Tutorial teaser : realistic light setting in Blender

Found on BlenderNation, this article by Itchy is really interesting and worth full-reading : it explains the basic principles of lighting and the way different kinds of lighting works :

  • First page is about light and the mechanics behind it,
  • Second page is about the effects on a photo of the light location,
  • Third page is showing the different lighting possible at different hours or with differents weather.

Lighting test 1 : midday Lighting test 2 : sunset

I’ll show you how to use this material in Blender to produce simple but realistic lighting. As usual, I will produce some renders with YafRay.

Introduction : setting up the simplest scene you can imagine

Differents pictures in the Itchy article (like this one or this other one) show a common scene : a white ball, a white ground plane, and a simple sky surrouding the ball and the plane :

Lighting test scene screenshot

To achieve it in Blender, it’s really simple :

1/ Start Blender and erase every object of the default scene (AKEY twice to select all, XKEY to erase)
2/ Place 3D cursor at origin (Shift+CKEY) and in TopView (NUMPAD7), add a plane (SPACE >> Add >> Mesh >> Plane) Scale it up (SKEY and enter 4 on your keyboard, then ENTER) Exit Edit mode (TABKEY)
3/ In side view (NUMPAD1), add a sphere (SPACE >> Add >> Mesh >> IcoSphere, Subdiv at 3) and with all vertices selected in Edit mode, move the sphere upward (GKEY, ZKEY then enter 1 on your keyboard, then ENTER) Exit Edit mode (TABKEY)
4/ Add a Camera (SPACE >> Add >> Camera) and adjust your point of view with middle mouse button to get an interesting perspective. Once you find it, adjust the Camera to respect this point of view (Shift NUMPAD0) Check the point of view with NUMPAD0 to activate the camera.
5/ If needed you can do some adjustements, by moving the camera or the sphere on the ground plane.

Lighting the scene

I will describe two light setups from the article by Itchy : midday and sunset. There is common settings for both lightings and a specific part for each one. Common to both lighting :

  • Define a simple sky : in the Shading panel (F5), under World buttons, select a light blue as horizon colour (#B1D6FF) Zenith colour is useless as the sky is uniform. This colour should be replaced by another one if needed, but it works well for both midday and sunset.

Specific to midday :

  • Add a Sun light, with colour set to white (#FFFFFF) The location of the light doesn’t really matter, but its direction does : rotate it to have your scene lighted from the top. Why ? Because the sun is high in the sky at midday !

Specific to sunset :

  • Add a Sun light, with colour set to a light red (#FF4F00) As above, the location of the light doesn’t matter, set only its direction to have the scene lighted from nearly the horizon, like where the sun lies at sunset.

Rendering the scene with YafRay

As this is only a teaser, there is more to come ! I will complete it as soon as possible. Until I publish it, you can use my previous tutorial about rendering with YafRay : Realistic clay render with YafRay and Blender.

Thanks for waiting šŸ™‚

One thought on “Tutorial teaser : realistic light setting in Blender

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *