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Old 20-10-2007, 04:01 PM   #1
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Default Lighting techniques (outdoor scene) - gurus wanted

I've played with lighting in the past and have created lighting that I liked, but not until I'd gone through a lot of trial and error and accidental successes. So I'd like to learn from some of you guys.

I'm doing an outdoor scene, and I'm trying to replicate or mimick the kind of lighting and shadows that you'd see on a clear day around noon. The viewer won't actually see the sun.

Before I go too far, I wanted to get some input from you guys who have likely already learned from the same mistakes I'm about to make if I don't ask . . . did that make sense? Anyway, what's your take? Given what I described, what types of light(s) would you start with, what settings would you suggest starting with?

I realize there are a million and one ways to light a scene and a lot of it is based entirely on the unique vision that one artist might have vs another. I just wanted to get some guidance from you guys that have experience with this before I start barrelling down my own path.

Any tricks or tips?
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Old 20-10-2007, 04:19 PM   #2
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The sun is yellow that is a minor hint. I usually take an object and crank up the incendance(spelling?) and then use MT final gathering(High rendertime warning). Look at images with similar lightning you want to copy, what colour does it have, then use it.

Good luck.
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Old 20-10-2007, 04:28 PM   #3
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Thanks for the tips.

Have you (or anyone else reading this) found that one type of light works better than another? What about a combination of several?

Any favorites?
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Old 20-10-2007, 04:31 PM   #4
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Well ofcourse there are different quality but some of them are just harder to make or have higher rendering times, I havent tested them all(or close to that) so I cant say which is the best. But I recomend that you play around and get familiar with different lightning methods.

Good luck in the horrid world of lightning.
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Old 20-10-2007, 04:34 PM   #5
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Heh, thanks. lol

Yeah I've played with it enough in some other projects to know that we need to hire someone JUST to do lighting if I'm going to keep my sanity.

I'll keep playing with it.

Anyone else have a favorite type of light or particular settings or anything else you use a lot?
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Old 20-10-2007, 08:06 PM   #6
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i sky now a sun?

can we see what your trying to make?

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Old 20-10-2007, 08:12 PM   #7
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Heh . . . yeah I'll post something soon--it still needs some work.

Basically we have a client that wants a 3D representation of this old historical building that's about to collapse--it's just a boring house out in the middle of the desert with nothing else around it. We went out and took a bunch of high res pics that I've been photoshopping in order to get the textures.

It still needs some work, but I'll post something soon. Thanks again for all the tips. My way works, but I'm new enough that there's a lot of trial and error. It's good to hear from people with experience so I can avoid common mistakes.

Cheers.
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Old 20-10-2007, 11:17 PM   #8
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I'm far, far, far from being a guru. In fact I'm pretty much on the opposite side of the spectrum. But my favorite light to use for outdoor is the directional light to simulate the sun. I always watch the technical stuff in the special features for movies and they all seem to use more than one light.

I think they use one main light to simulate the sun (probably a directional light) and then several other lights to create the right mood and look.

I know this isn't much info but perhaps it's a place to start from.

Here's a link to an amateur render of scene I did using only one directional light.

http://erothf.googlepages.com/notepad

edit: if the pic doesn't show up after going to the link, try hitting the refresh button or Ctrl / r
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Old 21-10-2007, 03:40 AM   #9
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Have a look in to the MR sun and sky, also its pretty important to look into what time you want the render to be as the shadows will be longer. Think I would start with using global illumination with a directional light to simulate the sun.
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Old 21-10-2007, 04:42 PM   #10
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I'd recommend what gster said try out the Mental Ry physical sun and sky, you'll get some very good overall lighting with very little effort
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Old 22-10-2007, 12:39 AM   #11
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hey - the MR sun and sky sounds good - how do you use that?
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Old 22-10-2007, 02:43 AM   #12
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hi, it's in the Mr tab at the very bottom. You add it and that is already pretty much it.
All you have to do is adjust the angle of your sun and tweak the settings until you are happy with it.
I've attached a screenshot from a digital tutors tut. All the guy did was what I mentioned above, and the buildings are just paint effects strokes. When I saw that it knocked me right of my feet.
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Old 22-10-2007, 02:52 AM   #13
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wow - that looks pretty good. cheers farbtopf - I'll give that a go!
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Old 22-10-2007, 09:08 AM   #14
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yea that is... im gonna try it


thanks for shareing.
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Old 22-10-2007, 10:11 AM   #15
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That is MONEY.

Awesome. Thanks for that tip.

For anyone who's having trouble finding it, it's in:

Global Render Settings > Mental Ray (tab) > Environment > Physical Sun & Sky > Create

[Fellow Newbs: If you're not seeing the Mental Ray tab, you'll need to go to Window > Settings/Preferences > Plug-in Manager, then scroll down until you see "mayatomr.mll" and load it, then check back in your Global Render Settings and you should see Mental Ray as an option in the drop-down next to Render Using:]

Once you've created the MR sun and sky, the Hypershade window is handy for making tweeks.

Thanks again for this tip--that's exactly what I was looking for!
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