Tips & Tricks on Realistic Lighting

Tips & Tricks on Realistic Lighting

Creative Bloq has published an article by Djordje Ilic with 12 tips on setting up realistic lighting.

Creative Bloq has published an article by Djordje Ilic with 12 tips on setting up realistic lighting. The lighting is the key when it comes to selling your work. It sets the right mood, emphasizes the right details and helps you define the atmosphere. You have to admit that setting up the perfect lighting is not an easy challenge, so let’s study the tricks from the article.

Here are some of them to get you interested:

Use effects to direct the viewer’s gaze

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It’s really tempting to get carried away with shiny light effects such as bokeh and glow, but use them too much and all you do is lose any kind of impact. Restrict these to strong highlights on certain parts of the image, such as metal and glass, in addition to any strong light sources.

Although this image is only a section of the Porsche, attention is drawn towards a diagonal slice in the middle, thanks to the glow and bokeh effects. I began by using lines to work out the composition of the image, and then applied the effects following those lines.

Add selective highlights

Well placed highlights help convey depth of field

Using photographic techniques, such as a shallow depth of field, is a useful way of drawing attention to an area, but highlights can also help achieve the same result. The problem with a shallow depth of field is that all of the in-focus detail is right at the front of the image, so the viewer can find it difficult to know where to look.

In our example above, highlights are used to pick out the texture on the headlight and Porsche logo. Not only does this give a tactile quality to the image, but it helps stop the image looking flat.

Light multiple materials

Try different light sources to accentuate textures or details

Play with the angle of the source light to make the most of textures. The lighting in this image is placed to accentuate the textures. If it was placed in a different position, some of this detail would have been lost. When you are aiming for photorealism, it is by emphasising recognisable elements that you will achieve your goal.

You can find the full guide here. The post is based on one of the articles from issue 227 of 3D World. One more thing — you can get the scene for free here

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