View Full Version : workflow suggestions for outdoor castle shot

10-19-2007, 08:26 AM
Hi wavers,

I'm creating a shot with a massive castle overlooking water, but my shadows
are making the castle look somewhat small. The aim is photorealistic and
I'm looking for suggestions on the kind of light that would be ideal for this shot. Does it make any difference if I scale down the light object and increase scale of the castle mesh?

All suggestions welcomed.

Magnetic Studio

10-19-2007, 01:13 PM
How about posting it as a WIP?

10-21-2007, 06:28 PM
Advice needed re. lighting. It needs to look more photo real.

10-22-2007, 11:12 PM
In the first image, you have a conflict.

For two reasons:

1) Direction of the light.

There is a light source that is behind the object.

Yet there is light hitting it from the opposite side creating shadows.

2) Quality of the light.

The fact that there is a heavy cloud cover suggests that the light should be soft.

However the light hitting the object is hard, giving sharp edged shadows.

This very definitely gives it the sense that it is a small object lit in a studio environment.

The second image is better because it seems more in sync with the surroundings however it is lacking in the subtleties that natural lighting would give.

If you want to light a scene to make it look natural, first simplify and think with what lighting would be in the environment, where it would be coming from and what kind of quality it would have. (This would take some study and observation in the real world - preferably with the use of a camera to practice with natural lighting situations.)

This will tell you what kind of light to use and what kind of shadows if any.

Then you have to either use Ambient Occlusion shader or Radiosity or some other trick to simulate the ambient light.

Do a search for Radiosity here and you see lots of lighting threads full of great ideas.

And finally make sure you understand what the LightWave lights do and how they behave as opposed to real lights.

11-14-2007, 02:11 PM
Thanks all for the suggestions. See link to updated anim.
It's not final. No window, low antialiasing.


Elmar Moelzer
11-15-2007, 06:07 AM
I think what ruins the realizm a lot is the texturing.
You should add some more variation to it. Right now it almost looks like a paper model, with the stones simply painted on. There should be creases and different stones in different areas. E.g. along the corners, I am sure there would be larger stones for support, with small stones layered inbetween them. Also there is some serious texture stretching going on in some areas.
The lighting is too harsh. I think you should add more fill lights, or use radiosity, etc. The corners are also to sharp. You should add some extra geometry there, e.g. stones sticking out a bit, or different stone materials.
Here is an image of a abby ruin that I did a long time ago (it was only meant to be a BG element, so it is not as fully detailed as a part that should be in the center of attention).
Check the details at the corners of the walls.
Now yours might not always be as extreme (since your castle obviously is still fully in tact), but nevertheless you should pay attention to this, especially for the parts that will be visible up close.
Hope that helps!
Also check the color of your lighting. You might want to add some blueish fill lights.

11-15-2007, 06:37 AM

Thanks for your valuable feedback and I agree that the texture could use some tweaking. To be honest, high realism isn't my specialty as I tend to do more cartoon styled shorts, but I'm learning. Your attached image was gorgeous! I'm
clearly not at that level yet. Thanks for sharing that w/me.

The link I posted had displacement very low, so the next I will increase displacememnt a bit so the stones pop out a bit more. Bump map will be increased as well.

Quick question:
For hd rendering to 1920 x 1080, would quality suffer if anim is output to 80% of HD, then upsized in After Effects to save rendering time?
Also, I find using motion blur w/reel smart motion blur in AE is quicker than using motion blur in LW. To my eye, the imagery doesn't suffer, but does anyone have an opinion on weather this is a good or bad solution?

Cheers all and thanks for any feedback.

11-15-2007, 08:12 AM
madpoet: Naturally the quality would suffer a bit, but depending on your purposes it might still do. If I remember correctly, the folks responsible for Battlestar Galactica's effects render their stuff in 720p and later upscale it to 1080p and add some noise - it helps to smooth the unnaturally sharp CG-look a bit (especially useful as the material is shown with real footage) and of course saves a lot of rendering time.
If a post processing motion blur looks good to you and you think that the imagery doesn't suffer, then you should use it - in this line of work we should cheat when ever we can. :)

11-15-2007, 08:24 AM
Hey Sande,

Once again this forum comes through. Thanks for your feedback and I
just may go that root if client agrees.

Me thinks if I were doing this in Maya, render time would be triple.
Don't get me wrong, I use every app I can get my hands on and enjoy
all of them, but this is why I have such a liking to LW.

11-27-2007, 07:58 AM