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Lighting a closed off room that has no visible light sources

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Michael Wood
Lighting a closed off room that has no visible light sources
on Jul 27, 2016 at 11:57:25 pm

Hi there,

I'm working on a room for an animation, based off of a reference from some already established marketing material. The scene will need to be completely closed off because the camera will be moving around. Unfortunately it's rather abstract, so there is no visible lights for me to emit light from. Due to deadline I think global illumination is out of the question, as we need as fast results as possible. I'm not sure where to start in terms of light placement to get it to looking globally lit. I have achieved the look I want but the render time was around 15 minutes, and the room wasn't closed off so I was able to place lights at a distance.

Here is a small screen shot of the reference scene to get across the style of lighting I'm trying to achieve.


The floor is reflective too so there cant be intense lights that reflect. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks in advance.


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Adam Trachtenberg
Re: Lighting a closed off room that has no visible light sources
on Jul 28, 2016 at 1:38:03 am

The key to this is going to be ambient occlusion, which you can use as a render effect or in materials. It will give you the subtle contrast that's similar to GI.


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Michael Wood
Re: Lighting a closed off room that has no visible light sources
on Jul 28, 2016 at 5:24:33 pm

Thanks for the reply.

Could you possibly give more information or point me to somewhere? Not sure if I mentioned in the first post that I'm using physical render currently. Would standard be a better choice?

Any more info would be greatly appreciated. M
Thanks.


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Adam Trachtenberg
Re: Lighting a closed off room that has no visible light sources
on Jul 28, 2016 at 8:34:19 pm

Looking for more information about AO or additional tips? The AO render effect can be found by going to render settings and clicking the Effect button. Once you enable it you can click on Ambient Occlusion on the list at the left of the dialogue to access it's properties. For a full explanation check the help documents.

In addition to AO you would probably want to use one light with "Ambient Illumination" checked in the light's General tab. Ambient lights provide a uniform, non-directional lighting. Generally you'd balance the strength of an ambient light with the strength of a regular omni light to provide a fake GI bounce lighting effect. I'd start with something like 35% ambient and 75% regular lighting.

Another old-school option would be to use multiple low intensity, wide spots to act as fake bounced light.


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Michael Wood
Re: Lighting a closed off room that has no visible light sources
on Jul 31, 2016 at 8:37:17 pm

Many thanks for the help. I managed to get the environment looking just like the reference with your advice.

I did end up using ALOT of lights however, but it looks great so I guess results are results.

Thanks again.


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