Join Adam Crespi for an in-depth discussion in this video Lighting interior spaces for night, part of Rendering Exteriors in Maya.
After you've got the exterior lights going on the building for a night scene, you can also think about some interior lights. Now depending on the degree of finish on the inside, you may want to suggest dim lighting, versus enough light to really see in everything. In this case, I've got some of the furniture on the inside and at least the walls are blocked in, so that we don't actually see through the back of the building, but there's not a lot of the interior in this model. What I'm going to do then is put some light in so it doesn't look completely dead inside, but leave the idea there that there's something going on rather than showing everything.
I'll go into my top view and I'm going to turn off the landscape layer. I had shown this to be able to test the lighting as part of placing a few more lights around. I'll go into a wire frame by pressing four, and I'm going to use a mix of spots and point lights to light up the building. First, I'll take one of my can spotlights and move it to the inside. On my hotbox, I'll click in the space to the left of MIA and choose Rendering Mask. This lets me select right across the geometry but only grab the light. I'll press Control+D to duplicate, and slide this light inside.
I'm going to do a pattern of four here in the entry, to give me a nice bright pool of light I'll see through the door. I'll duplicate these down and pull them over. A rough square is good enough for these. Next, I'll land in a few more over at the bar because there's another set of windows there. I'll duplicate these four, slide them over, and pull them in to that open space. Now I'm going to put in some point lights. I'll choose Create > Lights and Point Light. I'll take those point light, slide it into the middle of this space right here and pull it up out of the floor.
Because this is a fill light for the inside, we don't want it to be too bright. So I'll scroll down on the channel box to the shape node and try the intensity out at let's say 50. I'll go into my camera and see how this looks in an IPR. So far, it's working well. I might want to put in a little more intensity in the point light, but I don't mind it being kind of dim. We need to suggest that its on versus really absolutely showing everything. Now, if you're going to do an interior render or have a fully flushed out interior, you can light it up. But in the case of a lot of models, we just have an exterior and it's too much time or money to do the interior, as well.
And so, we need to just make it look, well, fairly well lit. I'll do a larger IPR and, overall, judge if I need more light on the inside. At the moment, the light placement is good. Now I still got to adjust the lighting level with the exposure. I am getting a little bit of a large throw out here from the point light into the street. We can see the muted out shapes right here on the asphalt, so it maybe something to tone down. Alternately, I could use a decay on this light so it just hits the inside. I'll try that out. Typically, I find decay to be a little bit artificial in some lighting.
There are places where it's useful, but to the amount we have to crank them up with our photographic exposure, sometimes decay leaves us a burning sun surrounded by a black hole. With the point selected, I'll press Control+A to go to the attributes, and turn on my decay to linear. Then I'll have to boost up this intensity, so I'll try 250. The shapes in the parking lot from the light coming through the windows are gone, but my interior is a little bit dim. I'll put this intensity up to 400, and then clone this light over in the space. It's working nicely.
So in a top view, I'll zoom in, duplicate this point, and slide it over into the other part of the dining room. Again, so I get the idea of light in here without getting a giant bloom inside. Now it's still dim. And again, that's the exposure. But I'm getting here, the idea of light inside. My outside lights are obviously brighter, showing off the building. But inside I get little glimpses of light, like through the windows on the left side, that let me know it's inhabited. What we want here is to really be able to look in and see, yes there's light in the places we expected, light on the floor from overheads, or light washing the walls.
We don't necessarily need to see it as ablaze with light inside, just that the windows are not exactly black.
- Creating exterior materials
- Converting paint effects for mental ray
- Positioning the sun with the Daylight system
- Lighting using HDR imagery
- Lighting interior spaces
- Adjusting and optimizing the render settings
- Setting up additional rendering passes for compositing purposes
- Compositing and adding post effects in Nuke and After Effects