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By mjcherry
Hey guys!

Working on another new scene (you're going to start seeing a lot of these) and want your input. The models are done (not all of them are in this shot) and I'm working on the texturing now. I know there are some mistakes already, but wanted to post and have you guys tear it apart so I can make them better. Once the textures here are good, I'll start adding in the other items, which are basically just debris from a wild night that a rockstar had with a few strippers. :)

I used Substance to do the Knight holding the guitar, but I'm still having trouble getting the right result there, I may need to adjust those maps.

I used Maxwell Grass for both the carpet and the fur bedspread. The lampshades are letting too much light through, so I know I need to fix that. Anyway, don't worry about my feelings, I have pretty thick skin and just want everything to look and feel as photorealistic as possible, so please be honest!

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By Nasok
Well .. if everyone is too shy here .. I'll start :))
First of all - dude - I don't know where you get your ideas from - but those are super cool - keep it up!!

I think before you work with colors and textures - you need to create a light scheme. To define what type of light and what temperature it will be and what objects / areas will be affected. Right now it feels a bit flat in terms of lights / shadows.

What I would do is:
I would switched off the ceiling lights (make them glassy - nice reflections there guaranteed) and even the Lustre - switch it off. Or .. light up once few of those but turn of the majority of the bulbs to let the reflections bounce.

I would switch of one of the side lamps. Mmm the one on the left. Feels like it played a part in some role-playing so I assume it should not work :))))

I would introduce a bit more cold light "coming from the window" cold but not to blue - 'cause it's vegas - plenty of warm light so ideally you want something "blue -slightly greenish"

Guitar on the floor looks too bright - like it is lit up by some sort of a light source ... that might be a good idea ... to put one of the lamp on the floor next to guitar to "light it up"

And as an extra touch I would ad a light source coming from right side / behind the camera - Assume there is a door to a bathroom and it is open som some light comes through and lights up the bed. This will give you a nice shadows / contrast

As of the Knight (my favourite) - I think you shouldn't go here for authentic knight's armour with pretty rough surfaces. This is art installation - it is meant to be a party piece - make it a bit more shiny just add some leaks in strategic areas :)

If you're bringing textures form substance, make sure your project there is "Metal rough" and on your place I would export using "Arnold 5 AiStandard" - as it will give the closes to something that Maxwell will "like".


Here is how I would construct the mxm for basic metal armour. (Assuming you have also non metallic areas . .or not so metallic - like stains, leaks, dirt .. paint etc)

Put "Normal Map" in general tab - global bump (flip Y) 100%

1 layer.
BSDF - Base Colour texture goes to Diff 0 and Diff 90 (i usually make diff 90 a bit brighter .. like extra 10% via maxwell colour adjustments)
IOR ~ 1.5
Roughness 95~

2 Layer (on top of the 1st one)
BSDF - both diff colours are black
IOR 1.5~ with forced fresnel
And roughness here again around 95-97~ ish but with texture.
Here you plug your "Roughness" map.

Now that will give you pretty plastic_ey result (based on your roughness variation)

And the last layer will go on top of everything

Layer 3
BSDF - Base Color for Diff 0 and Diff 90.
IOR - metal one ... I usually use something like Nd 2.990 K 3.00 , Roughness 97~ + roughness texture.
And you can use "Metalness" map as a layer mask.


From this point if your armour doesn't look as desired you can either adjust a contrast or your roughness map in Layer 3 (via Maxwell image controls) .. I would add, like, from 10 to 25 (%) - if you would really need that pronounced separation for roughness.

Alternatively you can duplicate your BSDF and reduce the roughness in half. So your layer 3 would look like
1 BSDF (60~ value) - roughness 97~ (with texture)
2 BSDF (40~ value) - roughness 40-50~ (with texture)

This will keep the smooth highlights but will add more sharp reflections.

P.S. - Alternatively you can strip down one of my Lightsabers - they all use texture maps from substance .. I would be one of the most recent ones .. Like 5th one. ( )

Hope it helps.
User avatar
By mjcherry
Thank you so much for the detailed reply!!! Up until now, most of my scenes have been lit with a lot of small lights, exactly how I would light a physical set in a dark studio. This time I'm trying to use an HDRI environment map (of a room) that wraps around the scene and provides a bit of light and reflections for the metal. I suppose I could separate out the light from the reflections and just use the reflections... Still not sure the best way to go about that. The window light is an HDRI image on a plane just outside the window:


Turning up the light doesn't make it anymore blue. I suppose I could put a blue light behind it and change the polygons of the window plane so that it wasn't visible in the shadow pass, though that would also let some of the environment light in....

Here is last night's render without the chandelier or any of the hidden added lights, all we have here is the environment, the window light, and the lamps you see:


And my notes on what to work on next. I tweaked the maps on the knight's armor, but it's still not to shiny, I might amp that up a bit too:


The reason I want both nightstand light on (and why I'll add back other small, hidden lights) is that there will be a lot of debris in the scene:


Also, after this shot, I'm trying to brighten things up a bit in new work - all my stuff is so dark, at least that's what art directors tell me. So I guess I was trying to lighten this up a bit and went too far.

Thank you again for all your insight. I'm always open to advice!
User avatar
By mjcherry
Rockstar Bedroom.jpg
So I finished adding all the components, which I felt was necessary to begin a lighting plan. I also need to figure out where to place the talent as I'll have a fresnel spot on them. While the scene is still a bit flat, I think I have a good basis. I keep going back and forth between "dramatic" and "commercial" (not that there is anything to commercial about this shot, but still...)

I will probably remove the effect of the spots on the guitars from the floor and add a spot to the food debris. I don't think the chandelier looks that good and I'm trying to understand what you're saying regarding that. Anyway, this is round two, so if you have any suggestions based on this render, please let me know.


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By mjcherry
Here's an older version, while I like the messy bed better, maybe this "fur" is better? I don't know, I've been looking at this shit for too long.....
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By mjcherry
A little progress:
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By Nasok
Looks cool. Much cleaner :)
I would add a bit of air .. and maybe changed the colour on some of the objects. .to much red ... that's just my personal opinion.
And, maybe I would put something on a foreground .. like something infant of the camera .. maybe not he side . .like it is obstructing the view a bit (out of focus / light maybe) just to show that there is a world behind the camera also :)

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