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This particular scene was made as a base for an environmental lighting tutorial which ran for six months in 3D Creative magazine and is currently for sale as an eBook on the 3D Total website across a multitude of platforms.

The scene was to be lit under six different conditions ranging from natural light and sunset, to moonlight, candlelight and even an underwater version.

This particular article will focus on part one: Sunny Afternoon.

The Scene

The idea behind the tutorial was to have at least two separate areas through which sun or moonlight could illuminate the interior - in this case a window and porthole and the principal light source which was to filter through a ceiling exit onto the upper deck (Fig.01).

Fig. 01

As this project was to primarily orientate around lighting I made sure to model details such as the grooves in the floorboards, benches and wall panelling as well as the bolts that run along the metal panel on the left wall and window wall. This was to emphasise the effect of the lighting and create more shadows.

The scene is essentially composed of two materials; painted metal and wood and so consequently did not require a huge library of materials. After sourcing a few metal and wood textures I placed some lights in the scene (Fig.02).

The main light simulating the sun was a Target Direct (number 1 in Fig.02). The other two lights composed of two Omni's, one in front of the window / porthole and the other out of view to the right of the camera which was used to add some fill light in the foreground and on the column.

Fig. 02

The textures for the near column and staircase were taken directly from another version of the scene (Fig.03) which can be found here:


I decided to unwrap the door and the wall surrounding it as this is a key focal point in the image. These four elements (steps, column, door & wall) were unwrapped in order to add detail in specific areas but sections such as the floor and benches used a generic wood texture that was tiled.

Fig. 03

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