V-Ray Exterior Lighting | The Sweetest Bakery
What do I really want to do to create an amazing V-Ray Exterior Lighting?
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.
V-Ray Lighting – 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: Reflection, Refraction, Light Select for the interior lights, Diffuse Filter, Vray 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 exterior 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