Yacht Kitchen Render Cycles Recommendations

Hello guys

I’m rendering a yacht kitchen in Cycles. The catch about this interior is that it’s not subjected to a lot of environmental light, sun or hdr… So my main light sources are interior emmisive lights and i have a reflective stainless steel. I did some renders and overall it’s not too bad but I’m still not satisfied with the ambient light inside. When I tweak the light strength it gets aggressively dark or bright. I want a calm ambience before the emission lights. I put a photo I found, it’s not entirely what i want but i liked the ambient daylight in it. And below is my render. If you have any suggestions please comment :slight_smile: Thank you !


You can try increasing the bounces for the lights and the shaders. Try significantly larger numbers.

Another thing you can try is to use Fast GI Aproximation to add a bit of non existing ambient light.

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Thank you very much. I’ll try these :slight_smile:

You can always use render passes and the Compositor to fix some look issues.

Are you sure the stainless steel actually reflects like that? Stainless is often brushed, giving a whole different feel to reflections, very decorative and beautiful as all hell if you ask me.

It’s about using anisotropic shading, and I personally prefer to use one in GGX mode combined with another in Beckman mode. Then layout UV’s as rectangular sections, where you orient each island to match the desired rotation using Tangent node in UV mode. For texturing I use voronoi → sep.H → subtract 0.5 → multiply spread factor and use that in rotation. I might use another output for some color variation. But no bump for grooves. Something like this (only one aniso shader used here):



When I use yout settings I get something like this (above).

I honestly tried a lot of different setups for this material but couldnt find the perfect one. You can see below was my previous try ;


This was also not satisfying for me. It looks way too brushed. I would rather see the brushes when I get really close to the material.

I would love to hear your opinion on this, would be great if I can find the right setup…

Thank you very much for your time!

The point was you can’t use a regular glossy with roughness if you want to portray a brushed surface. Use a single anisotropic shader with UVs laid out such as it can control the Tangent node set to UV mode.

Here is a real world example of why I tend to use two.

One Beckman to get extremely elongated response from bright light sources and high aniso, and a GGX with low roughness and aniso to not go too crazy with close weaker reflections - but that one terminates bright light sources. I don’t know if any renderer handles low roughness high aniso well.

It’s really hard to say how to tackle it without part of the model accessible.

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Hi hi.
I’ve made a quick replica of your scene to show you how you environmental light can affect the mood and feel of your space.
Even though your scene is an interior scene, there are still two quite large windows that would allow a lot of light to seep through from the outside, in this case it’s important to first address the exterior lighting.

You can see in the images I’ve attached how direct sunlight affects the ambience of the space, but notice how even when there’s no direct sunlight shining inside, there’s still a drastic difference compared to having no environment lighting at all (the third render). Especially when you have a scene with lots of reflecting surfaces, the believability of that space being real will fall apart quickly when you don’t have that ambient light adding all those different colours in your scene. Even when doing night scenes, all of this still applies, there’s always light coming from somewhere.

For the skylight I just used Blenders built in Nishita sky.

Direct sunlight:


No environmental lighting at all:

Yacht Kitchen Render help.blend (1.2 MB)

Hope this helps!


There is a pretty similar scene here.

Specifically the forth one.

  • Lights with different temperatures.
  • IES lights.
  • Countertop LEDs
  • Environment light tinting some of the spaces blue.

Don’t use anisotropic shader with default tangent. That is a radial z tangent and not usable at all for this. Use tangent node set to UV, then create a UV layout that corresponds with the groove direction.

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I didn’t give the shader much attention since the focus of my reply was regarding the ambient lighting. Whether the anisotropy was set up or not, or used at all, wouldn’t have a big impact on the lighting. :wink:

Thank you for your time! Contrary to what I have said, I was still using an HDR. I liked your Nishita Sky example better tho, this is exactly how I want the scene to look like. And, yes I didn’t mention the stainless steel problem but it is a problem nonetheless. I couldn’t, as of now, figure out the best material setting for this. What I am currently using is Principled Bsdf glossy mix. I will share a partial model if you would like to have a look at it. I really appreciate all the help and suggestions! Thank you again.

I am sharing a partial model. I would really appreciate if we can solve stainless steel problem. I did much research but couldn’t figure it out. Thank you

Here is the link for the model;


I’ve experimented a bit in your scene with the anisotropic shader and these are my findings:

In the case of your scene, since everything has straight 90 degree angles, you can get away with just using the radial Anisotropy in my opinion. It’s not 100% physically correct everywhere, but I compared both radial and uv mapped tangents and you can perfectly get away with using radial tangents if you don’t feel like doing a UV unwrap. The only place where I really noticed a difference was on the slanted angle of the vent hood, since that face is not at a 90 degree angle compared to the world space.

Now, honestly UV unwrapping is not a huge task for this scene since you should be able to get away with projecting from view. Make a new UV map on your objects, place your camera at a 45 degree angle and go u > project from view

Afterwards select a top and bottom facing face, go shift+g > select similar > normal and then project those selected faces from view. though these are not very important, apart from the main stove you have in the center and the bottom facing faces on your vent hood, since most top and bottom faces arent even visible in the render.

Then you just do the following in your shader, select your new UV map, and you’ll be able to see that when you rotate UV islands you can change the direction of the anisotropy.

The alternative method is to just do some shader magic:

I start out by masking the faces facing up and down, since with the default radial tangent those will get that “bottom of a metal pan” look. I run the Z output through a multiply node and multiply by -1, to get the faces facing downwards instead of upwards. I then clamp both values and run them through a color ramp that I squish heavily to filter out any angled faces (such as the vent hood has), after which I add it.


Afterwards I use this mask to choose a different anisotropy direction for those masked out faces:

And then, optionally, you can generate some squished noise to get more of a brushed metal look. I do this twice, once for the Z-facing faces, and then once for the other directions (The mapping node has different scale parameters), which I then blend together using that same Z-facing mask as before, after which I run it through the height input of a bump node.


and then you just run it through the anisotropic bsdf node:

I suggest to stay conservative with the bump node, since this isn’t really very present in most kitchen reference I saw :wink:

One more thing unrelated to the shader: I noticed you had both the nishita sky and a directional/sun light in your scene. For more physically accurate results just the nishita sky suffices. If you check out the world tab you can see the values to position the sun light. You can even get a nice tasty sunset/rise with it!

Here’s my end result, with too strong bump settings on the anisotropic shader, but I was too lazy to render it out again.

Hope this helps you out!


Yeah I wouldn’t use it at all. Kitchen (and medicine, and nuclear even more so) appliances have a very smooth surface. There are microgrooves in there (that cause anisotropic shading), but don’t add bumps unless you can see them deflect the normal (in sharp reflections) or feel them with your fingernail. I have some brushed stainless steel laying around for more industrial purposes, and even that don’t have bumps. The side of a pot? Maybe. The underside? Most likely. Anything that leaves proper toolmarks you may consider using bumps, but not for abrasive fine (directional) polishing.

The problem using noise with severely squished coordinates is that it isn’t spatially stable. You can clearly see this in the bumps, as it has vertical sections of horizontal bumps, and vertical sections without. Using voronoi color output → Separate.H → subtract 0.5 (now centered around 0) → multiply with 0.002 or something low (possibly add 0.25) is a much better approach of faking these “bumps”.

I’ll see if I can checkout the file and mess around, but it’s late and work tomorrow, so…

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Yeah I wouldn’t use it at all. Kitchen (and medicine, and nuclear even more so) appliances have a very smooth surface.

Yup I agree. I have brushed inox sheet metal in my kitchen as a backsplash panel with that distinctive grooves look and I got a bit carried away replicating that I suppose.

The problem using noise with severely squished coordinates is that it isn’t spatially stable.

Ah interesting! I quickly made that node setup and compared it to using a regular noise, it looks like the voronoi pattern has the same banding effect, though using the hue value mitigates it. Good to know! :slight_smile:

Voronoi color produces solid patches of color that suffers the same problem as regular noise (white noise is better but has other use limitations), it’s not completely centered around 0.5. But taking the Hue value from that patch. Before I was told that trick I was constantly adding or subtracting some fixed value I had to hunt for to align it with surfaces at an offset angle. It was a life saver discovery.

Oh, and the reason I prefer to unwrap over using normals to select radial tangent, is that some surfaces may be at an angle, and some surfaces you may want to rotate. And you get UVs to align brush pattern over. Pots or other lathed surfaces is fine with radial tangents, but may not respond properly undergoing geometric modifications. Pros and cons with everything. Biggest con about UV unwrap for tangents, is they’re not smoothed across the seam. According to design they say… :man_facepalming: Makes no sense to me…

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Yeah figured out the advantage of using UVs over radial tangent as well, though for this specific scene since everything is alligned and the only off angle surface is the vent hood, where it’s not super visible anyways, I figured it might be easier to do it procedurally in this specific scenario, rather than having to check each surface to see if the tangent is set up correctly.

Can you give an example where it’s not smoothed across the seam? I checked on a cylinder and a flat surface cut up into seperate uv islands, and so long the tangent angle is the same there’s no visible seam for me. Of course once the tangent angle changes, the reflections do too, so it makes sense for there to be a seam then. Would you expect different behaviour of the reflections, or did I misunderstand?

I’ve had a look at the scene now, and it has numerous issues I’d address:

  1. Scale is way off from real world scale. Lighting may suffer from this.
  2. Massive world lighting. Should never go above strength 1. This is kind of a fixed reference for everything else.
  3. Other lights are too big and far too bright. Kinda hard to judge since IES files were missing. Turning off all other lights, the appliance lights was still able to floodlight the space.
  4. Lights are set to white and power 10. Always use power 1 as long as only Cycles will be used, and set their color using Blackbody node. Around 3k-4k should do for the ceiling lights in such a space, and 4k-6k for the cooler appliance lights. This will tint the room, but you correct for this in post to neutralize it - same as setting white balance on a camera.
  5. Some glass materials was faulty.
  6. Some normal issues.
  7. Some issues with shading due strange geometry.
  8. Indirect lighting was clamped.

For the seam issue, see attached:
Aniso_Seam_Issue.blend (228.7 KB)
Need subdiv level 3 or 4 to get rid of it when using UV based tangents. I can’t afford that.

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Thanks for these insights into the anisotropic shader.