Studio lighting - any suggestions....?

Hi everyone.

I have recently been wondering how to achieve a lighting result that I’ve seen numerous times : a thoroughly lit setup that looks like studio lighting…

Most of my lighting setups, regardless of how much fiddling about I do, seem to have strong shadows and/or the objects I’m lighting don’t seem to be thoroughly lit.

Basically, the kind of lighting setup I’m trying to achieve is like in the images below.
Can anyone point me in the right direction or suggest a tutorial?
Any responses will be kindly appreciated. :slight_smile:

(I apologise to Martin Sand for using his renders with out asking. They’re great renders! Martin’s work is really nice - check it out…

I just found a funny animation with this kind of lighting:

three, possibly 4 point rigs.
see previous pages from this link on each type of light and what it does

Thanks Papasmurf.

Your link looks very helpful! :slight_smile:

The lighting in those images above looks just like AO, turned up nice and bright. Maybe a very soft area lamp too, but there’s definitely no strong directional lighting.

I think 3-point lighting looks cheesy. A quick setup instead of 3-point lighting that I like to do is to place a weak light blue hemi light. You’ll get that uniformly well lit effect. Be sure to turn off specular for hemi lamps. Place a somewhat strong yellowish sun lamp for directional lighting. For shadows use shadow only spotlights. Spot lights are very flexible. You may make an array of shadow only spots for those soft shadow. Afterwards, tweak the scene with bounce lights.

BUT… the up and coming QMC distributed raytracing if Broken will surely make this effect much simpler to achieve!

Edit: A quick test. 1 Hemi, 1 Spot (shadow only, shadow buffer), 1 sun. Not fully that photo realistic studio lighting, but then again, it’s a quick and dirty light rig.

I’ve been playing about with some of the techniques you people have mentioned.
Here are my results:

Thanks for the replies by the way. :slight_smile:

If you’re wonderng how I got this effect; I used two spot lamps both with a large spot size and played with the shadow buffer size, samples and softness. It seems to have a good result. I think I need some stronger shadows though so I may use another spot lamp with similar shadow but set to “OnlyShadow”.

Thanks again for your suggestions.

Here’s another render with more shadow. I’m not sure that it looks very realistic…
What do you people think?

Here’s a render using the same lighting but using more interesting objects.

It doesn’t look photo realistic, but it does look very good. You certainly got that studio look down, and all just with Blender internal. No complicated rigs, no GI no mentalray.

Did you use the standard raytraced softshadows or did you use the new QMC raytracing? The new QMC raytracing renders faster and it looks more sexy.

Hi toontje,

Yeah it’s all Blender internal. I don’t mean to sound cocky but I class myself as a bit of a novice and I was amazed with the results I got. Mind you, I have spent the whole day fiddling about with lighting!

I used standard raytraced softshadows, as far as I know…! I was told by Poke that using an external renderer would help make things look more realistic. I’ve heard about Sunflow and Yayfray but haven’t used them. Is there one you’d recomend?

Thanks for your positive comments. It’s really inspiring talking to people on this forum about Blender. Cheers! :slight_smile:

Here’s my favourite one so far. I hope you like it. Like you said though; they don’t look photo realistic… :frowning:

they don’t look photo realistic… :frowning:

i know what your going through i, attempted to make a photoreal somthing like you are, i eventually got there so keep trying (you might also want to have AO on 16 samples and have a slight raymirror value on everything)

Now I understand a little bit more what your goal is. Indeed with Blender internal you need quite a bit of tweaking to make it look photo real, and I thought that you wanted to achieve that effect with Blender only. In that case, I recommend you to use Yafray. It is fast enough and you WILL get results that are indistinguishable from a real photo.

And now that we are on the subject of photo real… Photo real doesn’t mean real, it means it mimics the results taken by a photo camera. This means amongst others that you also should mimic in Blender the characteristics of a photo camera (DOF, lense angle, etc). Other factors are: If your picture is too clean it looks CG. If you model is too isolated it looks CG (that why a HDRI render looks so real because of the background and reflections). Light and shadows should be tweak to mimic a real life situation as much as possible.

Hi Olli,

no problem - I like being referenced :yes:.

Does this picture help so far? Please note that this shows the low quality render. But it clearly gives you an overview on the Yafray settings.

Best regards,

Got a quick question. I looked at that lighting rig link and you can download the rigs as a blend file at the bottom of that page. I can’t seem to get the file to append to a scene. I load my scene, click File>Append>the blend file>Scene>and the Rig I want but it doesn’t load the rig. No error messages or anything. The only thing that seems to load are the diffrerent lamp settings but not the rigging itself. :spin:


This is kind of off the topic, but, where’d you get those reference renders from?
Reason I ask is I’m having some trouble making realistic liquid and I really like the water splashing in the blender.


Edit: nevermind! I wrote too soon. I see you had linked to the site they’re from…

Some interestinc links here: