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Lighting La Salle Chapter 5: Mood Lighting

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Date Added: 14th May 2012
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Take a sneaky peak into the first chapter of one of 3DTotal's groundbreaking eBooks in this short sample tutorial. If you would like to build upon what you learn in the following article or if you would like to continue to follow this tutorial you can purchase the full eBook in the 3DTotal shop.

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Greetings everyone! I would like to thank you all for reading this tutorial and I hope you will find it useful if you are looking for some tips on interior lighting. Since this is a part of a series I assume you have read the previous parts as well. All together there are three night-time lighting schemes and this is the final and yet most exciting one, as it has a romantic lighting theme.

As I said, I presume you have read the previous chapters of this tutorial and so I will start with my bright, overcast night-shot scene. Let us analyze to begin with and lay down the guidelines which we will be following!

The first thing that has to be strikingly different is the amount of light in the room (Fig.01). One thing is for sure: the light on the ceiling will have to be turned off. We want to create an atmosphere in the render that would exist if we were on a date in this particular room in real life, and for that we probably wouldn't need the main light. So lights 1 and 2 get put out (Fig.02)!

Fig. 01

Fig. 02

We have four more light sources left in the room (I'm counting the lamps numbered 6 as one) and we know we won't need that many for our date night. So let's see what else we don't need. Well it will obviously be the ones in the back. That is because of two things: for one thing it looks like a working space and we would definitely not want to concentrate on that. The second reason is because the darker the room is the smaller it feels, and our goal is to make this space as cozy as possible. Bottom line: lamp number 3 is out.

There is one more light I'm not really comfortable with and that is the standing lamp (number 5). Whenever I look at that I instantly think about a middle age or an older man sitting under it with his glasses on reading a long book. And we don't want that association with this space and scene! So away with that too!

We're down to our last two lights, numbers 4 and 6. So let's check how it looks like as it is now! But before that, let me show you my render settings for test renders. Whether it's an exterior, interior, night or daylight shot, I always use these settings for test purposes (Fig.03). I put the shadow subdivs to 6 at this point for the light sources.

Fig. 03

And so here is the first test render. Please excuse the test render quality, but it is totally sufficient to see the lighting. What I can see now is that the lighting is anything but romantic. It looks more like a bedroom of a wealthy couple at the end of a long tiring day of work (Fig.04). So let's start playing with the settings a bit.

Fig. 04

continued on next page >

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Readers Comments (Newest on Top)
Arthur Lima on Mon, 14 May 2012 12:53pm
How many time it was necessary to render the final image? I am asking this because I noticed the Irradiance Map Settings and it seemed a little too high for me (250 Hsph. Subdivis and 150 Interp. Samples) and the Min. and Max. Rate are a little low. (I usually work with a basic setting in the Irradiance Map: Min Rate -3 and Max Rate -1 / 50 Hsph. Subdivis and 20 Interp Samples). Your render looks great! The mood you have created: amazing! Thanks for sharing this tutorial!
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