Render of concaved object is very dark, why?

Here you can see 2 renders of a bookshelf I am making. Both a very dark but perhaps the brick one is a teeny winsy bit brighter than the timber one. For these renders, I have used a sun lamp of size 10 with strength turned up to 100 (even at 1000 but it made no significant difference). When the sun size was the default 0.1 it was even darker. As you can see the outer surfaces are a lot brighter. To check, I have also made a plain cube in the scene and rendered it together. The cube is very bright. The background is black so you can see the cube. I tried changing the lamp style, for example to a spot light, area light, or even a plane with material set to emission. I have also tried to place the lamp in the bookshelf itself. Nothing can stop the render being so dark. How do I solve this? Is it because it is a concave space, rather than an outside space such as the top of the bookshelf?
Also if I have to put individual lamps in individual caved in spaces such as this bookshelf, then how do I render say an internal scene with a bookshelf in the room?

Can we see the node setup?

It looks like an issue with how you applied the normal map itself, not with Cycles (you can start by making sure the node with the normal map, if one is used, is set to non-color data).

Better than any screenshot: Upload your blend file to and copy/paste the URL from the address bar into your post.

Helping people like us will see very quickly what’s wrong… and there’s a lot of things that can go wrong! :eyebrowlift: From the top of my head: Normals, normal/bump map, sun position, samples, bounces… What not?

I made a quickie to show you that whatever you did wrong is fixable: a shelf under a sun lamp.

I’ll spare you the techno-babble and the gory details… for now. :wink:

Hi, Thanks for the tip. Here is the link, but before you download it, read this first.

I am a new user of Blender, and it seems everytime I try to do the same thing, it ends up different to last time. This time when I opened the blender file:
*my bookshelf was all pink but the materials were still the same as I left them
*the data type in the normal node was set to colour data. I can’t remember what I set it to but I changed it to non colour. Nothing happened.
I have re-applied the materials and also changed the data type in the normal node to non-colour data and it became brighter:

And the node layout:

I have NO idea why it is a lot brighter this time. The only thing I did was to re-apply the materials, and when that miraculously looked better I decreased the lamp strength. The render sample number is 35 and the light strength is 50. I am using render version 2.65

Change the Normal Image Texture from Color to Non-Color Data and choose your UV map from the menu in the Normal Map node (the little checkered ball icon). Other than that it’s hard to tell anything else about this file because you didn’t include the textures. File>External Data>Pack into .blend file, then re-upload your file.

Hi, here is the new one hopefully with the textures packed. When I packed the textures, I clicked on pack and nothing happened, no popup menu or window.
I haven’t changed anything since the last post except change the data to non-colour, for some reason it is on colour again even though the last time I edited it I put it on non colour! The render is still a little dark inside, just want to know how to make it brighter without over powering the sun strength.

Please note that I have now modified this file so that it has 2 small shelves, and I also changed blender units to metric units but everything else is the same.