A beautiful home theater


I am not 100% finished with this work but about 95% there. This is my latest model and rendering effort. I am pleased with the efforts but not satisfied. I try to learn one new technique everytime I do a new model. In this model, I mapped a bezier curve to another to create crown molding, I used area lights to create trey lighting. It’s hard to see… but it’s there. I used a nor map to create the panels on the walls. These were all new effects for me. So, Tell me What you think of the results:





I am very open to comments and critiques. I feel like the results I am getting are pretty good but still not as good as something like this:


What do I need to do to become better? I know my chair models are mediocre and my texturing abilities are mediocre as well. Is that the real problem? Or is it something beyond that? Would I be much happier if I used yafray rather than blender internal? Would I benefit from some more sophisticated lighting? I am basically lighting this scene with the spots on the sides and a few helper area lights in the middle of the room.


nice, really nice work.
just an observation, i see some shadows on the walls from the chairs, those shadows are parallels to the chairs, this means that exissts a light under the table or some were place, maeby im wrong. show a wire frame to see the lamps position plz

You’re right about that. I used an area light to light up the chairs a bit. Do you guys know if there’s a way to use an area light but disable shadow casting? I saw that you can use it in a “shadow only” mode. But that was the opposite of what I wanted.

Thanks for the comments…

nice rendering…the atmosphere created is quite consistent.

to make lamps not create shadows, click No Diffuse in the Materials section when selecting the lamp.

Awesome… thanks for the advice! I’ll try that…

Great job. I wish I had a home theatre like that. For the shadows, just select the light, and just above the only shadow button you mentioned, there’s a Ray tracing button. Just turn that off and it won’t cast shadows. Good job on the image.

I thought the ray button made it calculate ray traced shadows and if it was unselected, the lamp cast zbuffered shadows or something…

Nope. Only spotlights can cast buffered shadows.
Good modelling but I think that the chairs could need something more. Right now they look a little flat. Maybe an extra lamp or something.
Right now the images have much noise because of heavy jpg compression.

Nice work. Imo, the edges of the steps need to be rounded a bit. They look a little too sharp to be carpetted.

Only thing that botters me is the low res ground texture. Otherwise it looks great. I’d love to have one of these home-theatres :smiley:

Agreed on the carpet textures. I only had a small carpet sample to work with there. I couldn’t use whatever I wanted as the guy I was doing this for is actually trying to pick his carpet based on these renders :).

So, thanks for the feedback guys. I agree with almost everything that has been said and plan to focus on the small details some more in the future.

However, I was hoping for some advice that was more profound. Why does the image I linked to look so much more real than mine? I don’t personally believe it is the tiny details. It seems like there is something fundamentally better about his entire render.

Do I need to learn about a 3 point lighting system, do I need to convert to yaf? Do I need to use AO more properly? Something about my renders just looks too fake to me.

However, you guys could be correct. Maybe it simply is the fact that there are so many small clues that tip the viewer off that it is a model. Maybe the sum effects of these issues makes the entire image less believable: hard edges, mediocre chair models, low res carpet sample, false shadows, etc.

Is that what you guys think? Just clean up all the little problems and I’ll be producing very realistic images?

that is wonderfull work!

Thanks :slight_smile:

Any other critiques?

I love it when people ask for focused, honest critique! I’ll get to that in a moment, but first, as far as your larger question, it’s not so much that the linked image has something yours lacks, but that it can afford to make use of some tricks that you, under your constraints, could not.

Things that add to the realism of the linked render:

  1. The blown out lighting. It’s a common effect in photography. There’s no reason to have the highlight blow out like that in a render, and so it gives your eye a clue that it’s a photo. You’re in a low light situation, so you didn’t have that option.

  2. The reflections. Lots of chrome and mirrors in that image. Done with raytracing, and combined with the blown out highlights, it adds greatly to the realism. Once again, your materials pallet was constrained to what the customer would actually want to put into a home theater.

  3. Post processing. It appears that the linked render was post-processed, at least to add some blooming around the highlights. That’s another clue to your eye that it’s real.

  4. Camera angle. Notice that the linked image is rendered from just about the height and perspective you would have if you were actually standing in that room. Yours does not reflect that, and maybe it can’t. One trick to use here is to do the “TV studio” thing. From the shot facing the seats from the screen’s point of view, remove the wall and objects behind the camera. Pull the camera back outside of the room, then adjust the Camera setting up, from 35 to about 50. This will flatten the perspective a bit, making it closer to how we usually see rooms shot on television sitcoms. Of course, make sure that the front edges of your walls aren’t visible!

If you look more carefully at the linked render, you’ll notice that you can see the polygonization of the chairs. It’s pretty heavy, actually, but due mainly to the three factors listed above, your eye ignores it. So what can you do about your lighting to make it more like what you see in photos? I’m not sure. Get a couple of nice real shots of people’s home theater rooms. See how they’re composed and exactly how much they are lit, and where.

I’d also consider lowering the saturation on the leather chairs. They may really be that color, but it looks a bit fake. And take down the specularity, too. I’ve never had an image hurt because I reduced the specular highlighting. In interior soft light situations, you almost never see it. Of course, there’s the carpet as well, and under your constraints, not much you can do. Unfortunately, repeating textures destroy any semblance of realism your eye might otherwise be considering.

The lighting that you show (small spotlights at the top) would not cast the shadows that you depict, e.g. behind the chairs. Only a light-source positioned in the center of the room could do that. And in any case those shadows are very distracting.

As “cool” as it may be to have the ceiling occupied by a constellation of stars and a revolving spotlight, the real environment would probably have more sensible lighting, and it would do so for the same practical necessity as we see here now… you can’t see the chairs in the center of the room. You can’t see anything in the center of the room.

I wish I had a room like that in my house! Very nice rendering and looks so realistic. Cool!

Great thoughts and advice! This is some awesome insight! Can you discuss how to reduce the “saturation” on the chairs a bit more? Any more details on how to do that in blender?

thanks again! Reaper

Yeah - did you set the colors using RGB sliders? Under the color swatches is a button that reads HSV. It stands for Hue/Saturation/Value. Swtich to those controls for color setting - I find it much better for real world colors.