Candles (From the Lighting Challenge)

This is the next Lighting Challenge scene I am working on for GSoC raytracer optimization tests. I just finished grouping the pieces into objects, building groups of vertices and assigning basic materials to them. That is the result so far.

Comments and suggestions are welcome.


I kind of feel like the vase should be ceramic and not bronze, but that’s just my opinion.

Good work so far, there’s a great sense of atmosphere, maybe make the candles cast most of the light with a darker room

Yeah. Ceramic vase is looking better overall. Thanks for the suggestion. But I did not want the vase to attract the attention so I made it ceramic deep brown.

Here is an update. Not quite finished yet. I’m not too happy with the SSS on the wax but tweaking SSS properties is a slow process. Need more time. I also want to texture the flames and soften the light coming from the flames.


SSS is pretty fiddly… just an idea, is the candlelight colored? because if not it would really improve the feel of the scene, but if it is then great work! also softer shadows would make the scene feel complete

p.s. how long is the render time?

Here is a render with softer lights although it is a little bit too soft right now. Yeah, I need to work on the wax color there. This “natural wax” color definitely does not work moodwise. This one took a little less than 2h to render. But I actually do these scenes for the GSoC raytracer improvement project so I,m hopint that the improvements would accelerate the render.Also, I still haven’t attempted to tweak the octree resolution to find which one is the more efficient. The scene uses AO and each candle have 2 lights at 5 samples per light. Seeing the result, I can see that I don’t need that many samples. And the reflective surfaces are set to do soft reflections at 8 samples. The reflection samples could also be lowered and that would give a nice rough feel to the bronze.


You would get a better render out of Lux. Lux has candle flame emission type built right it in. Your flames are too white. The overall scene is almost monochromatic. Real glass and metal are available in Lux as well. Put a picture in the picture frame.

ypoissant mentioned in his first post that this is “for GSoC raytracer optimization tests” … so using Lux wouldn’t make much sense. :wink:

Latest update. I actually thought this would be the finished render or very near to it but there is a glitch. The portrait picture that I mapped to the frame got also mapped to the screen behind the desk. I’m having a hard time getting my UV mapping correct in 2.49a lately. Usually I cannot even get my images to show in the UV editor. And the material & texture UI does not provide any sort of feedbact that something might be wrong. So I do the texturing in the dark and hope that it works. I was pretty sure that I correctly understood how UV mapping was done in Blender but I apparently still need to perfect my incantations in this regard. This is the result anyway.


Getting cool, i think that the candles need just a simple sculpt/deformation…congratulations…

It is looking better, less monochromatic. There appears to be a lot of noise in the brass material. If you add translucency to the glass vase, it would add a little more realism. Also there appears to be no translucency in the wax?

I kinda run into the same problem while trying the fruit bowl scene. I had some of the faces of an object unwrapped but not all of them, and the image wouldn’t show in the UV editor. Splitting the object leaving only the unwrapped faces in it seemed to work, and the image was shown again. Hope this helps.:slight_smile:

Thanks for the comments.

@andrepazleal: I’m using the scene as provided with the challenge and the candles are modeled straight. A couple drops of wax would make it more real though.

@Atom: Yeah. the noise in the brass was on purpose. I lowered the sampling to reduce render time but also to get a rough look on the brass. The wax uses subsurface scattering and is translucent but I could not really get the deep SSS that I was looking for especially near the flame even after tweaking the SSS properties for a couple hours so the way they are right now are the best I could get. Initially, I had the intention of making the vase as glass. But the model does not have a double wall ant it looked funny. Also the Fresnel handling is broken and I could not get the fresnel look I was looking for so I opted for a brass look at first and then for a black ceramic or porcelain look and that is what we have now. In the end, the final texturing is the result of a lot of compromises. Not quite what I had in mind when I started.

@sick: I had quite a lot of problems texturing the candle flames. I just could not get the texture to apply with the right coordinates. So I separated the flames from the candles. It eased the texturing but still did not solve the UV mapping issues I had so in the end, I opted for a Blend texture. There again, not quite the result I had in mind but it works good enough for the purpose of the scene.

So this is my last render. I will now make the scene available for GSoC raytracing tests. This took 32min to render on a P4, 2.5mHz laptop with 2GB of memory. Not too bad.


If it isn’t too late there is a really lovely candle flame material available here:-

It is? Is this in a 2.5 build?

@organic: Thanks for that pointer. I will use it eventually. I already started working on another lighting challenge file, so right now it is a little too late but I might get back to it eventually.

@Cire: No. this is in v2.49a. But the Fresnel handling have been broken for as far back as I started using Blender. I may decide to get in the code and fix it for 2.5 though because it is getting annoying.

Wow! I just rendered the same scene on my quad-core at work and it rendered in 5m 23s. That’s almost 6 times faster tham my P4 laptop. I need to buy a stronger computer for home me think.

Me agree. :wink:

BTW: any chance of getting a copy of the scene as you’ve set it up?

All the scenes I prepared for the GSoC raytracing improvement project are available for download. You can see all of the renders here and you can download them all by searching through this thread.