Lighting with V-Ray for SketchUp – definitive guide part 3

By Nomer Adona

This tutorial is my third in the tutorial series, ‘Lighting with V-Ray for SketchUp’. This lighting tutorial will focus on ‘Studio Lighting’. For those of you who want to see my other tutorials, including part 1 and 2 in this series please click here. In this tutorial we will learn how to set up:

  • A simple studio scene
  • How a professional photographers set up their studio lighting
  • How to simulate this lighting using V-Ray rectangular and omni lights

Step 1. Modeling the studio scene

I will be using this profile to begin creating my studio background wall.

Studio Background Profile

Next, I created an Arc with 48 segments (Window>Entity Info)

Draw Arc with 48 Segments

I used the Follow Me tool to create this 3D shape shown in the image below. Select your Arc so it is highlighted and then go to Tools>Follow Me and select the face of your template to complete the shape.

Use Follow Me Tool

Next, select the whole shape and right click on it to select Soften/Smooth Edges to soften the edges of the 3D shape.

Soften Edges

I imported a low resolution model from the 3D Warehouse and placed it in the middle of the scene. The model was further smoothed using the ‘Subdivide and Smooth‘ script. You can also download this motorbike here.

Motorbike in Position

Here is the close up camera view.

Close Up

Step 2.  Studio Lighting

One subject I teach in school is digital photography. In our digital photography class we enjoy experimenting with studio lighting. For those of you who want to know more on how professional photographers set up their studio lighting, this is my number one resource Photoflex Lighting School for studio set up. Through this site, I have learned so much about studio lighting.

On this site, they explain clearly various types of equipment, such as soft boxes, nbarn light, diffusers etc. They also focus on the theory of light in general. So if you are an avid photographer, this is a must site to visit.

Light Theory

Using a Typical Soft Box

There are different ways to set up studio lights. It depends on the mood and what type of lighting you want to accomplish; ghetto, high key, low key etc. In this particular tutorial, I will be focusing on common “high key” lighting set-up.

Typical High Key Lighting Set-Up

The image above represents the common “high key” lighting set-up. The subject is in the middle; two background lights shooting on the white background; the main soft box light in front; and the secondary light reflector on the right. Of course there are different ways to set up studio lighting, but that will not be covered in this tutorial.

Set-Up to be Used in This Tutorial

The above layout represents the kind of lighting I want to do for this tutorial and the image below represents these lighting elements with V-RAY Lights.

Lighting Set-Up Represented by V-Ray Lights

The image below shows the 3D studio set-up. The main light is a huge V-Ray rectangular light. The strip lighting on the right are four different V-Ray rectangular lights (invisible), while the strip light to the left is a single V-Ray rectangular light (remodeled). Finally the Omni lighting (affect specular, shadow were unticked) serves as background lighting.

Note: The bigger the area of the V-Ray rectangular light, the softer the shadow.

The Set-Up

Step 3. V-Ray Light Settings

Next we need to set the parameters of our lighting. I put the main light Intensity at 5.0, secondary strip lights Intensity at 3.0 and background omni light Intensity at 1.0

Light Settings

You can also download the Vispot that I am using in this render.

Here is a collection of render images. The first image below shows a birds eye view on the effects of the lighting on the main model.

Birds Eye View

Here is a render with my normal camera view set-up. In the render below the specular effect of strip lighting is very obvious.

Normal Camera View Set-Up

To explore this tutorial further, we can also experiment by changing the light colors with light gels that are commonly used in typical photographic studio lighting set-ups.

Colored Light Gels

Colored Light Gels

Further Example

I hope this tutorial is useful and you have learned something new that you can use in your future work.

Thanks for reading…

Nomer Adona

Some of Nomer Adona’s other tutorials here at SketchUpArtists:

Don’t forget to check out Nomer’s own website for more of his inspiring work and free resources.

5 Responses to “Lighting with V-Ray for SketchUp – definitive guide part 3”

  1. json on November 5th, 2011 6:49 am

    thank you very much

  2. red on November 18th, 2011 6:01 am

    you have an awesome tutorials..i thank you for this. 🙂

  3. Van Ryan on December 19th, 2012 5:12 am

    this is crazy! excited to try this!

  4. destroysupremacy on April 11th, 2013 2:20 pm

    great tutorial, really helped me out. The link to the visopt, however, is broken.

  5. Kevin Kissack on April 13th, 2013 1:48 am

    Excellent – thanks very much! Would never have though it worked like this. Cool!

Got something to say?