Need Ideas on how to light this scene

So, I have this interior scene that I’m trying to mimic in cycles:

My problem is that I’m not very good at figuring all the different lights and settings for the lights in scenes. So far I’ve been messing around with strengths, sizes, regular lamps vs. mesh lights, etc. Every attempt I make either is too dark, or blows out the whites on the furniture. So, I decided to ask the experts here on how to approach lighting of this scene.

I’ve already got the desired effect of the green hued light in the dining area with an area lamp pretty well, and had to add a point lamp behind the canvas resting against the mirror wall (was getting jet black shadows behind it earlier). Now I just have to figure out the ambient light. A mesh plane light at strength 10 blow it out, and a strength of 5 is too dark.

Any suggestions?

Any other reference photos related to this one available? Environments like this could use mesh light sin the windows, it looks liek it would have track lighting and possibly behind us there might be a strong open space like a glass sliding door or a large windowed porch becasue of the amount of light here coming from sunlight, also might be sky lights above helping out.

Unfortunately this is the only picture to go off of. I tried an equirectangular environment background at first with a hole in the wall and ceiling, but that blew out the whites as well. I figured to go with no background lighting so I could have more control.

I’m no lighting expert but this pic kind of looks like it’s all environment light. Like Craig Jones mentioned, I’d bet the wall behind the camera is almost entirely glass - possibly the ceiling as well - like a solarium. There’s very little shadow and the light coverage is fairly even. Can your scene do without a ceiling and rear wall? I think that would allow more env light in without needing to ramp up the power too much. Without trying it myself it’s just a guess.

I took out the wall behind the camera and had the enviroment map at a strength of one, and it still added too much light. I think I’ll just play with mesh lights to see if I can get the right look.

Use the environment map and put a color mix node on it or a color ramp as a dial to control the strength - also remember that you can us lots of low power light with light falloff node for control as well.

Thanks for the tips, guys. Here’s what I have so far:

Don’t look too much at the wall textures and such, I just have place holders in there right now to see how the light will play on bump mapping. As you can see, the whites on the chairs are bleaching out with the environment map on. Should I darken the material on the chairs themselves? It’s close, but I’m looking for realism, and right now the image looks CG.

@Craig: I’ll try the light falloff node to see what I can do with it; never used it before so it may be some trial and error with that! :slight_smile:

@Storrboy: I’ve cut the rear wall in half vertically to allow more environment light in. I think it’s getting there, and thanks for the suggestion!

Tell me what you guys think, and where I can improve the light scheme. I can upload a .blend file, but be warned. It’s pretty large in size due to there being a ton of geometry. Thanks again!

I think you’re quite close, but I would suggest finishing the texturing first. All that white is going to bounce the light around a lot more than I think you want. Your finished textures are going to contribute some colour to the bounces and soften highlights. Also, I would try picking an env map that has some green and tans in it.