Since I learned so much from this image (thanks to the Raydream-L list!), I wanted to put some of what I learned in this page in hopes that it helps others with their lighting and pursuit of realism.
This is my original version of the image. It has an ambient light setting of around 70% and is lit by two spotlights.
Kitchen – First Version
It did’t have the realism that I was going for, so I asked the Raydream-L list for some help. And here’s a few of the comments/suggestions:
- “I would turn the ambient light down. Try <10. If you want to add more light in a scene, you can have a spot aimed at a screen behind the camera, much like in photography. This will give a diffuse, softer light.”
- “Add some spots in the highlight channel to give some appearence texture as well.”
- “You may try to enhance realism by toning down the colour and reflectiveness of the blue tiles”
- “Leave some of the objects (or parts of objects) in the dark and you will also add some mystery to your work.”
- “Mike and Ike candies wrong shape (should be cylinders with spherical ends, instead of stretched eggs)”
- “The mike and Ike box has no thickness to the flaps and the flaps are perfect. If it were a box opened by a person… well, just go get a box, open it up and see how the flaps look after being tugged and pulled.”
- “The proportions are a little off, The base of the glass and the vase need to be larger to be more convicing as real objects.”
- “Try adding some dust and scratches to the tiles and the wallpaper. it is not often that a scene in real life is that clean’
- “The straw seems to ‘white’.”
- And many more…
So….Here is the second version of the image:
I tried several things to improve the realism:
- LIGHTING: In this version, I turned the ambient light setting down to 14% percent. It seemed that the high ambient light was causing the objects to look too flat. There are 5 different spotlights to lighting the scene. (pointed at the glass, vase, candies, back corner and back wall) Each spotlight generally had a high angular fall off and a medium to high setting for distance fall off. Each light had soft-shadows turned on with a diameter of 2.
- COLOR: I toned down the colors of the blue tiles as well as the candies and thumbtacks so they wouldn’t look so saturated. I also reduced the reflection of the tiles and the vase to make it look less “perfect”. In real life, a scene like this would have more muted colors.
- SCRATCHES: I added several dings and scratches to the counter tiles as well as the baseboards and vase.
- MISC: I added a small ring to the top edge of the glass so it wouldn’t appear so sharp (someone mentioned “no wonder there’s a straw in the glass!”)