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Lighting La Ruelle - Chapter 1: Fog/Mist at Nighttime

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Date Added: 5th February 2013
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Next thing was to set up the road surface (Fig.03). A simple Vray material, VrayDisplacement modifier, and we are good to go.
First light I've placed was the spherical Vray Light in place of the main lamp (Fig.04). I started with a very, very saturated orange. I actually did it with the all other lights as well - I have a tendency to use strong, colored lights that sometimes get the better of me. That usually gets fixed in later stages. That first light was duplicated along the stairway, lighting up the way into the image. It took some tweaking of their placement and strength - finally I decided to place them on the left wall, and add one on the right (Fig.05).



Now it's time for the windows. I started by placing a Plane (default type) Vray Light in place of the closer window on the right wall (Fig.06) - kind of by accident really, as it was supposed to be the other window. But that placement gave me a nice illumination of the left building, picking up the bump detail there, so I decided to keep it. I did try the other window, but didn't like it as it lit the arch wall way too much. The same way I lit up the little square window above the arch (Fig.07). A little trick here. As you may have noticed, I use double-sided lights. It's just for preview purposes, as it illuminates the window behind it, giving me a clue that the window is bright - without me having to do it 'the proper way'. It looks wrong, but good enough to experiment with placing window lights, and will be fixed shortly.


Somewhere at this stage, I've turned the fog on. It took me a while to find the right settings - it's good to know general scene dimensions, but it's a case of trial and error (Fig.08). It's worth noticing, that the fog absorbs quite a lot of light, making the image darker than before - and requiring some adjustment to the lights - main light intensity was bumped up to 700.


Another solution is to adjust the exposure. To do that in Vray, we need to use VRayPhysicalCamera, which allows us to work in a photographic manner - setting f-number, ISO, and shutter speed, among others. I aligned it to the original camera using the Align tool - but it still needed some offset to match. After some attempts, I settled on the settings pictured in (Fig.09).


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