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Kent Trammell

Match your favorite lighting example

If you're like me, as you scour the internet for inspirational 3D art, you run into some amazing CG lighting setups. You know, the ones that make you want to be better! Well why should we let them have all the fun? Why can't we give it a go?

Therefore, the challenge here is to select one of your favorite lighting examples and do your best to match it in Blender. If you don't keep a collection of your favorites, feel free to use mine. Analyze light colors, number of lights, position, etc and recreate. Use either lamps or HDRi's or both - whatever you need to get the result.

Once you select your favorite, open up one of your models (or download this posed Baker model), do your best to match the lighting and materials, and post it here. Here's my attempts:

Image Credit: "Sci Fi Pilot" by binqi chen

Image Credit: "Female sculpting session 01" by Daniel Crossland

Image Credit: "Tribal Frog" by Paul Braddock

Image Credit: "Danbo in Autumn" by tomatoes

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    Matthew Fricker

    Great idea Kent!

    I have an inspirational folder of my favorite images and a lot of them are in there purely because of lighting. I am keen to give this a try asap :)  

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      Omar Domenech Large

      I have an CGI Inspiration folder as well, it is full of inspiration, it inspires me. Though you have to be careful, some days you can go in there and have the opposite effect. I'm giving this a try also. 

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    Omar Domenech Large

    I have an CGI Inspiration folder as well, it is full of inspiration, it inspires me. Though you have to be careful, some days you can go in there and have the opposite effect. I'm giving this a try also. 

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    Kent Trammell

    Large frikkr Large dostovel Excellent! I'm quite keen to see what you guys do 🤘

  • Large
    Matthew Fricker

    Ok so I had a play around in the free couple of hours I had last night. I didn't have a suitable HDRi so I had to adapt one in Photoshop. I also added the rain effect in post processing as I did not have time to do any blender magic with that. 

    It was pretty tricky getting a similar result to this because I think a lot of the lighting is affected by the atmospheric elements going on in the scene. But it was really fun to do. I thought the toy plane model I had from one of my first ever tutorials would be a fun one to use for this scene. If you are new to Blender and want to give it a shot at creating the plane model, the tutorial by Jonathan Williamson can be found HERE

    The final lighting setup included a lot of hidden "mask" planes behind the model to stop the light that was creating the big glow behind the cockpit glass from interfering with the beam cast on the floor. I also had to use some volumetrics to get a visible glow and a simple displacement wave texture on the floor for the rippled , puddle feel.   As usual in CG, a lot of trickery was needed.

    I chose this reference because I love the balance between the detail that is revealed from the lighting on the front of the plane, and the form that is shown from the silhouette at the back , which  is all cleverly divided up by the strong beam of light that is cast across the wet floor.


    Thanks for inspiring me to have a play around, Kent. I'm going to try to do a few more of these in the near future. 


    GOAL:

    Image credit "Spitfire" by Jama Jurabaev

    MY RESULT:


    Click here for FULL SIZE IMAGE

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      Kent Trammell Large

      Splendid job Large frikkr! You totally nailed the look and feel of the lighting from your goal. And wow, what a striking example it is.

      I know that when I try to match someone else's lighting, it really makes me respect that person's work all the more.

      Thanks for participating! I'm going to try to do more examples as well.

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      Thiago Lopes Large

      Amazing light and man, i loved the little Spitfire !

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    Jasmine Wongus

    Oooh, fun!! I might try it, myself! But I have a LOT of inspirational images...hmmm... Been awhile since I did any...well, lighting studies! I also haven't been doing any 3D stuff because of other stuff, but wow, it would be fun!

    I don't know where to begin...so many lights...I love lights...

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      Kent Trammell j

      You could certainly do multiple if you find it hard picking just one to do. I plan to do multiple.

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    Omar Domenech

    Large frikkr Did you use any of the render passes Blender has? You know, to do some Compositing extravaganza. 

    I'm becoming more and more certain that those images with kind of a film look are heavily post-processed and our render passes are great for that control. Here's a link to what I mean, that kind of HDR toning

    http://www.learnphotoediting.net/index.html

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      Matthew Fricker Large

      Wow Omar, those tutorials look great, i'm actually gonna sign up for them straight away because I really need to learn more about post processing. I always feel my work stops dead at the PP stage as I just haven't enough knowledge to do much to it once its rendered. 

      And yes I completely agree with you, but I felt that Large theluthier 's challenge was to replicate the lighting mainly,  so I stayed away from PP as much as possible. I even felt bad adding the rain effect in Photoshop because I felt like doing anything other than using lights in Blender was cheating a bit in regards to the actual challenge. But yes, I think to have got my attempt any closer to the goal image, I would have had to use a lot of render layer/compositing trickery... 

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    Kent Trammell Large

    Splendid job Large frikkr! You totally nailed the look and feel of the lighting from your goal. And wow, what a striking example it is.

    I know that when I try to match someone else's lighting, it really makes me respect that person's work all the more.

    Thanks for participating! I'm going to try to do more examples as well.

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      Matthew Fricker Large

      Thanks Large theluthier , it was just a quick attempt and hopefully I'll find time to give my next attempt more attention and finesse. 

      And yes, you really respect the artist more when you start trying to replicate it and soon realise how much effort had to be put in to get that sort of result. 

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    Kent Trammell j

    You could certainly do multiple if you find it hard picking just one to do. I plan to do multiple.

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    Matthew Fricker Large

    Thanks Large theluthier , it was just a quick attempt and hopefully I'll find time to give my next attempt more attention and finesse. 

    And yes, you really respect the artist more when you start trying to replicate it and soon realise how much effort had to be put in to get that sort of result. 

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    Matthew Fricker Large

    Wow Omar, those tutorials look great, i'm actually gonna sign up for them straight away because I really need to learn more about post processing. I always feel my work stops dead at the PP stage as I just haven't enough knowledge to do much to it once its rendered. 

    And yes I completely agree with you, but I felt that Large theluthier 's challenge was to replicate the lighting mainly,  so I stayed away from PP as much as possible. I even felt bad adding the rain effect in Photoshop because I felt like doing anything other than using lights in Blender was cheating a bit in regards to the actual challenge. But yes, I think to have got my attempt any closer to the goal image, I would have had to use a lot of render layer/compositing trickery... 

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      Omar Domenech Large

      You kinda hit on a topic that has been on my mind, As a bit of an off-topic, Have you seen people online talking about post-processing as cheating. Have you notice that? anyone feels that way? 

      I don't think you have to "Honor" a render and calling it done as it comes out raw out of the render engine. That's only half of the work, That's like going to Wendys, ordering a hamburger and leaving out the ranch dressings, toppings sweet seeds, spicy bits, guacamole, blue cheese, roasted pecans, honey mustard... just give me the bun and the meat, sir, you should've added all that stuff while it was cooking.

  • Large
    Omar Domenech Large

    You kinda hit on a topic that has been on my mind, As a bit of an off-topic, Have you seen people online talking about post-processing as cheating. Have you notice that? anyone feels that way? 

    I don't think you have to "Honor" a render and calling it done as it comes out raw out of the render engine. That's only half of the work, That's like going to Wendys, ordering a hamburger and leaving out the ranch dressings, toppings sweet seeds, spicy bits, guacamole, blue cheese, roasted pecans, honey mustard... just give me the bun and the meat, sir, you should've added all that stuff while it was cooking.

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      Matthew Fricker Large

      I'm on your side with that one , I don't think it's cheating at all. I think you need to PP to give your renders that final touch, and there are a lot of things that are so much quicker to do in PP than during your render. I don't think I've ever done a single project without finishing off in Photoshop with some finessing. Maybe you could start a thread on it to see what the community view is? Plus it means that we don't hijack Kent's challenge thread. 

      As for my result, I only felt it was "cheating" to post-process in this particular instance because the challenge was focused on replicating lighting...

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      Kent Trammell Large

      I used Blender's compositor a little bit to tweak colors, so I'm not opposed to PP.

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    Matthew Fricker Large

    I'm on your side with that one , I don't think it's cheating at all. I think you need to PP to give your renders that final touch, and there are a lot of things that are so much quicker to do in PP than during your render. I don't think I've ever done a single project without finishing off in Photoshop with some finessing. Maybe you could start a thread on it to see what the community view is? Plus it means that we don't hijack Kent's challenge thread. 

    As for my result, I only felt it was "cheating" to post-process in this particular instance because the challenge was focused on replicating lighting...

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    Anthony

    Apologies for such a small sample but my PC is down so I had to do a small preview grab on my Mac.

    The image on the right is from an old MaxCookie tutorial if I am not mistaken and I always liked the contrast in it.


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    Matthew Fricker Large

    Great work Anthony , good to see you are still about :) 

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    Kent Trammell Large

    I used Blender's compositor a little bit to tweak colors, so I'm not opposed to PP.

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    Kent Trammell Large

    Great job Large anthonyc! You managed to match it very closely. Good stuff.

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    Thiago Lopes Large

    Amazing light and man, i loved the little Spitfire !

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    Omar Domenech

    First attempt. I'll try a simple one next. That was way too much hours of tweaking. At the end you always just give up and post away. 

    • Large
      Kent Trammell Large

      Large dostovel Beautiful work, sir! Wow, they're so similar. Great example tool. What's one thing you learned along the way?

    • Large
      Anthony Large

      This exercise is haunting me, been almost two months without my rig and thought I was handling the withdrawals well... guess not. lol


      What I am trying to say is, great work Omar. :-)

    • Large
      Matthew Fricker Large

      Great work Omar :) excellent use of your toy car model.

  • Large
    Matthew Fricker Large

    Thankyou! I appreciate the kind words :) 

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    Kent Trammell Large

    Large dostovel Beautiful work, sir! Wow, they're so similar. Great example tool. What's one thing you learned along the way?

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      Omar Domenech Large

      Large theluthier I'll just say the world may soon need a rehabilitation program for 3D artist, this thing is addictive.

      I'd say one main thing is that lighting can certainly make or unmake all your work, all your modeling, all your shading and texturing. Also that as you tweak and tweak and tweak, small values and decisions make a lot of difference. And also I discovered that working with a Glass Material can be a real pain in the ass. Why is that thing so uncomfortable and requires so many hacks? 

      Here's another exercise. Really fun doing this one. That curious thing happened again, where things star really bland, you put a light in the scene and things just look awful, you try and try some more and it still looks hideous. Time goes on and you start to get that small feeling of frustration and desperation. I mean it is so simple that at first it's hard to get your head around what's behind the composition. Then slowly and without any reason in particular, as you try stuff out, trying to match what you see, the composition with those tones start to make things look great, and I'm there, as my mind is unaware that I'm about to cross that threshold thinking "Why is it starting to look good all of a sudden?" Aesthetics is the most elusive thing in the universe, there is no formula or equation for it.

      Like I saw the other day, if there was no Albert Einstein, some other person could have eventually figure out Relativity and E=MC2, but if there was no Beethoven, there never would've been a Seventh Symphony, it's not a thing you discover.


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