to have more specular highlights. The ends of the banana’s need a bit of texturing work and some of the fruit looks too “clean”. Looking good though, you’ve got a really great scene.


I am sorry, I know this challenge is done and closed, but I loved all the other postings and decided to give it a try anyways. I had a ridiculous amount of fun doing it, so I hope you’ll bear with me… :wink:
All materials are hand made, either procedural or hand painted in Photoshop. I used Maya + MR.
I loved to see all the different interpretations of the same scene. You are all really talented people!


This is my try at this challenge, even though it seems like it has finished. Jeremy, it would be great if you could make a few comments please. This image was rendered using standard spot lights and added an ambient occlusion layer in photoshop.

Andrew Ness


I love the grapes Andrew! I am having some difficulty getting mine right. Since you are also posting late, here is my last version of it:

Comments would be nice, but it looks like this thread has been practically abandoned by everybody.


Hi Andrew -

Nice job!

The grapes look very softly lit. The other fruit might use a bit more bounce light because it looks like it’s going black on the lower right, in places where real fruit could be getting some reflected light. The cherries look good, although all those little dots of light would only make sense in a place like a concert hall. The banannas look good, I know how hard it is to get the texture to work without bunching-up along the corners, maybe switching to cylindrical projection for the lower one would help give it more variety and prevent a texture bunch-up.



Hi Sy -

Nice job!

The grapes have a wonderful frosted appearance, very much like real grapes. I like the look of the china bowl as well. Those little oranges seem to be a type of fruit that I haven’t seen before, but I can believe that there could be tiny oranges somewhere.

The reflections don’t really match with the lighting. It looks like a reflection of a big window directly behind us, but the lighting is a very sharp, crisp illumination casting razor-sharp shadows. I can’t tell you which way to go, but whatever kind of motivation or environment you are going for, stick with it through the reflections, illumination, and shadows.



LOL! Those are kumquats!
Wow, I hadn’t noticed what you said about ligths and shadows, but now that you say it, you are quite right. Thank you!


I thought I’d try this challenge after seeing it in Jeremy’s new book. The pear is supposed to emit a ‘soft light’ ala the 'mathmos’bubble lamps.

The scene was mainly lit via ‘final gathering’ with a light for ‘SSS’ a ‘Rim light’ and ‘point lights’ emitting raytraced shadows for the pear. I also created an animation of the pear flickering on and off.

Is it OK to include this scene in my lighting showreel? :slight_smile:




Hi Stuart -

That’s nice. Maybe something in between in terms of the brightness in the center could work, but the rest of the fruit should be lit mainly by the light in the center. Right now the banana looks brighter on top than on the inner side facing the pear, so it seems as if the lighting could be more directed by the pear. If you need to add a little fill or some kicks and rims in other places that’s fine, but first start with the scene lit entirely by the pear, just to make sure you are nailing the effect.

You can put whatever you want on your showreel. If you textured and lit something but didn’t model it, it’s good to mention that on a breakdown sheet along with the reel.



Hi jeremy

Thanks for the advice. I think the rim light is too high, I’ll lower it to reduce the light from above. I’ll mention who did the modeling on the breakdown sheet.




Here’s my effort so far. Lighting only at moment, although this, so far, seems to be as much a texturing exercise as a lighting one…

Martin K


I like the style of this image very much- it works very well indeed!

Martin K


Martin -

Good start! Make sure you have an idea what kind of environment the fruit bowl is really supposed to be in to motivate those lights, things will look different once many of the surfaces are reflective and you see the environment reflected in them as well.