Basic product image lighting setup... how?

I’m trying to light a semi-reflective eBook cover mockup for someone. Trouble is, my lighting looks, well… crap.

I’ve tried shifting lights around, playing with energy values, reflectivity etc, but I keep just getting either super low contrast images (see .blend file attached) or areas that are completely burnt out to white. I know I could fake it with a contrast composite node, but I’d prefer a better result by fixing lighting problems with a better lighting set up than trying to hack around it afterwards in post.

I’m sure there has to be some fairly standard lighting setup to just show everything fairly evenly lit, without burnt hilights or super-low contrast. Trouble is that I seem to be having trouble finding it.

I’m trying for something like this image from the Blender estore (ok, maybe with a bit more emphasis on the cover than the spine):

Any suggestions?



ecover-book1-v1_layout.blend (254 KB)

you had shadeless activated here

this removes all lamps in the scene!

try this one i also replace the sun lamps with ordianry spot light

but depends on the render type you want !

can you be more specific

note the texture for the bool was ot included which is ok i guess if you don’t want to share it


Thanks RickyBlender

Oops! I just forgot to pack the texture. Although I’m not free to open source it, I’ve packed it into this copy of the file that you uploaded. I can also share that the photo is CC-BY by Batega and can be found at so it should be easy enough for anyone who wants to, to make their own :wink:

Maybe it was hard to see without the texture, but the file you uploaded still seems very washed out (it’s more visible when viewed fullsize), much like my experiments. I’ve attached a render (an the texture-packe file) below:


ecover-book1-v1_layout2.blend (673 KB)

as i said there are so many ways to render like using
different light set up
but also type of render like Ambiant occlusion Indirect lighting environment lighting
with ray trace or approximate with some worl light set up or not

but i guess that your’s is inside so no world set up here

i mean you got the choice and go to may be read more about it
it’s a vast subject and there are entire books written only on this subject !
so not easy to pick one

so can you describe what your want to do with this

you seem to avhe use the file i prepare to add the book with texture which gives a more realistic look with the texture i guess

is the file i made is beginning to look like what you want

you could try to increase the light power a little and see if it is beginning to look like what you want
usually a 3 lamps set up around the object gives a more softer shadows and good contrast!

so not certain what the goals would be for you here ?
have lot’s of shadows or soft shadows and with simple lamp or spot light ect…


have a look on this one

good or not

what else you want ?


Thanks again Ricky!

I learnt some useful things looking at your modifications. I also found a very helpful article on product lighting in BlenderArt issue#21. Basically I put what I found in both together and managed to create what I’m after, and here’s how it came out (which I’m much happier with!). Basically it now uses two hemi lights with specularity turned off on the fill light and hardness of the book materials specularity pumped as high as it will go (511). Here’s the result and file for others to learn from:


ecover-book1-v1_layout4.blend (728 KB)

there is a ot of good wiki pages on lighting scene
it’s a vast subject and you learn it with time i guess

but glad i could help

happy 2.5