Proper lighting

How can i change the lighting to make this image look less fake? Using eevee


Well, “fake” is in the eye of the beholder, and it’s easy to let yourself become your own worst critic when it’s actually unjustified. But here are a few suggestions, mostly drawn from real photography.

(0) Try to develop the art of “seeing analytically.” When something intuitively “feels wrong,” what is it? Color? Exposure? Contrast? Hue and saturation?

(1) Use the “histogram” and other color-measurement tools that are available in Blender. As the famous photographer Ansel Adams pointed out in his so-called “zone system,” a good exposure curve has a generally centered bell shape – his so-called “Zone 5.” You won’t see “peaks” at either end where something is either opaque-black or blown-out white. The actual lighting difference between “bright” and “dark” is actually not that much.

Film can express a range of about ±3 “f-stops.” Video about 5. Your eyes can see more than 20.

(2) When lighting a scene, build from the ground up. Your first order of business is to eliminate those opaque blacks. “Global illumination” schemes are actually pretty handy for this. Establish the lowest light-level in the scene. Now, build your “zone 5.” Finally, build your highlights. Throughout it all, make good use of both color and direction. If something is too-evenly lit with white light, it’s gonna look wrong. There are published lists of so-called “color temperatures” for various things including sunlight at various weather conditions and times of day.

Remember that you can apply “filters” to your image with a compositor to make global adjustments quickly. It was said that “a picture is captured in the camera, but it is made in the darkroom.”

(3) Light to tell a story. Your eyes will instantly focus on the brightest and most-contrasty thing in the scene. Make that your subject. Then, your eyes want to follow a circular path from one lit thing to another, arriving back at the subject point.

(4) Refer to objective tools like the histogram frequently. In most you can click on a particular spot in the image and this will highlight the corresponding point on the curve. Also switch to various colors as well as white when using these tools. (In the old days we’d hold colored sheets of plastic in front of a print.)


Look up pretty much any Eevee lighting tutorial on youtube at this point. Appears to have no lights at all, completely flat.

I’m using an area light and a cylinder with emission