I am stuck with a problem I can't find an all-over-board solution for.

I have a simple room(see the image) with a few windows. Now I would like to actually film an animation in this room (not in the image yet). To create a nice filmic look, I also need good lightning.

As far as I know I have following options to light up my scene.

  1. Use HDR Images
  2. Use Lamps (Sun, Spot, Hemi)
  3. Use Emitter Objects

In the screenshot below I used the first method, an HDRI Image. But I want to place some more planes arround the windows with JPegs on it to keep the Illusion of having buildings arround the room and using HDR Images is causing a massive time of rendering.

enter image description here

Another step I think of is of course letting the lamp at the ceiling emitt some light.

the actual question is: Woudl you light up the scene like i did (or will), or do you have any other suggestions regarding the light and scene set up?

Thanks in advance!

Download Blend File

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Not sure what I'm saying is very relevant as I am also a newby at Blender, but did you check using a Light Portal? See the excellent CynicatPro example: youtube.com/watch?v=uJl8mP-HtQs $\endgroup$
    – Gimly
    Nov 23, 2015 at 15:43

1 Answer 1


(Disclaimer: subjective answer based on my own opinions)

Depending on the look you want to go for and the render engine:

1. The Internal Render Engine

You want a daylight scene

I would recommend setting the sky to a generated type. (Have a look in World > Sky. Enable Generated and Blend. Try changing the color swatches, especially the Horizon one) If this works for you, good. Place the jpg:s where you want. In their material settings enable Shadeless (if my memory isn't failing it's under Specular) and disable Traceable (near the very bottom). Oh, and to simplify your life, have a look at the Import Images as Planes add-on. It sets up the UVs, the aspect ratio and the materials automatically.

You want a scene lit by the lamp.

I'd consider using an area lamp (add > lamp > area) that is near the actual lamp's position and shape (See in properties > lamp). You could try to move it down a bit to better light the ceiling of that's what you want to go for. Playing with the lamp's color can also yield interesting results.

2. The Blender game engine

Please consider trying baked light. Andrew Price made a good tutorial about it here: http://www.blenderguru.com/tutorials/introduction-baking-cycles/

You want a daylight scene

This could be tricky. Your best bet could be to use spot lamps that shine through the windows. You could have the jpg:s in the way as they don't cast shadows by default. I am not sure that the results would in any way be convincing.

You want a scene lit by the lamp

The best I can think of is using a spot to illuminate the floor. Maybe combine it with point lamp to fake indirect lighting of the roof.

3. The Cycles render engine

You want a daylight scene

You want to use your HDRI

Crank up the emission's strength. Making the jpg:s work requires some extra trickery, refer to this: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=8auLtssTkEg

You probably want to disable the planes blocking light. Simply replace the diffuse by a transparent node.

You want to use the JPG:s as a source of light

Simply use them as they come out of the Images as Planes add-on. Maybe strengthen the emission. In this scenario you can discard the HDRI

You want to make a scene lit by the lamp

Simply make the neon tubes emissive.

I hope this helps.

  • $\begingroup$ I really need glasses. How could I miss that you were using Cycles? Morale of the story: I shouldn't answer Blender StackExchange at eleven o'clock my local time. $\endgroup$
    – Mörkö
    Nov 24, 2015 at 6:33
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you for your effort and this very detailed hints! I will try all of them out when I am at home. Since my Computer is slow as F*** it will take a few days until I can post some results. But I will attach them here, as soon as I got them :) $\endgroup$ Nov 24, 2015 at 8:20
  • $\begingroup$ Take your time. $\endgroup$
    – Mörkö
    Nov 24, 2015 at 8:20

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