7 ways of lighting interiors in 3D

Someone turn on the lights please!

In just a few minutes – I´m going to reveal to you, the 7 ways of lighting interiors in 3D. You can use them to instantly add lighting with an understanding of WHY. You can mix the 7 ways or use them one at the time…

Interior lighting can be very frustrating, since there are so many options to choose from. I know that I always preferred to make outdoor scenes in the start, since that´s easier to grasp… I mean, there´s just the sun, sky and some ambient.


…that´s a different story.

So, jump right into the first video here:

Yes, you can of course use an area light instead of using several spotlights. But I like to talk about the real basics, since that will give you a better understanding of the concept. And in some cases even more control.

For instance, having a few spotlights, enables you to vary their intensity through out the room – where an area light is constant all over. And spotlights render faster… 🙂

Allright, now – here´s the rest of the video, watch it here:

And that´s about it!

Let me know what you think, if the videos were helpful and if you like them, don´t forget to pass them on to your friends…

Thanks a bunch!


12 Responses to “7 ways of lighting interiors in 3D”

  1. Terras Jadeonar June 1, 2010 at 1:25 pm #

    Your right about interior lighting – can be tricky at times, no, rather more often than not.

    From Carrara’s perspective, it already sets by default, the scene ambiance: Basic at around 20%, with the color white.

    When it comes to outdoor scenes, it can be changed to scene ambiance: Sky (which ties in with the skylight atmospheric settings).

    One thing I hadn’t tried though, is for indoor scenes, setting the Basic scene ambiance color to something else other than white.

    This could apply to DS also.

    Also for lighting, the talk about point lights. I’m not sure which would be the equivalent to in Carrara … Theres bulb lighting as well as tube lighting (aka florescent lights – those long narrow ceiling fixtures most common in offices).

    Theres also 3 more aspect to interior lighting not mentioned in this video – light strength, and light range / distance, and soft shadow: light radius. I’m not sure how this applies or translates into DS, but in Carrara, those 3 values for any sort of light (other than sun, distant, or moon) will greatly vary the way the light affects where it shines / hits, as well as the shadow (or lack thereof) or how big of a washed out area.

    I’m just saying, even though your tips are pretty much universal, yet a little more oriented towards DS, (and roughly translatable to Carrara or other poser content apps), it can be easy to make or break the given project entirely by too high powered or under powered lights.

    I think it would be nice to ‘shine a little more light’ on this subject. 🙂

    Anyways, keep up the good work on the basics videos. Regardless of how generic or specific app tailored the examples you provide; there’s always a nugget or few of new ideas to try out.

    Have a good one!

  2. Glenn Fout June 1, 2010 at 2:24 pm #


    Very good subject. I never know what type of light to use were. this helped me alot and I hope to use the knowage that you are giving us a lot in my renders.

    thanks a lot


  3. Juan June 1, 2010 at 2:36 pm #

    thank you Waldemar, really thank you, I think I’ll cry… thanks.

  4. Waldemar Belwon June 1, 2010 at 2:56 pm #

    You´re welcome guys!

    Terras – You´re so right, yes – fall off, shadow softness and light strength were all obmited in this video to keep it as simple and easy to digest as possible.

    I think I´ll do another one about those settings.

    In Carrara, the closet to a point light would be the bulb light. The tube light is similar to the linear light found in lightwave – very handy for mimicking flourescent lights found in an office setting.

  5. Szark June 1, 2010 at 4:30 pm #

    Another illuminating set of helpful tips and hints. Walle you never cease to inspire and amaze me.

    Thank you very much.


  6. Miss B June 1, 2010 at 6:18 pm #

    Well done as usual Walle! The last bit about filler lights, in particular, is what I was struggling with yesterday. These videos will help me focus more on my indoor lighting in a better way.

    Thanks to you my lighting efforts are getting better and better each day. 🙂


  7. Wendy June 1, 2010 at 8:27 pm #

    Wow thank you so much , i never know what light to use where and just mess around for hours even months sometimes to get something presentable , thanks to you now i understand it better
    I’m trying to teach daz3d to myself with trail & error but with you around it helps me a lot :))))))))))))))))))))

  8. Sharyn June 2, 2010 at 4:52 am #

    Thank you for such a wonderful explanation of basic indoor lighting. Lighting is something I have always struggled with and your tutorial has helped immensely.

  9. Kenny Barrow June 2, 2010 at 7:37 pm #

    Very nice tutorials and one of the most important subjects for creating a realistic mood in a scene.

    Lighting was one of my pet peaves when I was doing studio work. You might sugest cutting all lights off but one and working with that light for placement, angle and strength. Then cutting that one off and turning on another etc…

    There were times I would start at 7am and work with one light at the time until all were just right.

    Sometimes It was after 2pm before I ever touched the camera to take a test exposure. Another trick I used was dark reflectors to put dark reflections on glass surfaces to separate them from the background.

    Painting with light is an art in itself!

    Look forward to seeing more of your work on this subject.

    Kenny Barrow
    Business Consultant
    Sagitta Studios

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  11. Ben December 19, 2013 at 1:02 am #

    The videos don’t exist. 🙁


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