Creating the right lighting (with pictures for help)

Hello guys and girls.

I’m running into trouble with creating the right sort of lighting for my scene. And it’s annoying me even more so because it’s very simple lighting that see used all the time.

Here is my scene (my model is not completely finished and has no texture).

As you can see it’s one of those boring models on the white infinite spaces… however, the soft shadows at the base don’t accompany it. Just one big horrible hard ass’ed shadow. I’ve experimented with different lighting but nothing seems to work. Any help would be much appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

P.S. This is the kind of lighting/shadows I was going for.

Try using a combination of an Area lamp (for soft shadows) and a Hemi lamp (in Blender Internal renderer), probably also some Ambient Occlusion, for the “global illumination” effect.

Looks like you’re using a Sun lamp now, which will always give harsh, hard-edged shadows.

Also consider using an external renderer like YafRay or yaf(a)ray, or Indigo, which can provide more photorealistic results than Blender’s internal scanline renderer.

Shadows are discussed in the wiki under lighting, and there are a few pages devoted to this very important subject start here, and as Chip said, it is achieved using a combination of techniques. Although, I think Blender could render that pic using its internal renderer just as well and a LOT faster than 8 hours.

Hey, that’s that vending machine from wallace and gromit!!! :cool:

(No, I don’t have anything helpful to add to this thread. :D)

Working with area lights the softness of the shadows is controlled by the square size. In an SVN build this becomes obsolete as every lamp except hemis can do soft shadows.

I think the Samples size affects shadow softness, too, doesn’t it? Or maybe just the quality of the soft shadow edges? I’ll have to pay more attention to that :wink:

When I toodled with the area lights in pre 2.45 versions the samples mainly just made the shadow noisier, I remember using the square size.

Go with spot lights and buffered shadows if you stay with Blender Internal. And don’t limit yourself to one spot lamp. Basically simulate a arealight with spots dupliverted to a plane. This will keep render times to a decent minimum while still providing the soft shadows you are looking for.

Thanks for the help guys. I decided to go with Musk’s advice because it sounded the most simple.

Here’s what I got:

Here is the light setup:

What does everyone think to that?

I think you should have gone with the ambient occlusion. That definitely would have given you a great result.

(Is this thread still active?)