Does anyone have a lighting suggestion?


I made this model. Wondered if anyone had any lighting suggestion or material ideas? The darker scene is meant to have a dark burned feel and there is a high value for the light for the contrast on the ship. Thats done on purpose.


The sunlit first render at the skyport looks good to me but the scene needs some atmospheric perspective to work better. The light is also very even, implying more cloud cover – in a cloudless sky there’d be more contrast between light & shadow, and sharper-edged shadows. Overall, the materials just look too clean and perfect, could use some dirt & scuffing.

A note on the ship design – the landing gear looks a bit wimpy for the mass this craft apparently has. Otherwise very nice!

I notice a tutorial that might help me adding some clouds to the atmosphere and help with some lighting. As to the materials the ship undercarriage has scuffing and scratching especially around thrusters which would show once I start animating the ship. As to the top I left alone because the most physical scuffing and other stuff would happen on the bottom of ship not top.

As to the landing gear I probably add more height to the bottom part. or maybe replace the bar with a solid block connecting to the feets widening it. I looked at the space shuttle and the gears look very wimpy on it also plus there is more pressure on the wheels. So, to some degree I think mine is sufficient if the landing is controlled. Now if I animated a uncontrolled landing certainly it will break and be a nice animated catastrophe…


I’m trying to understand what you mean. I took a picture outside and there is a harsh sharp contrast in real life and there are no clouds in sight.


Yep, that’s what I’m saying. The skyport image has a clear sky, but the light looks very evenly distributed with a lot of shadow detail, and what shadows of the craft can be discerned look rather diffuse. The shadow on the control tower is very bright and very diffuse. This doesn’t agree well with a bright sunlit day, is more consistent with more cloud cover to diffuse the light.

I did a quick paintover to illustrate my comments on the lighting:


So maybe I should focus on change the material on the ship so a little bit less glossy. Then I could increase the sun light which would gives a more sharper ship shadow. As for the tower. I’m not sure how to change that. I can only think of moving the sun more up and point it more to the ground and cutting the environment blue lighting. Should make the shadows appear more on the tower which I’ll try and show you.

I don’t know what settings you have for your lighting so it’s hard to make specific suggestions. The paintover’s a bit crude but maybe it can help you a bit. Other than the blacks in the ship materials being very dense, for the most part they look OK to me, if a little too perfect as I mentioned. I think it’s mainly the way the light is distributed, and the softness of the shadows, that seems inconsistent. Adding some atmospheric haze will help sell the sense of both picture depth and scale. It’s not simple to do this with subtlety but can be very effective for expansive scenes like this.

Im going try to do the haze this is just the skyport with change settings. The tower have a bit more contrast like the ship which helps a little.

I see what you mean by the shadow.

I tried what you mentioned. The mist or haze is tricky with Cycles. So, I created three images they are : 1. changed light settings 2. lower situation with rgb curve change 3. likewise with a blue color mixed in acting as a fake cast

I like the low saturation and the latter also with the blue added.

Your thoughts?

I haven’t put any time into using Cycles yet, being well-satisfied with BI so far for my rendering purposes, so I can’t recommend an approach based on that renderer. But consider using Render Layers and the Compositor to fake in some atmospheric perspective/haze effects. skyport1.jpg seems to me to have the better qualities to match a brightly sunlit scene, though the shadow from the tower still looks too diffuse. But mostly it’s the saturation of the BG elements that tends to create a miniature feeling and compress the scene space. If you can separate out the image planes and introduce some modification to contrast (lower it) and saturation (also lower) for the farther planes, I think it will help a lot.

The intense and basically featureless blacks in the image are also hurting the sense of “realism” and lack any modeling of their forms. Even the darkest black in (terrestrial) reality cannot absorb light, especially full sunlight, as parts of the ship, the tower windows, and the windows in the terminal building do. Maybe introduce some matte highlights, or even reflections from the environment, to help relieve the “flat black” syndrome?

I am going look for another tutorial on the haze effect. The one I used doesn’t work well with the scene. I did fix some of the black on the glass. The under carriage is just dark. The top blue is the same blue on the bottom. Since Cycles does the bounce lighting not much is bouncing off the ground so the underside looks darker. I added a thin blue layer to composite for some of the dark areas and lower some of the saturation.

I was looking at a tutorial that shown how to make a city and it had the same issue I have. So, I used the solution from there. I since added a reflection to the glass. Additionally, I added a color corrector and a blue screen very faint to fill in some of the black spots. The only thing really throwing me off is the building on the left. The texture is not right.