Lighting question

I have been working on the lighting inside this building and can not get it right. I have disabled the wall in back of the view for more sunlight, but it still sucks. There are over 40 lamps in the ceiling, set to a low illumination using IES texture. Either the light is way too intense or leaves everything in deep shadows. Any advice on sky settings or light settings?

What are your color management settings? If you use Filmic, you can control the dynamic range a lot easier.

Eevee or cycle?

The settings are set to filmic I believe. I am rendering in cycles.

As you can see in the reflections, I had to hide two of the walls to allow more light into the room. That is not a good solution though, as the outside world is being reflected in the objects.

Also, it took nearly 4 hours to render just this one image. I am using the CPU. I can lower it to about 2 hours, but the quality is reduced some. If I render just this one scene of them walking across the floor, it will take over 21 days to render the scene. I would like to get a new (windows) laptop with the right hardware, but not sure what to get around 1500 dollars. Any suggestions?

In that case, switch to EEVEE. Realistic lighting is a bit harder in eevee but it is a lot faster.

Thanks, but eevee rendering loses a whole lot of quality.

I have a lot more to do to the scene, and have to render once in a while just to see where I am at. I can’t work in cycles because my poor laptop crashes, especially while texture painting. I wanted to go with a darker more eerie scene but the lighting is kicking my butt.