Lighting Challenge #1: Fruit Bowl


Allow me a slight curve-ball



Nice MZ!



I know I’m a bit late to the party, but I figured it best to start with the first challenge and move on from there. Here’s my first pass at the scene… unfortunately I seem to have fallen back on my crutch of using yellow/blue… it doesn’t look quite right, does it?


Jim -

Good start. Right now, the darkest parts of the fruit are on the same side as the lightest parts, maybe because you have dark key light shadows and no working shadows on the fill light. See if you can work through where darkest and lightest tones would appear, especially in areas where fruits touch eachother such as the pear next to the grapes.



Hi- I know this is a little late but I’m new to the lighting challanges and I’m trying to catch up. Here’s my fruit…


Ah, spot on with your comments, Jeremy… none of my fills were casting shadows. Today I went in and set the blue fill light to cast shadows, but I didn’t really like how it turned out (distracting shadows on the left side of the plate). My other fills were horribly positioned so I moved one and took the other out… it’s getting there. I’m not sure how much more I can do without getting some textures in there so I can figure out what color the bounce lights should be. My main problem with the scene so far is that the lighting feels so ambiguous; it seems like it’s impossible to discern the time of day or even what the main light source is. I need to pick something and push it, I think…

Anyway, enough babbling. Thanks for stopping by, Jeremy, and feel free to be as harsh as you want… I really appreciate the help.


Great Jipe, keep going with reflections and color…

mcu202: Nice colors! Good textures. If any advice, the bounce light looks a little inconsistent (dark on pear, bright concentrated highlight on orange) and some reflections would add to the materials.



Here’s my finished textured image.
It was lit with one main spot, casting a soft shadow with inverse sq falloff. A second spot also with falloff, but no shadow was used for a fill. All textures are procedural. Rendered in c4d.

Martin K


Here’s another version using GI. One main spot and a white ‘card’ reflector to left of camera.

Martin K


Martin -

Nice, the left one looks good except where it goes so dark on the grape that’s next to the pear, maybe that’s not reflective enough or translucent enough or needs more light bounces? The right one is missing some shadows, you can see the lower banana bright where it should be shadowed by the grapes. On both of them, the terminator (the falloff from light to dark) seems too sharp in places, especially the peaches in back.



Thanks for the feed back Jeremy. I’ve adjusted the lighting and shading to sort the lighting falloff, also tweaked the translucency of the grapes. Have also slightly bought the main light around a bit and added another reflector card to fill the shadows more. As well as the original environmental reflection sphere, I’ve added another white card above the set to act as another reflection object.

Martin K


Well I have decided to tackle the earlier challenges so here goes on this one. All textures are procedural except for the cloth and the plate which have image maps. Lighting is basically three point; fill is a directional, and the key/back are spots. I also have 2 helper lights, one for the grapes in back and one area light just to give the cloth and the plate a little bit of light down in front. Rendered with slight GI and Radiosity; Lightwave 8.5.

The grapes were the hardest for me, and I am still not entirely convinced about them yet.



Martin, those green grapes look great. What is your magic formula?



It’s the Sub Surface Scattering shader in c4d.

Martin K


Hmm, another feature I can look forward to in LW9.



I’ve recently picked up Jeremy Birn’s book “Digital Lighting & Rendering,” 2nd edition, and I was inspired to put my skills to the test and join these fantastic challenges.

Jeremy, if you read this, thank you very much for sharing your knowledge and for providing the models. You are a true artist.

Below is my first ever image entry into any cgtalk thread. I decided to start from the begining, even though I know that this particular challenge is long gone and my entry may not get much viewing but I do welcome any comments and construtive criticism.

Thank you for looking.


Woa!!! Amazing idea and amazing works (still reading on page 10, but cann’t help it posting my own try) … I regret not noticing this before. The entries posted so far are so good I´m ashamed to post mine, but I guess that if you want to improve you gotta start somewhere.

Going for a nightime, indoor incandescent look. Blender internal renderer. No post production. No shading other than plain colors on the fruits.

One whide-angled spot for the key, a orange toned area light to fill. Ambient oclusion set to substract light only). 113 mm lens on the camera.

C&Q much wellcomed


SirRender, that looks amazing. The lighting is quite good and so are the textures (specially on the bananas)… I would give more critique, but as you can see from my previous post, it would be kind o a kindergarden kid lecturing a senior high school student.

Hmm… if there is something that I would sugest to revisit it would be the DOF, it is quite distracting on your image.


Trying someting diferent, a little less dark. Again no post production.


Here’s something I did six months ago but havn’t been able to post until after SigGRAPH when the existance of the shaders became public… :wink:

“La Frota” at six differet times of day… enjoy…