Exterior Light Balance – The Sweetest Bakery


BEHIND THE SCENES // ‘The Sweetest Bakery

Lessons recorded with V-Ray for 3ds Max / SketchUp / Rhino


Written by Daniela Bringas

 

The first thing that I thought when I creating this beautiful project was: What do I really want to do?

I had always wanted to create a restaurant or a bakery in another city, so my first mission was to find many references on the internet and in magazines and books, to create the architecture and street, but I also wanted to create a mood of wanting to be there and feeling very comfortable.

I was also trying to create something very real, so my second mission was to search for references for the lighting. I spent days looking for everything— day, night, sunset, rain, etc. and here are three relevant images from my research:

 

Then I found the perfect mood in a picture of a café!

That’s when I knew that my image would be in the daytime, with the shadows of the trees on the walls and floor. I had loved the reference so I took up the challenge of creating an image of The Sweetest Bakery. The references I found also really helped me create the composition of the image and that’s how it all started.

 

The first thing I did was put a Vray Sun + Vray Sky with their default parameters, setting up the camera with values to generate a good exposure.

 

Next, I tried to create shadows that would give the image that special touch. After modeling the scene, I started to add different types of trees (Model 41 of Vol.163 Evermotion) and this helped me to generate the shadows I needed. I moved and scaled the trees in many ways until I found the perfect shadows:

I loved the shadows but I felt that I needed to improve them. I wanted certain areas not to be overexposed and the shadows to be more diffused. I also wanted the environment to be slightly more bluish so I modified the Vray Sun parameters.

First, I changed the ‘Size Multiplier’ from 1 to 1.5, which helped to create more blurred shadows. I also wanted the environment to be more bluish, so I modified the filter color. By default, it’s set to 255 (pure white) but I changed it to 88 (grayscale). Lastly, I reduced the HighLight Burn to get a softer picture, avoiding blown out areas.

This was the result:

 

Once I’d found the perfect exterior lighting, now my mission was to illuminate the interior of the bakery. I wanted it to be very cozy but I also wanted to achieve very realistic interior lighting, so I looked for references to make the lighting as real as possible. I looked for daytime images with illuminated interiors.

So, following the 5SRW tecniques, I added two more lights to complete my hierarchy:

Secondary Light: Once I’d found the best references, I started to place my interior lights using plane Vray Lights as instances
Units: Radiant power, Multiplier: 200 Mode: temperature (4500)

Fill Light: Finally, I added a tertiary light to generate color contrast in the interior
Units: Radiant power, Multiplier: 60 Mode: temperature (7000)

 

Secondary & Fill Lights shown separately in the interior:

 

FINAL LIGHT BALANCE
The result of all the lights combined: the chiaroscuro effect was very dynamic and gave it a great three-dimensional appearance:

I loved the lighting and after carrying out tests with materials, the result was fascinating. I was really in love with my image.

The materials are all very simple, more like textures, with little or no reflectiveness. I took great care of the mapping so that everything was in perfect proportion and the colors were well combined. I didn’t focus much on shaders, concentrating more on the color concept to recreate the ‘sweet’ mood that I had in mind:

 

FINAL RENDER WITH POST-PRODUCTION
For post-production, the following render elements were used: ReflectionRefractionLight Select for the interior lights, Diffuse FilterVray Extra Text to give a minimal touch of Environmental Occlusion, and Wire Color, so that I could easily select the objects, following the techniques illustrated in the lessons.

Finally, I used Photoshop as taught in the 5SRW course and this is the final result:

This has been one of my favorite personal projects. The lighting was very simple and finding references suited to my project helped me a lot and guided me in the process.

Author: Daniela Bringas
Render Engine: V-Ray for 3ds Max
Method & Techniques: 5SRW

Lessons recorded with V-Ray for 3ds Max / SketchUp / Rhino




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