Help with Arch-Viz lighting

Hey guys!

I’m trying to make the scene in the reference photo but i can’t really get the lighting right, every time I go on a project I get stuck on the lighting part.
So if someone can help me, I’m gonna put the blend file here and feel free to modify or put anything in there, as this project is just a training render.
And if you can’t just leave a comment telling me what can i do to improve this scene.

This is the reference I’m using.

And this is as far as I got.

Blend file:

If you turn up the radius and wattages of your point lamps, it gets a lot brighter. The radius especially seems to be very small for most of the lamps. You can also try turning up the strength of your HDRI image.

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I’m gonna try missing with the lamps again and see what i get, but no matter how i play with HDR i can’t get it to look like i want, is it normal for the HDR to look so flat?, because i downloaded more than one and in this case they give the same result.
Also what do you think about the glass material?, because i think its the reason why the lights and shadows look so sharp, but i can’t seem to get it right with the node tree.

I just noticed that your HDRI isn’t connected to your world shading. I think that might be why you are seeing it look flat. An HDRI needs to be connected like this:

The HDRI is the only light in my scene.

Yeah this is a built in HDRI that comes with blender, i other hdris too and connected them as you’re saying.

Just from initial look; scene appears far too big, clamped is used, no hdr setup was present but I suggest using Nishita sky instead as you can control where the shadows fall and the quality of the light better, caustics were enabled, indoor lights cannot really compete against a sunlit floor and I would just turn them all off - mixing light sources can be a mess anyway. I never use hdrs for interiors, except maybe for backplates/camera only stuff. I also use a different way to do architectural glass panes for windows.

Also the project organization was a mess with everything in root making it take time to get rid of all the unneeded stuff. To troubleshoot a scene like this, get rid of everything except the major players; room, steps, windows and curtains (I never use solidify, and never use only a velvet shader - it’s unrealistic and doesn’t let any light through, unless you actually want a solid blocker), and the bed.

Is that really a reference “photograph”? Real nice photographs are rarely real, but have been worked on. And rendered imagery we never know what tricks have been utilized and it’s not easy or possible to “simply match lighting”.

Get everything to proper scale, simplify and organize the scene, get rid of all the non essentials for sharing and troubleshooting, and pack the textures. I can’t be bothered spending that much time doing texture replacement for helping out.

Yeah I thought the light in the reference was a lil weird too, but even so, I can see that I’m very lacking in the lighting department.
I’m really not done at all with the materials, i just put those temporarily while I get the lighting right.
Anyways I removed all the unnecessary objects as u said and updated the file link below.

Scale is still too high, although I downscaled it too much. I just eyeballed it not wearing glasses :stuck_out_tongue: I turned off the interior lights and made them node driven only (so, white and strength 1 in the light properties, using nodes to drive strength and color instead). See the type of material I use for windows, and my Nishita sky setting. I turned off Light Clamping, and turned off caustics. Even if you plan to rely on caustics for light transport, I recommend always starting out without it and faking shadow interaction, just to get you an idea of the overall brightness it is supposed to create - this because caustics can be a massive source of energy loss and you need to figure out how much you need to compensate the approximately the same levels. Also, a bunch of normals are pointing the wrong way - this can for some materials lead to problems. Facing the camera they should all be blue, and those facing the sun you need to know how to compensate for - in this case it’s only the glass which cannot use real fresnel. It’s possible, but the facing -> pow 5 -> add 0.05 is a lot slicker looking and it’s not what’s gonna make or break your glass windows.