This tutorial is based on the In Depth Vray Lighting presentation I gave at our March 4, 2009 meeting.  Feel free to post any comments or questions in the comments below.

This image is lit by Vray Omni lights using an IES profile, provided by the lighting manufacturer.  This fixture is the Collage Pendant by Louis Poulsen.  More information is available at the Louis Poulsen website.

The lighting fixture itself is turned off here, because its geometry would interfere with the IES light.  The fixture is added later in a separate pass.  I began lighting this scene using this fixture, since the IES profile is a precise representation of the real light.  I chose inches as my units under the Vray Options panel, which reflects the real dimensions of the model.  I also adjusted the Vray Physical Camera's exposure controls to get an appropriate brightness.

This image shows the recessed can lights, which are placed as indicated in the architectural drawings.  Here I am using a Vray spotlight.  Its intensity is not set in real world units, but is simply adjusted to look correct through the Vray Physical Camera. Note the hard shadows that this light casts, especially visible under the dining table and chairs.

Here I have slightly softened the shadows by setting the shadow radius to 6".  I have also raised the shadow subdivisions to 32 to eliminate noise.  A soft edge to the shadow is now visible under the dining table.

Similar spot lights are placed along the lower section of the ceiling.  Their intensity is slightly lower than the previous spot lights to create even lighting levels throughout the space.

Spot lights are used again here for the pendant fixtures above the bar.  The lights are placed inside the fixture.  The bulb inside each fixture is given a Vray Compositing Tag with shadows and GI turned off.

This image shows the accent lighting on the surface of the bar.  This is done with Vray Area Lights.  The lights have a rectangular shape and are placed just under the countertop, pitched slightly toward the illuminated surfaces.

To simulate the light from the fire, a Vray Area Light is used with a spherical shape.  The light source itself will be invisible in the final rendering.  A strong orange color is used to simulate light from a real fire.

Moving on to the exterior lighting, we have an example of image based lighting.  A high dynamic range image (HDRI) is mapped onto a hemispherical Vray Area Light.  I have used the C4D filter shader to reduce the intense blue color of the HDRI.  Note the grain and GI artifacts visible in the interior.  Rather than cranking up the rendering settings or light subdivisions, this problem will be addressed by balancing the sky light with light from other sources.  Vray's antialiasing settings also influence the quality of this light.  In this case, increased AA settings result in smooth lighting in the final render.

In this scene, I have separated the sky light from the sun light, instead of simply using the Vray Physical Sun and Sky.  A Vray Physical Sun is used here, with the Physical Sky turned off.  The color and direction of the light is controlled by the Cinema 4D sun tag.  However, I have also placed the sun inside a null, which I then rotated to get the precise angle that best fits the scene.  The intensity of the sun has been reduced to 0.5% of its real value.  In a real photograph, the exterior would be completely blown out if the interior were exposed correctly.  Using Vray's Color Mapping settings would be another approach to balancing interior and exterior lighting.

This image shows the Vray Physical Sun combined with the HDRI sky.  The intense yellow color of the light is now balanced by the blue sky light.

Here you can see the combination of all the light sources in the scene.  Until now, all objects have been given a flat gray material.  The final rendering below shows the scene with all materials applied.  The final step will be to composite the Poulsen light fixtures into the scene.


+2 # Robert Benson 2011-07-11 08:37
anyone know where I can find a good tutorial on the following:
I need to create a texture that has some reflectivity. Imagine a rusty metal box, where the rusty parts are less reflective than the non-rusty parts. Can't seem to locate a good tut and can't figure it out.
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0 # noname 2011-11-25 18:21
use BW image/texture in specular channel (main or gloss or reflection or combinations), where W is visible & B not. Here you have an example of bronze rust >
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