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Carrara Portrait Lighting
Posted: 06 September 2012 09:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 31 ]
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head wax - 06 September 2012 09:00 PM

So…the light bulb is outside the box?
Pardon my stupid question!

I’ve been playing with planes and anything glows.
I place a strongeranything glows one on one side at say 45 degrees to the figure and then a fill anything glows on the other side,
Then another fill on the camera itself (with anything glows once more)

Have you experimented with this method?
If so, which would you recommend?

I’m lighting multi figure scenes so trying to avoid dominant shadows.


The images are displaying in my post above as #1 being the top right, and going around counter-clockwise.


The images where I used the box, the bulb was in the box. Translucency allows light to pass through but it’s not a transparency. I’ve used the Indirect method of using the planes as you described (not sure what angles I used) and it looks nice, but it takes a long time to render.

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Posted: 06 September 2012 09:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 32 ]
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3Drendero was kind enough to post the link to the studio light set I made. It’s very simplistic and has a kind of image map for use in the background that you can use with the skylight.


This is a render without the skylight. Kind of flat, but if I used dynamic hair, instead of a hair prop it would look much better.

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Posted: 06 September 2012 09:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 33 ]
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evilproducer - 06 September 2012 09:15 PM
head wax - 06 September 2012 09:00 PM

So…the light bulb is outside the box?
Pardon my stupid question!

I’ve been playing with planes and anything glows.
I place a strongeranything glows one on one side at say 45 degrees to the figure and then a fill anything glows on the other side,
Then another fill on the camera itself (with anything glows once more)

Have you experimented with this method?
If so, which would you recommend?

I’m lighting multi figure scenes so trying to avoid dominant shadows.


The images are displaying in my post above as #1 being the top right, and going around counter-clockwise.


The images where I used the box, the bulb was in the box. Translucency allows light to pass through but it’s not a transparency. I’ve used the Indirect method of using the planes as you described (not sure what angles I used) and it looks nice, but it takes a long time to render.

thanks for the data evilproducer

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Posted: 06 September 2012 09:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 34 ]
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The same studio set up using the skylight with intensity turned down to 75%. Still rendered much faster than full Indirect lighting. Looks much better in my opinion.

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Posted: 06 September 2012 09:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 35 ]
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Here’s the scene configuration, shader settings I used and the bulb light settings. I suppose you could use a spotlight and point it out of the box through the side with the translucency.

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Posted: 06 September 2012 09:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 36 ]
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This one uses the studio light set-up and the box light. No Skylight or GI

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Posted: 06 September 2012 09:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 37 ]
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Sorry for the multiple posts, but the way the forum displays multiple uploads seems a bit like trying to use voodoo to predict the weather.


This one uses the studio lights with the fill light turned off and the light box in it’s place.

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Posted: 06 September 2012 09:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 38 ]
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Lots of great stuff here. Thanks guys!

Joe: Personally, I generally steer clear of a “standard” 3-point lighting scheme (which is anything but standard).

What is it that you don’t like about the three point set up? Seems to work great, especially when used in conjunction with some form of indirect lighiting.

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Posted: 06 September 2012 10:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 39 ]
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I can’t speak for anybody but myself, but when I was trying to come up with the scene that was linked to earlier in the thread I did do some research and I have helped light for a couple pro videos and there is an unofficial standard despite claims to the contrary.


That being said, they aren’t always particularly imaginative. They’re not meant to be. They’re meant to be able to be set up quickly, with minimal equipment. Most of the time the fill light is a reflected light. Either off one of those silver umbrella’s or even a bright surface such as poster board, a wall, etc. highlights are provided by the accent light and is usually placed to the side of the subject. The rim light is just that. It provides a dramatic rim of light around the subject and can help separate the subject from it’s background. I’ve been on a job where one of the lights went out and there was no spare bulb, so the rim light was co-opted for the accent light.


As unimaginative as the set up is, you can always adjust intensities, positions, angles and colors to bring out shadows, provide contrasting colors, etc. All with just three lights. For this picture I changed the position and color of the rim light. I changed the colr of the accent light and am using just the light box for the fill. Still just three lights.

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Posted: 07 September 2012 12:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 40 ]
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Really like that last one, EP. smile

I’m having a bit of a battle with the rim lighting - about the only way I can get it, but not very well controlled is to use a distant light behind the subject, pointed at the camera.  Usually I end up with backlighting instead of rim.  What settings are you using for the rim light?

Saw a really great exposition of lighting by a master - it is not Blender specific, although the demo at the end of the video is done in Blender.  The planes he uses can be likened to carrara’s AG. http://www.blenderguru.com/videos/mastering-lighting

Here’s my effort at a portrait - three-point lighting.wink

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Posted: 07 September 2012 05:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 41 ]
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...and one from before she went into rehab:-)

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Posted: 07 September 2012 06:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 42 ]
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jimzombie - 06 September 2012 09:46 PM

Joe: Personally, I generally steer clear of a “standard” 3-point lighting scheme (which is anything but standard).

What is it that you don’t like about the three point set up? Seems to work great, especially when used in conjunction with some form of indirect lighiting.

Generally, people do what I call “lighting for purpose”. You design your lighting scheme so that it helps you achieve your goals for the image. If you used a 3-point lighting scheme, for example, when photographing a gorgeous red Maserati for a car ad, it would look terrible and uninteresting. You wouldn’t see the flashy highlights and the deep reflections and tones of the multi-layer paint, etc.

Same thing applies to whatever you’re photographing. 3-point lighting gives a very specific look, and is used for a very specific and very limited purpose. People in the commercial photography and film business have a wide variety of purposes for their images. And in the same way that a carpenter would never use a hammer for everything, you wouldn’t use 3-point lighting for everything, or for every portrait.

My only point with my previous posts in this thread was to try to get the point across that if you look at what type of lighting people are actually using for commercial photos and films, you’ll find that there is a huge variation. Fashion photographers doing portraits for fashion magazines are trying to be extremely trendy and new, as well as sell clothes, so they use the lighting scheme that will highlight the clothes and sell their magazines and sell clothes and most of all, look cool and trendy. You might even change lighting methods based on the fabric that the clothes are made of. If you have a shimmery fabric you’d want to bring that out with lights that would highlight that. A 3-point lighting scheme, as I tried to show with my poor example, would probably not serve the purpose for many fashion photographers, partly because fashion and consumer trends change, and so do lighting schemes.

An example would be something like what’s called a “ring flash”, which is a fluorescent/flash tube shaped in a ring that attaches to the front of a camera lens. It is extremely popular with fashion and portrait photographers, and gives a cool, new look that people like a lot. You’ve probably seen it a lot but may not have realized what it was. If you’re interested you can probably find some stuff on the web about it. But that’s just one of many, many examples.

There is nothing wrong with any type of lighting if you want to use it. My only caution would be to not assume that everyone uses it for portraits, and it’s the type of lighting you should use for portraits, because they don’t and it isn’t. When you’re filming 60 minutes, and you have to travel to some guy’s house to interview him, you want a simple lighting setup that you can unpack and put together fairly quickly. So you take out three spots on folding lightstands and set them up in a 3-point scheme. And it gives a nice general lighting of someone’s head as you interview them. And that’s pretty much what it was originally designed for. Though in fact they probably also use a softbox, since those are extremely popular in many commercial industries, though they didn’t exist way back when.

When I said I used a softbox for my last image, the purpose was because I know that black rimmed glasses look a lot better with a big, soft, white light because the broad highlights look really cool. Same with the slightly shiny dress, the broad highlights give a black fabric like that some life. Same reason I don’t use GI, because you tend to lose those interesting highlights. And I also wanted a very soft light because the sense of the image was very soft.

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Posted: 07 September 2012 06:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 43 ]
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JoeMamma2000 - 05 September 2012 05:30 PM

Personally, I generally steer clear of a “standard” 3-point lighting scheme (which is anything but standard). In this case I used a softbox because I wanted the broad highlights on the eyeglasses and the dress, as well as good highlights on the rhinestone bracelets.

However, I caution you to take anything I say with a grain of salt, because as Roy so accurately stated, in all my years here I’ve never shown any indication that I know what I’m talking about. Not an attack, ‘cuz that’s not his style. Just a fact. Thanks, Roy.

It would appear that your lighting set up has the unintentional effect make giving the illusion of a gigantic full chest on your subject! Interesting effect… But I approve!

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Posted: 07 September 2012 10:23 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 44 ]
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Roygee - 07 September 2012 12:54 AM

Really like that last one, EP. smile

I’m having a bit of a battle with the rim lighting - about the only way I can get it, but not very well controlled is to use a distant light behind the subject, pointed at the camera.  Usually I end up with backlighting instead of rim.  What settings are you using for the rim light?

Saw a really great exposition of lighting by a master - it is not Blender specific, although the demo at the end of the video is done in Blender.  The planes he uses can be likened to carrara’s AG. http://www.blenderguru.com/videos/mastering-lighting

Here’s my effort at a portrait - three-point lighting.wink

I don’t know what strength you set your rim light to. I use a spot set to anywhere from 300 to 500. Distance us usually set to just beyond the character/object lighted.

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Posted: 07 September 2012 10:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 45 ]
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head wax - 06 September 2012 09:02 PM

booksbydavid wrote :

I apologize to the OP for the above rant. Joe just caught me in a bad mood. I’ll go take my meds now and all will be right with the world.

feel free to share the meds, I need some as well…. I have for a while smile

Give me your address and I’ll shop you a crate full. That should keep you for a day or two.LOL

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