how would you light this?

I’m just wondering how you would light this scene? or improve my poor setup. Currently it is an hdri with a sun lamp, and in the render posted, some AO. I am using cycles but if someone suggest a better setup in BI I wouldn’t mind switching.
here is a render:

and here is the this.blend (2.77 MB)

Since the textures i slapped on are not mine (not even seamless) and it is, well, quite hard to know how’s the car in this environment - just an image here; i pm blend. What was the movie they were racing similar place? Bond?
Some direct sunlight beams imitated on the walls, maybe? Isn’t this place a bit narrow? Ah, and lights are the same actually, so yea… anyways.

Eppo and I agree, your white diffuse walls are an horror that you will find nowhere in reality. :wink: I added a quick procedural texture and a bit of shine to your walls. (Smooth concrete is shiny.) And here is what I got:

I tuned a bit your sun, added an emission mesh to have harder shadows… and I killed the AO. It was useless because it wasn’t activated in the Passes panel and, more important, it’s a poor substitute for global illumination which is activated.

You should also notice that I replaced your car paint. (Actually, I don’t like it that much but that’s a detail.) I prefer to have only Cycles materials when I work with Cycles. (This is the Mahi car paint available on BlendSwap.)

I also made some quick fixes to prevent the sky from showing through the seams. :smiley: Still, I find that the shape of your tunnel is a bit wrong. There should be tiny sidewalks. Not for pedestrians but for the wheels to bump into before the walls tear off your sideview mirrors. And lights under the ceiling! Tunnels are always lit. Besides, it would add some contrast to what is reflected by the car paint.

2 last things: Fix your wall next to the car. Paper thin walls can’t stop a car. :smiley: Well, at least, the top of this wall should participate in the global illumination. And check your normals everywhere…

That’s all I can think of for the moment. Here is your file modified to reproduce my image:

lighting this2.blend (1.54 MB)

EDIT: Now that I can see Eppo’s image above mine, it reminds me that I had a problem with the bump map of the road. It’s awfully strong and I had a hard time turning it from pointy spikes into the shore of pebbles it is now. :confused:

This would be a very tricky lighting situation in real life … so, given that this is the world of computer graphics, I would break the problem down into three separate renders and composite them together. Although the result would be plausible to the human eye (which scans any scene to reconstruct the image in your brain, and which can effortlessly cover a range of 21 f-stops), it would not be how I actually went about constructing the scene.

The three renders would be:

  • The backdrop: Hell, nothing to do here really … a stock image of clouds would do. It “looks brightly lit” but isn’t a source of light.
  • The garage environment: The critical thing to achieve here is the sense of depth and concrete texture.
  • The Almighty Product™: Shot by itself, lit by itself (with lighting placement to match the visual expectations, e.g. that the Product is being lit from the left side), but with a primary focus on sex. Yes, above all, a shot of an sports-car must drip-and-drool pure, irresistable, sex.

In order to properly achieve point #3, which “sells the shot,” you need a lighting on The Almighty Product™ that is plausible at first glance, but which upon second glance (if one gave it a “second glance,” which nobody but the photographer actually does …) shows itself to be artfully-fake. An actual car, placed in an actual garage, lit as it actually would be, and photographed without any “re-touching,” would look like nothing more than something to drive to work in. It would not grab the heart-strings (and the purse-strings) of a thirty-something up-and-coming executive and make him say, “OMG, I’ve just got to go out and spend $45,000 right now to buy that car so that I can be cool and sexy too.” Which, of course, is the stated purpose of advertising photography.