Better ways to light this?

I have been experimenting with using a 4x4 grid and dupliverts to try and light this test scene as interestingly as possible. The positives are that I really like how the light plays of the bowl part of the glass and using dupliverts gives a nice torch effect too.

This isn’t really what I was trying to achieve though! By scaling the grid mesh up and spreading the spot lights apart, I lose the light playing off the glass effect that I like and it looks bland. Also, the shadows on the base of the glass and especially the one lying down don’t look right to me.

Can anyone suggest a more subtle way of lighting this that would still bring out those highlights in the glass?

How exactly do you want it to look?

How you have now with a spot light shining on
the subjects or something else?

Explain what you want and we can
help you sort it out.

Thanks for replying.

I want it to be lit more fully. I understand that just the one spot light will not fill the scene but I have 16 attached to a mesh via dupliverts and it has certainly given me the right sort of effect with the higlights on the glass itself.

I’m sure I need a more ambient light plus some more strategically placed lights to fill in the dark areas…

As I spread the lights apart, it becomes blander and loses the glints of the glass. If I then increase the energy, it washes the scene out with light too much. I know this is all basic stuff, and I am plodding through the manual as I type but I seem to be going from one lighting extreme to the next.

The main thing is the dark areas in shadow within the horizontal glass and the base of the front-most glass.

Set your 16-light setup wide and get the bland, flat illumination. Then create a new spot and add your sharp highlights.

does 16 spots render faster or give you more control than an area light?
some lighting tuts

they are similar to what fweeb is talking about.
I made an example blend with 3 point lighting in it

Since area lights require raytraced shadows, dupliverted shadow buffer spots should render faster.

I’ve taken fweeb’s advice and things seem better. Mainly the back glass and the horizontal one seem to appear more natural.

I still have the highlights but have lost the washed out background problem I had before. There are artifacts in the shadow against the background but that can all be sorted out later. I now actually like the horizontal glass lighting!

Thank you for the 3 point light advice as I am sure with a little experimentation, that will come in very, very handy for almost any ‘still life’ scene I do.

Lighting can be a complicated thing.

One thing you could do is set the spot light to No Diffuse.
That will keep the highlights but not light the scene.

Then use something else to fill the scene
like Area lights, Hemi lights, Sun lights, or even try Ambient Occlusion.

Then set the fill lights to No Specular
so you don’t end up with more highlights.

Understand what I’m saying?

I have been testing out your set up and it does render faster then an area light. but I have a problem with clip start and end (I think thats the prob) with buffered spots. here is a pic btw the cube is all the way down to the plane.

A good rule of thumb for buffered spots is to set the Clip start and end as near to the object as possible without messing up the shot. I’m not sure if it’ll help in this particular case (could be something about the angle), but I figured I should point that out.

I do! I know from what I have learnt from the manual that these lights don’t work like I would expect real life lights to work. By tracking the lights back to fill in the whole scene I can illuminate without bleaching the whole picture out. I think a couple of well placed spots with just specularity enabled would give the effect I need.

Changing the clipping points of the spot would help but I was doing this all wrong. I see now that a combination of a few techniques together is the way to go.

Thank-you everyone for all your help but please, keep it coming if you have any further additional tips.

As Fweeb said, keep the ClipSta and ClipEnd as tight as possible on the object. This is not quite the way the docs explain it. They suggest that anything falling within the Start and End settings will be lit but what they don’t tell you is that they won’t cast shadows properly if the ClipSta is too far away. Sometimes it seems you have to get in very tight with ClipSta to remove the problem you have with that cube shadow.

I have been testing out your set up and it does render faster then an area light. but I have a problem with clip start and end (I think thats the prob) with buffered spots. here is a pic btw the cube is all the way down to the plane.

It is your “bias” – set it as low as possible and rerender