Carrara Portrait Lighting

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Comments

  • evilproducerevilproducer Posts: 8,964
    edited December 1969

    head wax said:
    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.

  • evilproducerevilproducer Posts: 8,964
    edited December 1969

    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.

    Ami-studio_no_skylight.jpg
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  • Headwax_CarraraHeadwax_Carrara Posts: 7,637
    edited December 1969

    head wax said:
    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

  • evilproducerevilproducer Posts: 8,964
    edited December 1969

    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.

    Ami_skylight.jpg
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  • evilproducerevilproducer Posts: 8,964
    edited December 1969

    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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  • evilproducerevilproducer Posts: 8,964
    edited December 1969

    This one uses the studio light set-up and the box light. No Skylight or GI

    Ami-studio_and_lightbox.jpg
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  • evilproducerevilproducer Posts: 8,964
    edited December 1969

    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.

    Ami-studio_no_fill_with_boxlight.jpg
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  • JimJim Posts: 728
    edited December 1969

    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.

  • evilproducerevilproducer Posts: 8,964
    edited September 2012

    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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    Post edited by evilproducer on
  • RoygeeRoygee Posts: 2,227
    edited December 1969

    Really like that last one, EP. :)

    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.;-)

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  • RoygeeRoygee Posts: 2,227
    edited December 1969

    ...and one from before she went into rehab:-)

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  • JoeMamma2000JoeMamma2000 Posts: 2,615
    edited September 2012

    jimzombie said:
    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.

    Post edited by JoeMamma2000 on
  • edited December 1969

    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!

  • booksbydavidbooksbydavid Posts: 404
    edited December 1969

    Roygee said:
    Really like that last one, EP. :)

    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.;-)

    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.

  • booksbydavidbooksbydavid Posts: 404
    edited December 1969

    head wax said:
    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 :)

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

  • evilproducerevilproducer Posts: 8,964
    edited December 1969

    Roygee said:
    Really like that last one, EP. :)

    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.;-)


    The rim light I used is a spotlight set at 200%. I used one for dynamic hair because of the way it handles the light. If I was using prop or figure hair I sometimes use two rim lights. See screen shots for relative positions. I'll also upload another image where I used figure hair and set two rim lights to highlight the hair.

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  • JoeMamma2000JoeMamma2000 Posts: 2,615
    edited December 1969

    Here's an image using only a single ring flash. Aside from giving what I call a "fashion mugshot" look, it is used to highlight the eyes, because when properly tweaked (which I didn't take time to do) it gives a kind of mesmerizing, very bright and dynamic ring-shaped highlight in the eyes, as well as sharp and bright highlights on the rest of the subject. Since it is mounted on the camera, it is directly in the line of sight from the camera to the object, which means that it will cause many highlights which will be seen by the camera. Which is one reason why my most common lighting setup includes a spotlight parented to, and zeroed with the camera.

    But this is just one of many different techniques that are used for various purposes. Another very common (and somewhat cliched) one you see, especially in corporate and interview and instructional videos and portraits is background lighting, where the subject is "separated" from the background by having a brightly colored spot (often a deep, cool blue) shooting a splash of light against the background. So instead of a kicker (rim) light, and when they don't care about the "hair halo" you get from a standard rim light, they light the background, which also serves multiple purposes.

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  • JoeMamma2000JoeMamma2000 Posts: 2,615
    edited December 1969

    And here's the same character giving an interview on 60 minutes, or doing a corporate/instructional video...

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  • JoeMamma2000JoeMamma2000 Posts: 2,615
    edited December 1969

    By the way, if you're going to use a rim light, I'm sure you know this already but make sure you have some sort of translucency set up on your hair shader (or use SSS, etc.) and make sure the lights are set thru transparency. Otherwise you'll crank your intensity up real high and still only see a little bounce light, not the "hair halo" you might want.

  • JoeMamma2000JoeMamma2000 Posts: 2,615
    edited September 2012

    And here's what I call the standard "Glamour Shots/Senior Prom" portrait with a very distinct rim light that is extremely common, and some might say outdated and overly cliched. This used a single kicker behind the subject, 100% intensity, with some high values of translucency on the hair shader.

    RingFlash_008.jpg
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    Post edited by JoeMamma2000 on
  • evilproducerevilproducer Posts: 8,964
    edited December 1969

    By the way, if you're going to use a rim light, I'm sure you know this already but make sure you have some sort of translucency set up on your hair shader (or use SSS, etc.) and make sure the lights are set thru transparency. Otherwise you'll crank your intensity up real high and still only see a little bounce light, not the "hair halo" you might want.


    Sometimes the only way is with prop or figure hair, so that suggestion is something to think about. I hadn't considered using a translucency. I think I would skip the SSS for my part-Takes waaay to long as it is. I can only image it applied to a mess of transmaps.


    Personally, I love the dynamic hair with a few exceptions. I don't even bother using it for animation at this stage due to my aging system, and you have to be careful about post-render effects and volumetric effects such as clouds. As long as the hair doesn't appear behind or intersecting a volumetric cloud it can be used with cloud just fine.

  • JoeMamma2000JoeMamma2000 Posts: 2,615
    edited September 2012

    ...so that suggestion is something to think about. I hadn't considered using a translucency. .

    Yeah, actually that's what the effect of a kicker is in real life. It's light shining thru the translucent hair fibers and causing a kind of glow. Actually it's a form of SSS where light bounces around inside the hair fibers then comes out. Which is why you only see it around the edges where the hair is thinner and translucent, versus the interior where it's all bunched up and thick and light can't pass thru.

    Post edited by JoeMamma2000 on
  • RoygeeRoygee Posts: 2,227
    edited December 1969

    A lot of very good points being made here. When I was referring to rim lighting, what I had in mind is the very subtle edge of light seeping around from behind - as shown in EP's pic of the sphere. After lots of experimenting, I found that shape lights give me a lot more control and predictability in getting that effect.

    Joe's tip about the ring flash is really good - I used a shape light around the lens and it really brings out the eyes - thanks.

  • Headwax_CarraraHeadwax_Carrara Posts: 7,637
    edited December 1969

    Joemama wroteth:

    Yeah, actually that’s what the effect of a kicker is in real life. It’s light shining thru the translucent hair fibers and causing a kind of glow. Actually it’s a form of SSS where light bounces around inside the hair fibers then comes out. Which is why you only see it around the edges where the hair is thinner and translucent, versus the interior where it’s all bunched up and thick and light can’t pass thru.

    thanks for the headsup on that, great effect

  • 3drendero3drendero Posts: 1,368
    edited December 1969

    Excellent thread and information! 5-star rating! The forum is really missing a "Thank You" button.

    If you have the time to upload the scene files to for example ShareCG or whatever, it would be greatly appreciated.
    Otherwise I will try to build scenes after the instructions above, to have a "Portrait Lights" set in the browser, that I feel is missing in Carrara now.

    Even for a noob like me it should be possible by starting with:
    http://www.sharecg.com/v/49996/view/7/Material-and-Shader/Carrara-7-Studio-scene

    To be continued...

  • 3drendero3drendero Posts: 1,368
    edited December 1969

    Found a commercial Daz Studio item that is somewhat related to the topic:
    http://www.daz3d.com/shop/fashion-studio

  • JoeMamma2000JoeMamma2000 Posts: 2,615
    edited December 1969

    Roygee said:
    When I was referring to rim lighting, what I had in mind is the very subtle edge of light seeping around from behind - as shown in EP's pic of the sphere. After lots of experimenting, I found that shape lights give me a lot more control and predictability in getting that effect..

    I hesitate to mention this because I'm sure everyone's aware of it, but just in case...

    I know this wasn't your intent, but technically light really doesn't seep around the edges of stuff. Unless it's a glow from translucency like we already discussed, or some SSS glow because of the properties of the material make it translucent, generally solid objects block light from behind and you won't see any ring of light around the edges.

    So if you want to have a ring of light around the edges, you'll have to specifically light the object for that. And how you do that depends totally on what effect you want. Since it's a very rarely used effect, and not something that normally happens in real life, there really are no standard methods used, and you'll just have to experiment by placing light sources at the right angles to get the effect you want.

    I'd be curious to see what specifically you're trying to achieve.

  • JoeMamma2000JoeMamma2000 Posts: 2,615
    edited September 2012

    My first ring flash image didn't really capture the effect very well, so here's a re-take using some higher intensities (like 130% for the flash intensity). Still only one light in the scene, an anything glows ring with soft shadows.

    Note the effect of the ring causing a sort of halo around the character's head. A little "hip-er" than the 'old' rim light effect. A lot more "immediate" and "in your face" than the old, and softer glamour shot with the strong rim light.

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    Post edited by JoeMamma2000 on
  • RoygeeRoygee Posts: 2,227
    edited December 1969

    I hesitate to mention this because I’m sure everyone’s aware of it, but just in case…

    I know this wasn’t your intent, but technically light really doesn’t seep around the edges of stuff. Unless it’s a glow from translucency like we already discussed, or some SSS glow because of the properties of the material make it translucent, generally solid objects block light from behind and you won’t see any ring of light around the edges.

    So if you want to have a ring of light around the edges, you’ll have to specifically light the object for that. And how you do that depends totally on what effect you want. Since it’s a very rarely used effect, and not something that normally happens in real life, there really are no standard methods used, and you’ll just have to experiment by placing light sources at the right angles to get the effect you want.

    I’d be curious to see what specifically you’re trying to achieve.

    OK - to be more precise - "Has the appearance of light seeping around the edges."

    Rim lighting is a well-known photographic term and is distinguished from back lighting or kicker in that the aim is to get a rim of light, as opposed to a flood of light to separate the subject from the background. It happens in the real world and is in common use in films and photography. Google the term and get 7 million hits. Here are some really good examples.http://www.lightstalking.com/rim-light-portraiture

    Here's one I did to get that effect using a shape light - that subtle glow on the edges of the shoulder and the hair is what I was after, as opposed to the earlier one I did where I could only get back lighting. Also showing my setup.

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  • JoeMamma2000JoeMamma2000 Posts: 2,615
    edited December 1969

    Ahhh, okay, so you're looking for what I refer to as "sidelighting" and "toplighting" to get the ring of light due to direct lighting I was referring to. Maybe the below image shows a bit of what you're trying to get? In that one I did a very narrow spot to her direct right side to give that ring of direct light on her right cheek, and a very narrow spot on her left side above her head pointing down at the side of her head.

    Typically that's how photographers get the ring of light you're referring to, by placing spots to the side or top of the subject. Ring lights that are about 20ft in diameter are in short supply. (just a joke...)

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