V-Ray Exterior Lighting | The Sweetest Bakery

EXTERIOR LIGHTING // ‘The Sweetest Bakery

Render Author: Daniela Bringas, Learnvray Member, 3d Artist @Neoscape
Tutorial: Daniela Bringas and Ciro Sannino

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:


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:


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