Studio Lighting in 3ds Max and V-Ray

In today’s post we are going to deal with one of the fundamental things that anyone that wants to work with CG should know, and that is how to light up your models. Now i have to go and say it right from the start, lighting on it’s own is one colossal theme to tackle and if you really want to know how it works, then you will probably need to invest some time into some proper professional photography knowledge. So having clarified that i want to say that this post is going to be more about the technical part of Max and V-Ray and how to get the lights inside 3ds Max to behave like real life lights would do. So enough with the intro and lets jump down on explaining and watching the videos. Initially it was supposed to be one video, but instead of making it one long video i made it into two parts so it’s easier for you guys to follow it. (Yeah i know i’m good that way)

In the first video we will explain very briefly what a studio scene is, and then we will see a few examples. You will see me reference an image of a model lit up in different scenarios, and you can get the link to the reference image here. After the brief intro we will create a simple backdrop. Then we will go about creating light sources, control how the reflection is going to look like, how we can modify it so it ends up looking like a commercial body spray can, and we will even explain a bit about the three point lighting solution. At the end of the first video we will even explain a bit about the importance of the warm and cool lights. So if this sounds like something that you would like to see check out the video.

In the second video we will continue on the same scene as previously but that is where all similarities end. We will start by explaining what a reflector is and how and when would we use one in our scenes. After that we will explain what a diffuser is and how to construct one that we can use in 3ds Max, and right after that we will explain what a light box is and how to construct one as well. With the introduction of the diffuser and Lightbox we will end with with issues in the lighting of our scene that will derive from the GI pass so we will also go over how to deal with those issues and get them to provide us with a clean render. So all in all it should be an interesting video to watch, so if what you read up here sounds like something that might interest you go ahead and watch the second video.

And with this we are coming to an end of our post for today. It was fun making these videos, and depending on the feedback i get on this video i might make a few more about lighting as that is a theme that seems like an endless pit of information that always has something new to offer.

So like always subscribe, like and share and i’ll see you all in the next post.

VRay IES lights in 3ds Max

Time for another V-ray lighting video. The idea for this video came from a comment on YouTube asking for a tutorial that will explain how V-Ray IES lights work. This is really not a very complicated matter so it was a pretty straight forward task for me to record it, or so i thought until my first go at recording crashed near the end and i had to start from the beginning. But that aside i can safely say that i went over most of the important things that you need to have and know to be able to use VRay IES lights. I’ll try to keep the chatter to a minimum as what i want to leave here is the video and the links to the sites that i go over in the video.

So in the video we will first explain what IES lights are, and how do they look like in an exterior and interior scene. After that i’ll show you how you can get a visual rendition of the IES files without getting it into 3DS Max and on top of that i’ll even give you a few great sources for IES lights. So if you are here reading this, then i would guess that you are interested in this theme so i’ll leave you here with the video.

If you watched the video you probably saw me going to a few different sites, so for your easy access here are the sites with the respected links.

IES Viewer The first thing that you want to grab so you can follow along.
ERCO The site that has the detailed info as well as the IES files for lighting fixtures
Lithonia The other site that has the large collection of IES files that you can get for your project work

And that would be it for this post, so if you managed to learn something new and you liked the videos, then help spread the word and like and share the video on YouTube and Facebook.

Interior Night lighting with V-Ray

Today we are going to take a look at how to light up a rather peculiar example of a moon lit night scene. Now this might sound like a silly thing to say as generally a night is defined by being dark, and usually when you hear someone say a CG rendering of a night scene the first thing that comes into mind is a well lit scene with lamps and lights. Well this is different in a way that we are trying to capture the ambient you would get if you were in a room without lights, and the only thing that is giving off some light is the moon light coming through the window.

In those rare cases where a scene like this might be asked of you to do, if you haven’t done it the first thing that you would try to do is use a HDRI image to get the lighting. That might work in some rare cases, but it will require you to have a perfect HDRI image with enough light information to radiate in the needed light, and at the same time exclude lights that you would generally get from buildings and cars. So if you have a HDRI like that then you can feel free and use it, but if you don’t then you might have to go and do a bit of improvisation.

In the video we will see how to start by matching the environmental light, but instead of using a flat color we will see how to use a gradient for the environment, and then we will see how we can control the amount of light coming into the scene with v-ray lights. After that we will proceed and add in the moon light and with that try and complete our scene. So in short that would be it, so go ahead and watch the video and see for yourself how it was done.

So i hope you liked this video and you managed to learn something new, and like always if you liked what you saw you can help spread the word by liking on YouTube and Facebook, share and comment so it could reach more people and hopefully help someone else the same way it helped you out.

Lighting with HDRI and V-Ray Sun

Ok so similar to the previous post where i got a request to make the post about the bed in Marvelous designer, i got another request to make a video about lighting a scene with HDRI images. So lets start from the beginning and first of all explain why should you use an HDRI for lighting.

HDRI stands for High Dynamic Range Image, which in turn means that it is an image that contains a lot of information, especially information that can be used as lighting information by V-Ray. The main difference between using HDRI and for example a single V-Ray Sun is that the HDRI emits light from all the sides depending on the image you have. So if you are using a HDRI with a cloudy day you will get an overcast feel to the scene, if you are using a sunny day HDRI you would get that same look, and on top of it all that HDRI can also be used to get some realistic environment reflections.

So now you know what HDRI does, but where do you get some high quality HDRI images? Well the answer to this question is not a straight forward one as it depends. If you are looking for a High quality HDRI for commercial projects then you probably want to go and actually buy some HDRI that range from 5000×5000 up to 40kx40k resolution, but if you are looking for some HDRI’s that you can use for your projects or in some cases you can even use them professionally check out HDRLABS. These guys are offering a wide spectrum of HDR images that are rather well done and give some nice results. Also there are multiple sites that offer freebies through Facebook ads, so you might want to keep your eyes opened there as well, and also you can Like check out my Facebook DKCGI page if you haven’t already and check out some of the older posts there as i have links to free HDRI’s and sites offering Textures.

Ok so since you know where to get HDRI’s now you can go ahead and jump over to the video. In this video you will learn how to add HDRI image to a V-Ray dome light, how to control the intensity of the light by changing the HDRI. Then i’ll explain why would you want to add a V-Ray sun to the mix and use both V-Ray sun and HDRI together, and even how to link them so when you are controlling one you are actually controlling them both and in turn getting a lot more control over the scene. So enough reading, feel free and go and check out the video.

So i hope this video was helpful for you and you managed to learn something new then like it, comment and share it around so it can reach more people and maybe help them the same way it helped you. Also if there is anything else that you would like to know ask in the comment section and i’ll see if i can make a video about that.

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