Lighting Challenge #29: Pixar Tribute: Gusteau's Kitchen (Ratatouille)


innubus: Looking pretty good. The stoves and objects are very dark while the walls are bright and evenly lit. The focus of the light would look better if it were on the stoves and other objects. You may also have to increase your trace depths. The bottles and pots are almost black.

yassein: Nice start! Your lighting could use some more falloff, it’s hard to judge where the source is. The foreground and background are really blending together. Try darkening the background some to create some more depth. A change in light color in the background would also create some separation.

at2142: Coming along nicely. The window could be creating some brighter reflections/highlights on a lot of the objects, especially for how bright the window is. The shelf all the way at the top of the image is getting too dark. I’d expect it to get a lot more light bouncing off the wall. The bottom right of the image could use some more fill light, the dark areas make it look very dirty. As for your UP reference image you have. Soft lighting like this needs lots of falloff/penumbra on lights and soft shadows. Also, the bounce light is very important.

ScallyFox: Welcome! I wish I could help you with this but I don’t know much about Renderman, though I wish I did. Maybe you have to increase your samples.

Cylex: The scene was made in maya 2011. Since you’re using maya 2010, you’ll have to enable ignore version in the open scene options.


thanks kanooshka :slight_smile:
I did some modifications here
waiting feed back :slight_smile:


Hi there. This is my first time entering this lighting challenge. The above image was created using 3delight. It was my first attempt at this renderer. I’m still trying to experiment in the monochromatic phase. Thought it’d be good to sculpt the light this way first so that I could focus on the tones before introducing colors. Forgive the noise and grain…

follow link:


neeraj1208: Welcome! You’re off to a good start. Some of the objects are very faceted and could use some smoothing. I’d like to see more of a gradient from left to right in the image. Obviously materials will make a big difference with reflectance but I’d like to see more light bouncing off of the counter and onto the surrounding objects. For example, the bowl with the grapes is almost completely black even though there’s a bright counter underneath it.

yassein: Nice update. The blacks in the scene are still extremely strong. One area that could be brighter is the inside of all the pots and pans. Underneath the stove on the right there’s a very harsh black area. If this is a shadow, it could use some softening. The brick textures in the back are too varied in scale, try to make it more consistent between walls. Overall things are looking a little “dirty” are you using occlusion? If you are make sure the occlusion is only affecting the indirect lighting and not the direct light.


Hi,this is my rendering for the Lighting Challenge.I have little time to work on it after my working hour.So i just managed to do a basic texture for the woods,floor and wall.Using maya mental ray,i’m trying to achieve the mood of the warm kitchen which have the influence of night sky fill light from the window.Comments are welcome,thank you.


THanks Jeremy for your advices

for the previous post I have made some groups and
I have used an ambient occlusion and reflection for each group.
the goal was to find quickly the color and the luminance of the reference and to control easy each groups.
then I thought to bring some spot of light to come closer to the reference.

But the result is that the different groups stay separated and the light is too flat.

for this new post I have changed the process. I keep the elements together and I start with spots lights.
I still use ambient occlusion but just to decrease a litle the blacks.

some blue lights come from up and red from bounce lights

on the reference, I still don’t know how do a particular things :

at the left
the objets (bottle, boxes, plates) on the shelf are dark but the shelf and its pillar have more light.
and the specular reflection at the top of the pillar is (I think) like if there is a big windows at the up and right of
the picture (off screen). If I place some area lights there are not big enough and the roof of the stove will block the light.
If I use an environment reflection only on the pillar, it will be too separeted to the roof of the stove.
If someone has a better idea…

the ref and my post


I picked this challenge up to learn Maxwell because my school just purchased some licenses. I am open to any changes, criticisms or tips. I have learned a lot with this engine doing this project but I would not recommend it. There are much better render engines out there. Again thanks for your criticism.
-and First post FTW!


image update

PD: @Andarra thanks, for now I focus on the materials, I will consider when making a better final composition. Although my main goal was to see a vision of the lights used in the film, without fill lights.


…you want me to help you light something? I’m very honored that you’d consider me, but I don’t know that I have time at the moment, as I’m trying to put together my demo reel. :arteest:
I like the render without materials, too. That’s the beauty of good lighting, looks great by itself. :slight_smile:

@ScallyFox: Ooh, you have renderman. :thumbsup:
I haven’t had any experience with it, though… but if it bears enough similarity to mental ray, I’d say check around for gaps in the geometry, where light can leak into the scene, (or where things aren’t quite making contact with the floor). I had problems with that before (sci-fi challenge), turned out there was a lot of gaps, and my camera’s env color was a light yellow. :stuck_out_tongue:

@innubus: Pretty much what kanooshka said. Very little to no definition in the burners, bottom portion of the stove, and the pots and pans sitting there. Other than that, the strong textures lends the scene a video game style… reminds me of some point and click adventure type games. :slight_smile:

@yassein: Very nice. Only thing that rather confuses me is the Depth of Field. The back wall textures seem too blurred, compared to the arch, which is in focus. I like to focus on the bottom left portion, and then wander throughout the rest of the image, myself. :shrug:

I’ll try to come back and edit my post with more feedback later, I’m out of time at the moment. Need to check this place more than every couple of days. ^^;


gyptiaedes: Overall your image is looking good. I’m not sure where my attention is supposed to be. There’s no clear area that should be the focus of the image. Confining bright light to particular areas could help create more interest.

lugnutz99: Welcome! You’re off to a good start. Try squinting your eyes and looking at your image. You’ll see one really bright area on the left as well as the light bulbs on the right. However, what you’ll notice is that the transition from bright artificial light to the dark is lacking. Some more bounce light should help resolve this. The diffuse cool light could be dimmed, it’s pulling the attention away from the stove in the back. You may be able to keep the specular/reflections. I think what is really needed is some warm rim/kicks from the left stove onto the images on the right side of the image. Keep at it!

loicV: Great update! For darkening the bottles, you should be able to give them an extremely dark diffuse brightness while keeping the reflections. For the poles holding the vent up, it looks as if in the reference the vent is invisible to the poles and crossbeams. Same goes for the hanging spoons. This is definitely matching the reference very well, I hope this has been a good learning experience for you.

ccbteoh: Welcome! You’re off to a good start. I’d like to see a focus to you’re lighting. Where should my eye be looking? There’s a bit too much overbright white areas. It’s ok to have some but when they take up a good portion of the image, especially large areas, it can be distracting. Underneath the stoves are too bright and should get darker the further towards the interior. The blue sky outside draws a lot of attention since its color contrasts with the rest of the image so much. You should be able to incorporate more of the blue light in the image through reflections and soft light spilling in.


I have been inactive for a over a month now. I saw all the renders from everyone, and I must say you all are doing a great job. Cheers!

Attached below is the new render from me, with minor changes as asked and also added some detailing in textures.

  • Pot more dirty from the top
  • More diffuse and less spec/refl. on the stove burner
  • Added a purple light on the back walls to match to the reference.
  • Added textures to objects on the shelf
  • Additional CC

Might change the hue overall to a more cooler one later on, but so far this is going to be my final render as far as lighting is concerned. Other projects are keeping me really busy.

Uploaded with

By nesco66 at 2012-02-03

Also, here is a screen shot of my maya scene file for the light setup. Someone’s had asked for it long time back but posting it now. Not sure, if it will help as its very clustered.

Uploaded with

Details about the shot:
Maya, Mental ray & Nuke
29 lights used in total
Render time: 1 hr and 20 mins with FG @ 2k



Hi there. This is my first time entering this lighting challenge.This render is from Vray for Maya,i am glad to have everyone’s valuable comments on my work.


Hey Nirav! Fancy seeing you here. I just came across this Lighting Challenge, wish I had checked earlier. I might still be able to jump in late, but we’ll see.

Yours is looking fantastic! Definitely love the shot you chose to recreate, one of the best scenes in the movie.

The only few things that jump out a bit to me are some of the fruit on the side. The pumpkin looks a little lifeless, it could benefit from a SS shader, or maybe if you just lift the blacks a bit. It’s unnaturally dark with all that light bouncing around it. The apple on the other hand feels a touch glowy around the rim, and I keep getting distracted by that silly pear being the only sort of cooler object in the scene. Maybe if you can just tone down the light hitting it a bit.

Hope you’re proud of yourself bud, cause it looks really great! Looking forward to seeing the rat in there.


@Assadshk21 - I really liked your picture, I would like to see sauce into the pot that is on the floor. Say “it’s clean” pot. Everything else I like.


I think I have improved things. Looking for input.


innubus : Your textures are not bad at all,but lighting still needs more attention.

good going.


Hi there,

Yes you are right regarding sauce from pot infect it’s in my plan, my idea is show like someone just left leaving this mass behind plus I will add foot step mark of sauce on floor as wall which will heading out of the kitchen to make it more story telling image, there are more ideas and things are WIP, I am still looking what make this more interesting.

I hope you can see this fix in my next upload, Thank you for your valuable comment.


Its been a long time since I got time to light my own scene. It was friday evening after came back from work and I opened this challenge and was awed by the quality of work being posted here. So here is my first render on my crappy stone-age laptop. Didn’t get too much time to improve on the shading and textures. Please help me improve my work as it has been over one year since I last participated and I’m really out of the league now…

This is my render

and a colour corrected one

for some reason my maya file didn’t have any shader assigned when I downloaded it, Is it because I’m using maya 2008 or something else… :cry:


Hey Tyler! Great to see you here too!!

Thank you for the kind words and boosting my morale . I sure am excited about the render quality. Also, I have made the changes you pointed out, it certainly helped.

Thanks once again bud!


This is the latest updated, it still needs a lot of works, but at least it´s going somewhere, a lot of Post involved.