Texturing and Rendering a Wine Bottle: Creating Simple Studio Light Setups for Showcasing Products

Photo of Raymond Olsen

Instructor Raymond Olsen

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  • Duration: 16:25
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  • Made with Release: 19
  • Works with Release: 19 and greater

Adding a simple lighting setup to the scene.

To bring this scene’s lighting quality up a notch, we’ll be using traditional lights as well as some “light planes” which we will use to dial in a few targeted reflections. Then we’ll use “include” or “exclude” to isolate our lighting to certain areas of the scene.



Now that all of the geometry and materials have been made, let's create a simple lighting setup and add some light to a few specific areas in our scene. To do this, we'll be using traditional lights as well as light planes. The light planes will be used not only to add light, but also to add some nice reflections to the wine bottle glass. We'll also learn some lighting tricks using Exclude and Include to isolate what gets affected by our light sources. So, here's where we left our scene. I wanted to go ahead and turn on the Interactive Render Region so we can remember where we left off. So, our set is built. We've got materials. We've got a little bit of lighting from the sky, but everything is really dark compared to the final. We need a little bit of illumination here on the label to help that pop. I wanted to add this hot reflection on the left to kind of accent the reflection we already have there. We're going to make it bolder. And then, I want to add a similar reflection on the right side here, and that will kind of frame up our label and show off the contours of that wine bottle very nicely. And then, the last thing is this vignette effect on the background, and that will really help show off that wine bottle even more and make the product pop in our final render. Let's go ahead and start with the label. So, I'll go ahead and get rid of this. I'm going to go ahead and turn off our Interactive Render Region now, and we're going to start rendering with the Picture Viewer. And you can find that right up here in Window, Picture Viewer. And this is going to allow us to compare one render after the other, because these changes are going to start to get pretty subtle. And I also use a thing called Team Render, which I will have a link to the related video so you can check that out. But if you have any old machines laying around, you can use all those to help your render out. So, I'm going to go ahead and render what we have to the Picture Viewer with Team Render, and that's right here in Render, Team Render to Picture Viewer. Or if you don't have Team Render, just use Render to Picture Viewer. So, here's where we're at in the Picture Viewer, and I did want to mention everything looks a little bit grainy, and I don't want you to worry about that because when we crank the samples up for our final renders, that's all going to smooth out. So try and ignore the grain for now, and let's just focus on the lighting. So, let's go ahead and add that label light. I'm going to close the Picture Viewer and get it out of the way, and we're going to do that with a regular old Area Light. So, I'm going to jump out to my four view, and then my perspective. And it's pretty big, so I'm going to scale it down with my Scale Tool. I'll pull it up a little. I'm going to make it just a little bit bigger than my label, and then, move it straight back. If we move it back far enough...this is kind of where the camera's intersecting with the plane right here as the cone goes into it. So, I'm going to pull that back just a little bit and hopefully, we won't see any of this light reflecting off the floor in the render. So, there it is, and let's go ahead and just render one and just see what happens with the defaults. So, what we're seeing here is a really hot specular reflection, and since we're dealing with everything in the Reflectance channel, I kind of want to turn off the specular so we're just dealing with reflectance. And you can do that right here in your light. And in the Details tab, you can see Show in Specular, and there's also Show in Reflection. So, I'm going to turn off specular, which is what we're seeing, and I want to see what happens when we put it in just the reflection. So, I'm going to render again to the Picture Viewer. And you can see it's a much more subtle effect if I flip between the two, and then here's the original. So, you see we're getting just a little bit of light hitting off the front of the label, but what I'm also noticing is it's giving us a big reflection on the front of the wine bottle, which I don't want. And I also don't really want it affecting anything else in this scene. So, to do that, we're going to start using Include and Exclude, and those can be found here in your Light's Project tab. And there's a little fly out here so you can decide which one you want to use. I'm going to use Include because I know the only thing in this scene that I want the light to affect is this label. So, I'm going to ahead and say Include, and then, let's just pull the bottle label down and render one more time. So, here we go, and now, you can see that reflection on the bottle is gone and also the lightening of the background has gone away. But we kept that little hit of illumination we're getting right on the front of the label, and that's all I want. So, for now, we'll leave the label light the way it is, and let's move on to adding this real hot reflection here on the left side of the bottle. So, I'll go ahead and close the Picture Viewer again and jump out into my perspective view. And for the light planes, we're just going to use primitive planes. I'm going to make it a minus Z facing plane, and then I'm going to scale it down. I'm going to scale it in with the object handles right there. And we're going to make it skinny, and tall, and sitting just above the floor. So, this is going to be light_plane_left. And in order for this to emit light, we need to make it a light-emitting material. So, let's go ahead and do that. I'm going to make a new material, I'm going to call it light_plane_left. And then, let's kill the Color and the Reflectance channels and just turn on Luminance. Now, if we add this to our light_plane_left plane, this is now a light-emitting plane within our 3D scene. So, I'm going to point this kind of at our wine bottle. I'm going to jump back into my render view, and then, I'm going to actually use the Coordinates tab of our light_plane_left geometry. And I can slide it left and right in X, and forward and back in Z, and you can see that reflection moving across the bottle in the viewport. So, I'm going to position this right about at the edge of the label, maybe hanging over just a bit. I'm going to fatten it up, and let's take a look at that. So, the placement looks good. It's a little bit too far to the right because I can see the edge of it, and I can also see that reflection. The brightness also needs to come up a bit because it's pretty dim right now. So, let's go ahead and double-click this Texture tag, and that will drop us right into the material. And then, in the Luminance tab, I came up with a value of 325. You can crank this way over 100 and really brighten up that material, and then I'm just going to move it over in X just a bit. You can see my position of the reflection isn't really changing that much when I do this, so just moving it left will solve that other problem. Now, let's take a render and see how that looks. I'm really happy with the reflection brightness and position, and the fact that the reflection in the floor is gone. But if you look at the background, it's really brightening up that background, and it's really grainy now that we've jacked up that brightness. So, another trick that I've learned recently is if you come over to the Illumination tab of your light-emitting material, there is a GI Area Light checkbox. And if you check that, that just tells Cinema you're using this as a light, and it lets the render go faster and with less grain with that light box checked. So, let's take a look at that. And already, you can see that grain is completely gone, and our last render was 23 seconds. And this dropped to 17 seconds. So, that's a pretty significant render time savings there. So, even though the grain's gone, I don't really want this affecting our background, so I'm going to use another Exclude command, but because this isn't a light, there's not one built in. But if we right-click and add a Compositing tag, now there's one right here that we can use. So, let's exclude the back wall. I kind of like the lighting, it's adding to the floor, but I definitely want to do the wall a different way. So, if I just drag my back wall into the Exclude list, and then we render that... Now we get to keep our nice, bright reflection, our nice lighting on the floor, but our background is left alone. So, that's really it for the left light plane. Now, I want to add that supporting reflection on the right side. And to do that, we're just going to duplicate what we just made and move it over. So, let me close the Picture Viewer, get that out of the way, and then I'm just going to CTRL + Drag our left_light_plane, I'm going to rename it light_plane_right, and I'm also going to duplicate, with a CTRL + Drag, our light_plane_left material. I'm going to rename that light_plane_right, because we want it to be just a little bit dimmer, so we'll need separate controls for that material. And then, drag the light_plane_right up onto the light_plane_right Texture tag, and that will replace that material. So now, we've got the right material on the right guard and the left material on the left guard. So, I'm going to select the light_plane_right, and then I'm going to use my coordinates values to scoot that over to the right. If you hold ALT down when you're dragging this slider, you get fine tune control. So that's what I'm doing right now is ALT + Dragging that right light plane. Now, I'm going to push it backwards in Z just a little bit to get it to hang over the right side of this label, and that's going to help break up the dark reflections on the side of that wine bottle. But now, I want to make it dimmer, so I'm going to jump into the light_plane_right material, and in the Luminance tab, I'm just going to drop it by half by putting a divide by two in the Brightness field. And that drops us down to 162.5. So, let's just take a look at that. And I'm pretty happy with the brightness and position of both of those reflections now, so I'm going to leave those where they're at, and I'm just going to move my attention to the vignette effect on the back wall now. So, we're going to make the vignette with just a simple spotlight. But before we add that spotlight, I would like to darken the background just a little bit, and I'm going to do that by dimming the sky. And one reason is because that's going to make the vignette look a little more noticeable, and the other reason is it's also going to make these reflections on the front of the wine bottle dim just a little bit, as well, and I'd like both those things to happen. So, to do that, we're going to adjust the sky real quick. So, let me close the Picture Viewer, and let's grab our sky, and we actually want the material on the sky. So, I'm going to double-click that Texture tag, and here's our Sky material. Now, the default color of the sky is this light gray, and then here is the material texture that we added. And in order to darken that, all we need to do is pull down this mix. But what that's doing is mixing the texture that we added with this light gray material, which will probably lighten the lighting, and I actually want it to go darker. So, I'm going to turn the default color on that sky to black, and now, the more we mix, the darker it gets, so that will dim our sky if we do this. So, I'm going to put the Mix strength down to 80%, which is about a 20% drop in brightness, and let's render that. So, if we look at that, you can see our background is a little bit darker, as well as those reflections in this render, compared to our last render. And it's a subtle difference, but when you get into lighting, it's all about the subtle differences. So, we're going to go with this, and now, we're going to add that vignette effect. So, I will close the Picture Viewer, and let's add that spotlight. So, I'm going to jump back out into my work and perspective view, and let's add a spotlight. I'm going to pull back, and I'm going to grab this cone handle here, that's right in the center, and pull the cone right back to the wall so we can kind of get an idea of how big our vignette's going to be when that spotlight throws it up there. So, I'm going to move the light just back behind the wine bottle a little, raise it up, and I'm going to keep it kind of low and aim it up using the Rotate Tool. And then, we're going to jump back into my render view, and let's just brighten this up, or widen this out just a little bit to where the edge comes right up here by the cap. And then, I'm going to rotate it to where it's centered on the wine bottle. So, let's take a look at how that renders. So, we're getting a hot specular reflection, because that light is still emitting specular. But this time, instead of messing with the light, we can actually solve this quicker by fiddling with the material that is applied to this wall. So, I'm going to close the Picture Viewer, and if we go into the back_wall material, the only active channel we have is Reflectance. Jump into there. We got our Default Diffuse, which is our color, but the Reflection layer, we can actually just remove. And render one more time. It's going to leave us with just a diffuse material. So, that big, shiny hotspot is gone, and we're left with a nice, soft vignette, which is exactly what we were going for. I think the size is okay, but you can see it kind of darkens up down here on the bottom. So, we just need to adjust the aim of our light and maybe the cone angle just a bit. So, let's widen that out, and I'm going to use the Coordinates tab...to point that down. I'm using that ALT + Drag trick again to fine tune it. Let's take one more look. So, that looks pretty good. The last little trick I wanted to show you is over here in this Light tab, and since we're over here let's go ahead and rename this background_light, and we'll name the other light label_light, just to keep those straight. And in the background_light, if you come to the Details, there's a thing called Falloff, and right now, it's set to None, so we're getting a linear falloff from the hotspot to the dark spots with our spotlight. But if we change that to Inverse Square (Physically Accurate), it's going to give you a hotter spot in the center and then a different falloff curve going out to the darkness. So, if I render that again, it's going to be a very, very subtle difference, but the physically accurate falloff gives you a more realistic falloff, as well as, I think, a more interesting look to your lighting. So, if you could compare those two, it's just a really subtle difference in how the lighting falls off from the hotspot. So, if you just start using that now and getting used to how Falloff works, I feel like you'll have much more interesting lighting as you move forward. So, our render is starting to look pretty good now. The background will get softened when we add depth of field, so we may tweak these light values a bit later, but for now, let's learn how to use Cinema's Gradient Tool to add stripes to the neck wrap texture in the next video.
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