Desk in progress - need criticism

Here is an absolute perfect replica of my desk so far:
its missing all the mess of papers and stuff but I’s working on it. The hardest part was trying to get the wood to look good, but its looks very similar.

Please I’m a beginner and this is my first attempt at some serious work, i need some constructive criticism. I know the mouse needs work


It’s looking really clean. I don’t know what it is, but it still feels very artificial, perhaps some minor bump mapping for some wood grain and maybe a little AO to get better lighting to enhance what you got so far.

Well like I see there’s no shadow in the whole scene? Don’t know why, but you should fix that. And trying to use ambient oclussion maybe? For the table you should add a normal/bump map, that’s pretty easy, you find great tutorials for that on youtube or!

For a beginner it is good modelled! Just try to improve the lightning as said and the texturing. Maybe add some papers on the table simply by creating a plane, add a paper texture and deform it a bit and then duplicate it a few times! Just some ideas :slight_smile:

You have shading problems. I don’t know if the specularity is the cause, or if it is improper modeling. You cannot have hard corners if the object is set to smooth. You need to bevel the corners.

okay i added some papers to the desk and im gona work on the bump map tomorrow, which is going to be entirely new to me .

Set the diffuse texture to also affect the specularity.
that should help a little.

Ok i added some paper and post-it-notes. Now i have a problem no matter how much light im putting, there are no shadows at all, whats wrong? what setting or something is preventing shadows?

Btw any comments on the cables? i spent quite a while getting those to look realistic.


Are your textures set to shadeless? Any way you can post your lighting setup? like the post-it and papers, looks good.

It’s possible you have shadows turned off on your lamps. You are getting some specular reflections on the desk (at least on the top portion unless that’s part of the texture) so doesn’t look like it’s set shadeless. If you post your .blend file I could take a look at it.

the file is too big, can you just explain to me where all the shadow settings are?

On the lamp there is a shadow settings section in the materials panel. You should probably be using just basic lamps and ray shadow should be turned on. Also look in your render settings to ensure that raytracing and shadow calculation are both enabled.


Thanks it worked! ill post pics later

ok i have been at this for a few hours now and im getting really frustrated. No matter where I put these lamps I cant get it to look anything close to real. I tried making the lighting setup just like it is in the room where my desk is, and that doesn’t work, I’ve played around with the intensities and number of lamps and htier locations.
I’m thinking maybe I need to start adjusting the reflectivity and spec of the objects? But the only problem is that i have no idea where to start.

Try this tutorial, might help a little.

So, this is a very very basic lighting setup, but it’s a decent starting point for this scene. I am lighting this using two lamps. First is coming from what I assume was a lamp on the desk. I’m going to say that this is the key light in this scene. I gave the lamp a little bit of an orangish tint to warm things up a little, and adjusted the shadow soft size (2.0) and the number of samples it is using (6). This makes the shadows softer instead of hard edged.

I then added an additional lamp to fill in some of the shadows and make them less dark and harsh. I did this with a blue tinted light and turned shadows off and specularity off on this lamp. There are some realism issues that may be caused by doing this sometimes, but the reason I did this is because I’m not actually trying to simulate another real light source with this. I’m more just trying to create a little ambient light to fill the shadows, and I dont really want this ambience creating its own shadows, or specular reflections, and to my knowledge Blender 2.49 doesn’t have any real great ways to do this. In 2.5 there are better ways of achieving this same thing. Obviously this would be done differently if this was supposed to be a real light in the scene.

In all reality, lighting is a very subjective art. Once you know the basic rules you just have to look at your render and figure out what you need to do in order to make it look the way you want it to look.


ok heres what i came up with.
Thank you so much CMonson, i didn’t expect anyone to go that far into detail - thanks!

I’ll need to take off the shadow on the two papers, or make it much smaller at least.
And why is my mouse pad so shiny? i tried bringing down the reflection but that just made it darker, and still shiny.

The specularity is probably too high. Try turning it down and turning the reflections off completely. Also, how many light sources do you have? it looks like there is only one…

nice modelling though, thats my weak point :stuck_out_tongue:

Hey Blabby, its a little difficult to tell where your lights are placed in this scene now. It looks as though you have 2 in there since I see reflections for two, although it seems to me like your placement is off a bit. Your fill light is too close to your key light so it’s not really doing much for actually filling in the shadows. Like I said though, it’s a little hard to tell what’s going on from that shot. If you posted a picture of your lighting setup it’d be easier to tell.

The desk’s wood texture seems a bit stretched. Also, if you were willing to spend a little more time rendering, you could use ray-traced glossy reflections. Just turn on the ray mirror with a low value and lower the Gloss value. This should give the wood desk a better look. You can even use it in place of specularity, if you place white objects where your lamps are so they can be seen in the reflections.
There should also be something in the background, besides the standard blue background. Put a wall and floor there.
Overall it’s looking pretty good, though. Happy blending :slight_smile:

Srry here is the lighting setup:
You guys are awesome thanks for the help, im starting to go beyond basic basics now :slight_smile: but I know im still only scratching the surface.

And why is the desk lamp have little/no affect?
I checked everything you guys mentioned earlier
When I turn off the fill light, it is almost black, the desk lamp is giving off a little and its only showing on the top shelf a tiny bit, the energy is higher then the fill light too

And if you noticed I was lazy on the lamp :slight_smile: