Join Adam Crespi for an in-depth discussion in this video Lighting interior spaces for night, part of Rendering Exteriors in 3ds Max.
When we're lighting an outside dusk scene, one of the things that actually helps really make the rendering read, are the interior lights being on. At the moment, I've tuned up my exterior lights just a little bit, pushing their luminance up a little bit more. And I've also widened out their hotspot and falloff to 55 and 85, so I get a little more spread on the lights. It's a warm soft rendering from the Halogen bulbs, and I've got good light showing on the facade, nice and bright on the window frame and very soft on the deck.
Now I'm going to get some interior lights going. At the moment this is just really a bare shell, the rooms and doors are there but there's nothing else in them. Here's how I'll make this work. I'm going to put light in some of the rooms, so that what we see is really, the lit wall through that glass. I'll close my rendering and I'll go into a top view. I'll press z to zoom extents and zoom in. What we can see here in this house, is on the left side is the master bedroom. There's a master bedroom, adjoining or opposing closets, a master bath and a walk-in water closet.
And then next to it a powder room, separated by a small vestibule. The main living space has the higher ceiling and on the right side there's two other bedrooms, again, separated by a small vestibule, with a jack and jill, or shared bath, and adjoining closets. What I'm doing to do, is to put a photometric light inside each room, and this way I get some light going on without having to put in all the furniture and detail. I had left my specular light out there from earlier, which is casting highlights onto that wood siding.
I'll borrow it, or make a new photometric Free Light. I'll hold Shift and clone it over. Alternately, if you don't have this, you can go under Create, Lights, and make a Free Light. I'll put a Free Light in the master bath as it's one of the rooms I see most prominently. In the Modifier panel. I let this light be Uniform Spherical. But change its shadows to on. Using Ray Traced Shadows. As an alternate, you could exclude, this light from everything but those walls. But it's up to you how you'd like to light. For now though, I'm going to leave it as Ray Traced Shadows, that light will filter out the windows and not hit much.
In our Light Type, we can run a D65 Alumina or even use an Incandescent or something similar. Although a lot of our lights are now Compact Fluorescent for energy efficiency, sometimes the warmth of an incandescent in a Render, looks better. Alternately, we can choose, for example a Daylight Fluorescent or even a Halogen to warm up the interior. I'll try a Daylight Fluorescent and see how it looks. With this light positioned, I'll go in a front view and move it up, I'll press z to zoom in on it and we can just see the light seen through that block wall maze.
I'll pull this light up, just above those windows and try out a rendering. As a note in here, I've hit all the interior walls and ceiling with my same eggshell white. I've also painted the doors in my semi gloss white, so I should see a nicely lit interior. I'll take this light and clone it over into the master bedroom. Again, I'm just looking to fill the volumes really in here and I'll clone it as a Copy. I'll go into my Camera and try a quick test render of that side. Again, pulling up the rendered frame window, editing the region, and trying out that section of the house.
As you probably suspected, there's not enough light coming from these lights. So we really need to boost them up to be able to see it through the windows. I'll hit Escape, and for this one which is my master bedroom, I'll call it Mbed point. And I'll put up this dimmer to 500. I'll do the same with that master bath. And here's how we can filter down, so we can select things easily, I'll drop down in my Selection Filter and choose Lights, and now I can click right on it instead of picking that geometry. I'll call this one Mbath point, and again I'll bring up its intensity using the dimmer.
I'll try another render, and see if it helps a little bit. We're definitely getting the idea that the lights are on. But it is tempered by the blue in the glass. So I'm going to go into my window glass and take that out. So it reads as warm inside the room. I'll hit Escape, press m for that material editor, and go find my C material for the glass. I'll scroll down and there's my glass clear, and this is where naming really comes in handy. I'll double-click on it and the slate material editor zooms in on it. I'll scroll in, double-click on my glass.
And I'll go into that refraction color and pull out some of the blue. I'll also go into the diffuse color, and believe it or not, take out the blue and make it darker. With that totally blacked out, and my transparency all the way up, I should see through nicely, and I won't get a blue tempering what I'm seeing in the glass. There is one last thing to do to help this along. We need to increase the number of rays we are dealing with, and I'll pull up the Render Settings to do this. In the renderer, we've got our quality here both for Anti-aliasing and Ray Tracing. I'm going to scroll down and enter the Ray Tracing section.
Here in Ray Tracing, my Max Trace Depth right now is at six, Reflection's at four and Refraction's at six. I'll bring up the Max Trace Depth to 12 and also Reflections to six. And this will allow me to see through a little clearer. I'll Render once more and I should really get that light showing. It's working nicely. It just needs a little more boost in intensity, but the lights are definitely on. Now, I'll take these lights and really crank them. I'm going to try for that bathroom, a 1000%.
And for the bedroom, something similar. Maybe even a little bit more. It's working nicely. Through that window I can see the wall, door, things reflecting and so on, and in the bathroom, it's definitely got the idea of the light being on. This is where for artistic purposes, I'll switch these lights over to Halogen, or something warm. We had chosen a Daylight Fluorescent, but a Warm Halogen, gives that warm rich yellow inside the house, we expect to see. I'll do the same with the bathroom light, again selecting it easily and changing it over.
It looks like what we're also seeing through those windows. And I'll press F3 to go into a shaded view, and hope to show it. Is that this window sees through to the other window in the master bedroom, so we might be seeing some of the dark outside in that window as well, when that yucca disappears. Or rather, the yucca isn't showing in canopy mode. I'll try one more Render, and I feel like it's in pretty good shape. That's better. When it's not using the Daylight Fluorescent, I get a rich warmth in the house, and it really looks like the lights are on. I'll go through and light up the rest of the house this way, putting these points in and, really show that there's somebody in and differentiating my dusk from my exterior lights, from my interiors.
- Creating exterior materials
- Adding luster to glass and subtle detail to wood and siding
- Positioning the sun with the Daylight system
- Lighting using HDR imagery
- Lighting interior spaces
- Fine-tuning the photographic exposure
- Rendering and optimizing rendering
- Creating an ambient-occlusion rendering pass with custom materials
- Setting up additional rendering passes for compositing purposes
- Compositing and adding post effects in Nuke and After Effects