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Lighting La Ruelle - Chapter 1: Fog/Mist at Nighttime

By Andrzej Sykut
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Date Added: 5th February 2013
Software used:
3ds Max, V-Ray

VRayPhysicalCamera also provides the settings for vignetting, very handy even if it will be finely tuned during post production. While playing with exposure, we may continue with a more photographic approach, and change the white balance. When doing night photography, playing with WB can give nice, rich colors in seemingly plain light (Fig.10). I took these photos using Shaded / Cloudy settings, and tried to achieve some of that look in the scene, even if it was a starting to look bit too warm.

1663_tid_fig_10.jpg
Fig.10

To illuminate the fog a bit, we need more light - we need the aforementioned ambient light. But we are not going to use the Ambient setting, nor will we use a Skylight solution. Sky will be handled by a big Vray Light above the whole scene, colored teal (Fig.11), and one smaller Vray Light, angled slightly towards the camera, placed just above the roof. Moonlight will be done using a standard Max Directional light, placed above the camera. Because I don't want the front facing walls to be lit too much, I built a simple shadow-caster object, simulating the other side of the street (Fig.12). For placing such lights, where shadow is even more important than the light, it's good to use viewport shadows display. I use it for almost all lights in the scene, but it really works well with one or two as with any more they tend to cancel each other out.

1663_tid_fig_11.jpg
Fig.11
1663_tid_fig_12.jpg
Fig.12


I didn't want any direct light on the front facing walls, but I wanted to suggest some world off screen. I used three Omni lights, projecting a quickly stitched image of tree branches, to simulate some streetlights hidden behind the trees (Fig.13).

1663_tid_fig_13.jpg
Fig.13

At this stage with the main light sources in place, I took the low quality rendering into Photoshop, and started tweaking a bit. I quickly confirmed that most of the colors were way too saturated, producing an image that was way too warm. Quick try with Adjustment Layers provided the direction I should try (Fig.14). I also noticed that the side walls could use some specularity to accentuate the damp feeling and that there was no nice main specular on the street...

1663_tid_fig_14.jpg
Fig.14





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(ID: 180557, pid: 0) Waseem Dabbas on Fri, 08 February 2013 8:16am
This final result is magic... I love it, I feel like i want to be there standing...
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