Scene Lighting and Atmosphere - Come One & All

wgdjohnwgdjohn Posts: 2,634
edited October 2017 in Carrara Discussion

Welcome Folks to learning better Scene Lighting and Atmosphere.

Are you wanting to boost your scenes to the next level and beyond?... I sure do.  Perhaps you have noticed some great looking scene in the Forums, I have, and thought "How'd they do that?".  Lucky for us Folks don't mind sharing their light rigging tips along with creating atmosphere tips.  Here you will learn, I hope to, how to use the correct Light type... how to use them in unconventional ways and what settings to use.  Also creating Atmosphere... how to obtain it with different SFX, special effects, or something you may have not even considered using.

Are you ready?  I sure am.  Let the learning begin.

"Below are a few questions/answers I made up, in my tiny mind, that anyone might have first."

q: Can I post problems, questions and renders here?
a: Of course! That is the main reason for this tread.

q: Will you be answering my questions?
a: This depends on the question. I'll admit that I don't have answers to everything. At this time I seem to have more questions than answers. Presently many others are very helpful with their tips, suggestions and time saving tricks. Expect me to chime in as I may have an idea or even know, imagine that, about yours myself.

q: I'm new to all this. How do I get started?
a: Crank up Carrara and just follow along here... feel free to ask anything at anytime.

q: What is the best way to learn from a video?
a: Gosh... how do I know. :)  Seriously here is my method... first I watch the video then bookmark it even when it covers something that I'm not looking for at the moment. Next I'll crank up Carrara and go back to that video then watch it and pause it... go to Carrara and repeat what was done then continue on with with the video until I want to pause it once again. I've done a lot of starting, pausing and going back and repeating at different points.

q: I don't use Carrara will this help me also?
a: Well of course!  No two GUIs are the same and you will only need to translate some of the tools mentioned in your program. In the end they are the basically the same.

Even better just buy Carrara from DAZ3D... follow along... who knows you might even like it better. wink

 

Here I go again starting another thread so soon... but after reading some of Datanbeck's tips, in another, I got inspired.  Thanks Dart... this one's for you. cool

       Note:  If you notice any mistakes for spelling, grammer or anything else just let me know and I'll correct it/them.

Post edited by wgdjohn on
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Comments

  • wgdjohnwgdjohn Posts: 2,634
    edited October 2017

    More Links will be here... please be patient while I go gather them.

    Forum links... note that some will be to CarrarArtist's Tips and Settings.

    Bit's and Pieces:  Other threads in the forums, some are not as long... others may be, that should also help.

    Non Carrara Links:  Look useful to me... but of course not all things apply to us. :)

    Please let me know of other threads that either directly talk about Scene Lighting, adding Atmosphere or show great examples of either or both... until 2 years ago I was absent from the forums... also... since becoming active I may have neglected to notice them. Either mention them in the thread or send me a PM.  Thanks in advance.


    YouTube Links to Videos. 

     

    Post edited by wgdjohn on
  • wgdjohnwgdjohn Posts: 2,634
    edited August 2017

     

              This is reserved for an index if needed or a render.

    Post edited by wgdjohn on
  • wgdjohnwgdjohn Posts: 2,634
    edited August 2017

    TBD  Don't ya just love it when you look in the Carrara 7 manual only to find one or more things that state TBD. sad

     

                                                          A pic perhaps???

     

    Feel free to start asking questions while I fill in the many blanks above.

    I'll let y'all know when it complete.

    Post edited by wgdjohn on
  • magaremotomagaremoto Posts: 1,130

    huuuge subject...  but cool laugh

    addicted to it since 2010 and I'm still learning; if I recall correctly the union between infini-d and ray dream let the creation of one of the most complex digital lighting environments ever seen, unfortunately in a primeval stage, and never developed furthermore

  • wgdjohnwgdjohn Posts: 2,634

    Hellooo magaremoto,  hopefully I'll be able to track down some of your excellent renders that explain how you lite them.  I know I can find at least one easily since I've bookmarked it. :)

    You are absolutely correct... a very huge subject and very cool.  I'm hopeing to make it less daunting to everyone... as well as myself.

  • HeadwaxHeadwax Posts: 8,616

    great idea for a thread thanks wgdjohn :)

    check out the 48 second mark of this excellent scififunk tutorial for a quick and easy light setup

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EpkTXREwTWk

  • StezzaStezza Posts: 6,137

    +1 on that yes

  • wgdjohnwgdjohn Posts: 2,634
    edited September 2017
    head wax said:

    great idea for a thread thanks wgdjohn :)

    check out the 48 second mark of this excellent scififunk tutorial for a quick and easy light setup

    [cut link to vid... look up to find it]

    Thanks Andrew,  Please let me know about your Non-Photorealistic thread... does it contain anything relating to Scene Lighiting and Atmosphere?  I'd like to know if I should add a link to it here... even if it just shows example renders...  I'm behind in reading it. :(

    Thanks for pointing that out to me... I may have it linked in my Animation thread since it talks about NLA clips.  I'd forgotten that it also shows a basic 3 point light rig.  Hmmm... wonder what those boulderlike things do if anything... will have to render the scene to find out... suspect they are what the light rig shines on.

    Post edited by wgdjohn on
  • HeadwaxHeadwax Posts: 8,616
    edited September 2017

    nothing in  the NPR thread I am sorry.

    The boulder like things are just for show I think :)

    Here's my recipie for out door lighting

    1. Drop your ambient to less than 5 percent.
    2. Take one distance light. Make it 1oo percent illumination. Colour yellow. 100 percent shadow.  This is your main light.
    3. Duplicate it and make it blue and 12 percent llumination. Make the shadow 30 percent. Angle it down but slightlight ly different angle to the main light. Duplicate this light 4 or five times.
    4. Each new instance should be sligtly off set so you have equal coverage around the compass looking down. These are your fill lights that simulate the blue sky.
    5. Their job is to add colour to your shadows.
    6. Group these last lights. Name them ' sky fill'
    7. Duplicate this group and angle the new duplicate group of lights so they face upward toward the sky.
    8.  Name this 'ground lights'.
    9. Select all the lights in this new group and make then the same colour as the ground. Make their shadows 8 percent or less.
    10. These will simulate reflected light.
    11. Do a render and adjust light intensities angles etc to suit. :)
    12. It's a good rig because it gives soft shadows without soft shadow times. .
    13. In practice I keep my ambient at 20 percent but render out a shadow pass that I use with multiply parameter in post to adjust my shadows .
    14. You still have to darken places - like inside of character's mouths tho.

     

    Post edited by Headwax on
  • wgdjohnwgdjohn Posts: 2,634

    Cool,  thanks for the info.  I got curious, when am I not, and experimented with Edit/Replica which will create a seperate Replica group to create some extra lights in a ring as you mentioned... of couse they will need to be rotated.  Too bad I can't load a light into VM where I have more control.  Ohh... I played some more and created a Target helper for each light to point at to make rotating them easier.  Replicator seems to not work at all since the copies can't be selected..

  • HeadwaxHeadwax Posts: 8,616

    maybe once replicated you could turn them into real instances?

    havent looked to see if it works

    also maybe Sparrohawke instance randomizer might be fun? havnt used it either yet.

    probably not

    http://www.sparrowhawke3d.com/InstanceRandomizerPage.html

  • wgdjohnwgdjohn Posts: 2,634

    I've never created a scene with replicated objects, lights etc.  I've only messed around a bit... closing without saving.  I've no idea how to change instances into copies.  Speaking of copies or rather duplicates it's important to set the light settings up before using Replica to save time changing each... one at a time.  I also just found out that you can later drag lights out of the Replica group if you wish.  Also each light whether in or outside the group must be pointed at the Target helper individually... I knew before that access to Modifiers don't  apply to multiple objects. Headed back to try again...  oooh... once youv'e used Replica the original can be deleted since it's not part of the group.

    About your settings... Do you angle the lights directly down and up for the 2 groups or do you angle them?

    I'm off to bed for night... getting drowsy. cool

  • HeadwaxHeadwax Posts: 8,616
    wgdjohn said:

     

    About your settings... Do you angle the lights directly down and up for the 2 groups or do you angle them?

     

    ah sorry you angle the skylights down at say 30 to 45 degrees  

    the ground lights up at 30 to 45 degrees 

     

  • wgdjohnwgdjohn Posts: 2,634

    Thanks... I'm off to bed.

  • 3DAGE3DAGE Posts: 3,309

    nothing to do with lighting,. sorry :(

    just a correction to Steve's video.

    NLA animated clips DO tween between animated NLA clips, However,. if you have  the same "looping" NLA clip. with a space between them ,. you won't see any tweening,

    That's because the End pose of one clip,. is the exact same pose as the Start of the next clip.

    if you have an NLA Pose,. and add another copy of that same NLA pose,. with a gap between them,. you won't see any tweening,. since both "Poses" are the same pose.

    you'll only see tweening between different poses, or animated clips.

  • magaremotomagaremoto Posts: 1,130
    wgdjohn said:

    ... a very huge subject and very cool.  I'm hopeing to make it less daunting to everyone... as well as myself.

    I'm sure you will succeed yes  light is magic and funny to deal with

  • Mythic3DMythic3D Posts: 1,495

    Best pieces of lighting advice I ever got:

    1. Just add one light at a time, do a test render to see if it is doing what you want, then turn it off and add your next light. Repeat as necessary. People tend to add a bajillion lights to a scene or drop in a three-point light setup without really thinking about whether those lights are actually contributing anything meaningful and this technique makes you think about what the purpose of each light is and whether it is doing what you intended.
    2. Don't be afraid to add color to your lights. Try dialing the color on one way up to see how it changes the mood and then slowly dial it back to make it more subtle. Set a light on the opposite side to a complementary, but less saturated, color.
    3. Use light to imply a bigger scene than you can see by placing objects or using gels to cast shadows into the visible part of the scene.

     

  • wgdjohnwgdjohn Posts: 2,634

    yes  Agree!  What I will do is to add my 3 point light setup then turn off 2 lights, untick the visible box, while adjustting only one at a time.

  • Will be (trying lol) to watch with interest!

  • StezzaStezza Posts: 6,137

    This Guy was challenged to use A McDonald’s Box And iPhone To Take These Portraits

     

  • StezzaStezza Posts: 6,137

    I don't do portraits but thought I'd try out M4 with one spotlight... ambient turned down to 4

    Postwork in PSE14 using NIK collection of filters.

  • wgdjohnwgdjohn Posts: 2,634

    Cool??  I do suspect... no I know that there is also some Ambient light in each portrait... saw bright light coming in from a window in one pic. Good portraits some more than others.

    In Carrara and other 3D programs we start in a scene with no ambient light and one light if any.

  • wgdjohnwgdjohn Posts: 2,634
    edited September 2017

    Find Dartanbeck's post HERE which finally inspired me to create a thread dedicated to Scene Lighting and Atmosphere.  I need to track down more that he and others have posted on this subject... perhaps I'll make it a project for this Winter.

    Post edited by wgdjohn on
  • magaremotomagaremoto Posts: 1,130

    I would suggest a tip to get realistic results - I find useful most of the times - to quickly approach the lighting environment within carrara:

    - use "realistic sky" + a bluish sky color for landscape scenes (wheter reflections are not present, they can increase render times significantly): very realistic outcomes, and clouds get very well;

    - for confined or small outdoor scenes, use "sky" only (faster, but clouds look flat); avoid IL by using emitting planes

    - use distance cloud (or foggy cloud) + hdri (and/or emitting planes) for close-ups or even interior (for that high light intensity and a participating medium will be required); IL is needed very often though

     

    as implicitly stated by MDO above, one light only is never enough especially with biased engines; photon mapping and irradiance mapping need a lot of rays unless you have good baked maps

  • wgdjohnwgdjohn Posts: 2,634
    edited September 2017
    - for confined or small outdoor scenes, use "sky" only (faster, but clouds look flat); avoid IL by using emitting planes

    - use distance cloud (or foggy cloud) + hdri (and/or emitting planes) for close-ups or even interior (for that high light intensity and a participating medium will be required); IL is needed very often though

    Thanks magaremoto,  Please tell me what IL means, it's escaped my mind somehow.

    Correct me if I'm wrong... an emmiting plane is simply a plane with Glow added in the Shader room, afterwhich it can be made invisible in the Assemble room.

    Post edited by wgdjohn on
  • magaremotomagaremoto Posts: 1,130

    oops, I apologize: IL stands for Indirect Lighting; in carrara is part of the global illumination section located in the render room and alternative to Ambient Occlusion; if you use it jointly with high values of Sky Light or high values of scene lights intensity its computation takes too much time

    about the emitting plane you are correct, but in carrara you have different ways to add a light to the scene via a plane (infinite or not): anything glows light, environment lighting, shape light, glowing materials, even ground color chips contribute as infinite planes to the global illumination

  • wgdjohnwgdjohn Posts: 2,634
    edited September 2017

    I was wondering earlier about the many other render engines and plug-in renders for Carrara...  There may be differences but feel free to mention them also.

    BTW:  I've just tidied up the links and made a few additions at the top of Page 1... nothing spectacular or anything you need to peek at just yet.

    Post edited by wgdjohn on
  • HeadwaxHeadwax Posts: 8,616

    I was looking for some renders that I did of object contact points demonstrating ambient occlusion and found this;

    ----------------------------------------------------

     

    out of interest here are three renders combined in hdr software to produce one image

    you render with diferent lighting setups to get your details - sometimes it helps..

    from the discussion here https://www.daz3d.com/forums/discussion/16378/using-hdri-software-to-enhance-carrara-renders/p1

     

     

     

  • HeadwaxHeadwax Posts: 8,616

    this is with one light bulb and lots of caustics - the reflected light from the walls and floor  does most of the work

     

     

     

  • wgdjohnwgdjohn Posts: 2,634
    edited September 2017
    head wax said:

    I was looking for some renders that I did of object contact points demonstrating ambient occlusion and found this;

    ----------------------------------------------------

     

    out of interest here are three renders combined in hdr software to produce one image [ cut image... just look up/back]

    you render with diferent lighting setups to get your details - sometimes it helps..

    from the discussion here https://www.daz3d.com/forums/discussion/16378/using-hdri-software-to-enhance-carrara-renders/p1

    Hope you find them... at the moment I can't even locate where Ambient Occlusion is.

    Did you need hdr software?  Can't that be done with Carrara?  Please let me know what hdr software. :)

    I've linked to the thread in my links in post#2...  looks interesting.

    I'm currently getting an silly example for lighting together... will post screen grab of set up with explanations, render and more explanations.

    Post edited by wgdjohn on
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