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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camera_obscura

I am trying to recreate a pinhole light effect in Blender. I tried in Luxcore but with my settings it gets very slow and the results are very poor. I am working with low realism. I am really more interested in the silhouettes of objects and the shadows that they cast. I am looking to recreate some curious effects I have observed of the shadows cast when sunlight shines through dense foliage.

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  • $\begingroup$ This tutorial seems to be the best description that deals with both EEVEE and Cycles $\endgroup$ Sep 5 at 3:11
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These steps are from This tutorial.

  • Delete everything from the scene but the default cube.
  • Edit the default cube
  • Select all
  • Edge -> subdivide so that you now have edge loops everywhere.
  • Select the center vertex of one of the faces and use CTRLSHIFTB to bevel it.
  • Set the bevel Segments to 3
  • Set the bevel Shape to 0.085
  • Set the bevel Width small. I used 0.034m

Bevel settings

  • delete the resulting faces, giving a circular hole in the center of one face.

box with hole

  • add a new material
  • Make it black
  • set its roughness and specularity to 0
  • assign it to every face except the four faces opposite the hole.

material for the body

If you're using EEVEE as your render engine, disable soft shadows.

Make sure that the world generates no light.

To demonstrate place a point lamp at (2,0,0) and gave it 1000w of power. Place the camera at the hole and pointed it at the back wall. Give it a 17mm focal length:

Side view showing camera and point lamp placement.

Here's what the back wall render looks like in Cycles:

cycles render view

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  • $\begingroup$ Thank you Marty for answering this question. You have described how to make a basic pinhole camera although the surface on which the image falls should not be matte black. $\endgroup$
    – user5049
    Sep 6 at 14:49
  • $\begingroup$ I need some help with the render settings, I am not looking for anything near photo-realism but I do need to render considerably more detail than just a point source. $\endgroup$
    – user5049
    Sep 6 at 14:54
  • $\begingroup$ Take a look at this youtube video by MrSorbias for how he approaches the lighting. $\endgroup$ Sep 6 at 15:01
  • $\begingroup$ I will still need a much higher sensitivity, I will need to be able to render several objects in a 3d space, I could work without indirect light at a pinch. The objects could have emit materials. The light would have to pass through several different shaped orifices in the camera obscura the result would a compound image. I will then need about 250 frames of animation for each test. I will need dozens of tests. $\endgroup$
    – user5049
    Sep 7 at 19:24

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