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Posted by Ceciliabr at Aug 3, 2016 4:22:35 PM
Lighting a room – is it cheating?

Going from this:

To this:

Rendering a photo-quality image, is all about lighting.

Shooting with intent, was a term we discussed in school. That's what I try to do with SH3D.
For me, the first law of lighting is to place the lights where I would normally place my light sources in real life. In most cases, I want to create space and make a room look inviting, so I try to define the room and make it more spacious by lighting up the corners, and I avoid as much as possible to light the ceiling. In real life I think a strong light in the ceiling is great for cleaning, and never use it for anything else. That goes for 3D too. Lighting up the ceiling doesn't add any value, unless the ceiling itself is of particular interest, of course, like it's being shown here in this beautiful Versailles Gallery of mirrors.

After placing my lamps where I want them, I just forget them. On a photo-shoot, lamps are just props, like everything else in a room. They will cast their light and create their shadows, which will contribute to the shot looking more natural, so they are important, but it is all the extra lights we are adding that makes the shot; the light that helps lead the eye – the light that puts focus on a small detail – the lights that bring out our intent.

What was my intent with this shot? … well, I'm not going to tell. If it doesn't show, I have not been successful.
But I will show you what I did:

This is a night-shot, so the outdoors lights are naturally artificial. The advantage of that is that I can place them where ever I like. To make a day-shot, I will use the sunlight for all it's worth. Sunlight is for me the ultimate light source. My experience is, that if I stick to the building regulations when constructing a location, the sun will always produce an adequately lighted room.

This is what a daytime shot looks like. Part from the green lamp, I have left the lights on, but all the extra lights are out:

This is not a mans office. This is the office of a woman who is exploring her masculinity, not with a purpose of becoming a man, rather as a role-play. She wants to be Jessica Jones, or agent Carter, combined with Sherlock Holmes, Bruce Willies and Jason Statham. I'm not quite sure whether I'm trying to place myself in her position, or whether it's the opposite.
Well, she is the heroine in a story I'm trying to write, and she is actually quite feminine.
Here she is, wondering if the elevator is as safe as they said it were.

She ends up pushing the button, and goes for a scary ride – 100 meters down a narrow shaft, in a noisy, rusty, old elevator from 1955.

Light is magic. It creates shadows.
Light creates all our visual illusions of the world we live in.
We have a fabulous tool at our disposal, with next to unlimited possibilities.
If we want our projects to be special, we can make them special... with Sweet Home 3D.

This is written on a rather cold day in the high mountains of Norway.
9°C and gusty wind, makes it a perfect day for posting a new thread.


Here are some of my latest renderings – images I'm planning to use in my next SH3D-video:

This is the street where my heroine (Cilly LaVache) lives. You have already seen her office. Her office is situated at the top floor of the three-storey house on the left corner. From her office, she has a view to a statue of four cats.

Her home is somewhere in a pastiche of Oslo, Norway, a fictional variation of a city I used to live in for twenty years, and which I strangely enough have started to like better after I moved back to Copenhagen.

The city is quiet on a Sunday night.

On this Sunday night, in the early summer of 2016, our heroine has gotten an invitation. A man wants to speak with her, a man she used to know. He now lives on the west-side of Oslo – also known as the best-side of Oslo – where the well-to-do-people live.

He has his distinctions on display, it seems. But they really belong to his father...

and he has a view… to a statue of someone he doesn't know. But, as he puts it;" most statues in the world are of people we don't know."

He wants her to investigate a suspicious company, a company that poses as an environment foundation...

... a company that has acquired an underground bunker in Trolladalen...

a distant mountain valley where she "incidentally" has recently inherited a small, ugly cabin after her uncle.

The Norwegian Military Intelligence Agency's International Division (NO/MIA/I.L.E.F.O.U.), where her friend now works, has reason to believe that something not so environmental is going on. He would like her to investigate. After all, owning a cabin, she is a natural part of the area. Nothing suspicious with her getting to know the surrounding aria... and the neighbors.

On her way home after the meeting, she makes a detour… past a ladies bar…
Will she go in? Will she meet someone?

Have a nice summer,


Posted by bdfd at Aug 3, 2016 7:51:13 PM
Re: Lighting a room – is it cheating?
Very interesting article. smile

The pictures are superb. applause

For anecdote, the planisphere representing our planet is upside down... laughing
Fortunately this is not the crucifix.

Thanks for the link about Versailles. smile

Norway to Denmark, the distance is not big (it's a little step for a woman...) .

Nice story. smile
5.7 - W10 64b

Posted by Ceciliabr at Aug 3, 2016 8:17:00 PM
Re: Lighting a room – is it cheating?

Yes, you noticed. It's on purpose. Imagine Africa being on top of the world, and the western civilization on the bottom. How would that change our view the world – in a broader perspective? I found the upside-down world map on the net a couple of years back. It started me thinking.

Of course she wouldn't ever have her cross upside down, she still has some fragments of her childhood faith intact, and says her evening prayers every night before she goes to sleep.
Now I lay me down to sleep... – which is in fact what my story is about; sleeping, like sleeping beauty, for a hundred years, and hopefully still be alive... if I should die before I wake...

...and so on


Posted by Ceciliabr at Aug 3, 2016 8:25:57 PM
Re: Lighting a room – is it cheating?

Oh, and I think I have quite forgotten to comment on your astonishingly beautiful work on the Gallery of mirrors. I remember that I had something I wanted to say about it, but I must have forgotten to post it. I will look at it again and try to remember.


Posted by mirakels at Aug 3, 2016 8:57:51 PM
Re: Lighting a room – is it cheating?
Absolutely astonishing! And a great read about the lighting!

Posted by MartinSK at Aug 4, 2016 7:46:22 AM
Re: Lighting a room – is it cheating?
Great job Cecil. I love your pictures so much. And you are right with extra lights in interior. I make it the same way to have more natural and 'photogenic' look.

Posted by VeroniQ at Aug 4, 2016 10:34:17 AM
Re: Lighting a room – is it cheating?
Thank you very much for your artistic and technic tip about lights. Very useful.
Congratulations to your beautiful pictures, astonishing as usual!. I love especially the Norwegian Military Agency... I wonder what will happen here!
And happy to have some news about the ugly cabin. I hope that not only the "gusty wind" will continue to cultivate your creative, Cecilia!

Posted by Ceciliabr at Aug 4, 2016 1:13:01 PM
Re: Lighting a room – is it cheating?
@ mirakels

Thank you!
I have actually for some time been thinking about writing an article about lighting in SH3D, a much more in-depth article, and a lot better illustrated, but I have grown a bit uncertain about the general interest in lighting, and I think the majority of those who are taking an interest in such matters, probably already know just as much, and probably more, about how SH3D and Sunflow works as I do. Articles about lighting in general, there are plenty of on the net, so writing about that is a complete waste of time.

Well... time will show.


Posted by Ceciliabr at Aug 4, 2016 1:16:19 PM
Re: Lighting a room – is it cheating?

I have not failed to notice your skills in lighting. Very impressive.


Posted by Ceciliabr at Aug 4, 2016 1:38:29 PM
smile   Re: Lighting a room – is it cheating?

There's in fact a story behind the abbreviation of the fictitious Norwegian Military Intelligence Agency. It happened in Paris some years ago, when my friend Mia was making a positive comment about the then french president, Mr. Sarkosy. The abbreviation is derived from the spontaneous answer she got from a young boy at the table. (In french)

The cold wind-gusts have completely vanished during the night. Right now it's actually quite sultry. I think there's going to be thunder and lightning sometime later in the afternoon.
I have always liked thunder and lightning. My brother says it's because I was born during a thunderstorm and redeemed by a veterinarian, which I was, since the road was impassable and we could not leave the house.


Thanks for your kind words, VeroniQ. :)


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