Jonathan Lampel (jlampel)

17 replies · posted

What do you want to know (or wish you had learned earlier) about lighting in Blender?

The next fundamentals course that I'm working on is all about lighting. It'll cover all the technical aspects of how it works in Cycles and Eevee as well as artistic techniques that can help improve any render. 

Just to make sure I'm not missing anything, is there anything you feel is missing from most tutorials about lighting, something in particular you'd like to learn about it, or something you wished you had known when you started out? I'd love to hear your thoughts. 



  • I think I would love to know when I was starting my adventure :D that light can be used to tell a story and to attract attention. There is a lot of info online about colours and technical stuff but this is more "arty" like. If You know what I mean ;p.

  • Im beginners, and watched mesh modeling fundamental and Bootcamp course, they are great, im looking forward to learn lighting soon,  I wish the course  make focus also on architectural lighting  like exterior and interior scene of house, that would be great

  • Eevee in general is still a little mysterious to me. How shadows and transparency work, how to optimize, stuff like that. 

    Maybe a project converting a Cycles render to work in Eevee?

  • Lighting and compositing is what I need YES!  knowledge on both cycles and Evee would be awesome!

    I follow tutorials and do what the instructor says, but I lack understanding to do this on my own. And blender has changed so much, even recent tutorials that talk about the nodes do not work, as nodes have been updated also.

  • Why three-point lighting works, and when not to use it.

  • For me I'd say lighting was the defining aspect when it came to making images pretty. No matter how cool the model I was modeling was, when it came to making an actual render, it always came out so bad, unpleasant, bland, insipid and I couldn't really point out to what was actually going on, because the model looked so cool on the 3D viewport. Little by little I think I started to realize it was all about lighting and composition, I wish I had known that earlier.

    Get a simple model and lit it well and make a good composition, turns out great... get a cool model and fail at those, it's game over. So after realizing those things I started to focus more on trying different light setups over and over again, moving the camera over and over, and I think after that my renders started to get better.

    Also the technical aspects of light bounces and global illumination and all that sort of stuff eluded me for quite a while, how the render engine had a hard time in confined spaces.

  • I think there would be benefit in how to set up the entire scene for lighting, i.e. how things like background color, environment settings, Ambient Occlusion affect the scene. I think we often get thrown into creating a scene that isn't fully enclosed by walls or a roof and scene setup can be a factor in final renders that look really good.  

    Architectural lighting seems relevant, with multiple light sources, such as lamps, overhead lighting, supplemental lighting like TV or computer screens, as well as sunlight. 

    I'd also like to see some examples of doing really dramatic lighting, i.e., how do you effectively light the Batcave and still make out detail while not having to squint, or how do you light a wizard's office using only the light coming from the fire and a few candles.

  • I have zero knowledge of lightning so I agree with  all of you. As a total beginner about lightning I think the most important aspects would be theoretical. I didn't know there was a system of three lights as williamatics mentions.

     I need to understant how light works in order to make the most of it. Of course, some artsy tips about what usually works would be awesome. But I'm confident I'd be able to tell a story, or place the focus where I want it, if I know how lightning works in order to tweak it to my liking. 

    dostovel is right. I do have terrible renders because lightning eludes me. I can follow a tutorial step by step and achive something which is ok, but I'm unable to light something on my own and my last exercise submission would have imrpoved a lot if I knew better. So I second the motion of ketre Yes to Lightning and Compositing!! :)

  • The theory of how lights work is necessary, but not enough. Most tutorials about lighting just teach the theory. To me it feels like there is something that they are not telling me; maybe it's something so obvious to them, that they forget to tell it. Or maybe it's something like a trade secret, I don't know.

    I think I know most of the theory, but am still unable to make a good lighting for my scenes or objects.

    It feels a bit like telling someone what all the sculpting brushes do and then say something like: 'and now you can sculpt anything you like'. (This is a terrible comparison, I know...)

    I am not a photographer, so I am probably missing some basic knowledge about how to light something.

    So please teach us 'what everybody else is hiding from us', if that makes sense.

  • I used to think that lighting and composition was all about someone telling me what I had to do, some secret as in "do this, follow this, click here, put this here". But I think it is not something you can easily point to. It's like asking Paul McCartney the special recipe for a  Yesterday or a Let it Be, no one told him press this key in the piano Paul, I don't think he could tell you what recipe he followed, he just made it, it is not like he followed a code.

    Even thou there are techniques, for me is just grinding, moving stuff all around, hating it, frustrating and giving up, hopefully you made the right choices and it ends up looking cool and little by little your brain starts to get it somehow just by keeping at it.

  • Well, along with what other said already, I'm pretty ignorant when it comes to lighting. Someone can describe to me why lighting in this or that movie works so well, the mood it conveys, etc. I just can't apply those thoughts to my own stuff. It could be me holding back, which I do with a lot of things and feel guilty about doing.

    I want the lighting I use to have its own purpose within the scene, though it really helps make the story in that scene. I want to use different colours and have fun with light and shadow. I want to make something stylized through lighting, not just the modelling aspect.

    That's all I can think of right now!

  • I think this Twitter post is good at illustrating things

    • That's a cool set of posts! Neat that they begin with a sunny day to see everything first! Yeah, I'd love to do a modicum of that for scenes. The mood really changes when you change up the light!

  • I would love to know more about how to tweak the settings  in the renderer and compositor so that I can play in a sandbox a little more.

    Most of the time I am just clicking stuff to see what it does. If it instantly works them I play. But if nothing noticeable happens I move onto the next button.

    I also want to know more about the shading types such as filmic and etc. and when using one over the others is important.

  • crew

    Thanks for all the great answers! I'll be tackling as many as I can :) 

  • waiting for this course, it time to release soon

  • It's here! ;_; I can't wait to dig in! It's perfect timing, though it seems my attention span has been all over the place. o_O