Texturing and Rendering a Wine Bottle: Using HDR Images for Lighting

Photo of Raymond Olsen

Instructor Raymond Olsen

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  • Duration: 04:30
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  • Made with Release: 19
  • Works with Release: 19 and greater

Using HDR Images for realistic lighting and reflections.

Instead of starting to add traditional lights, we’re going to use a sky object, an HDR image that I have provided and the Physical Renderer in Cinema to illuminate our scene.



Now that our wine bottle and label are in a good place, let's go ahead and start adding some lighting to this scene. Now, instead of using traditional lights up here in the Lights menu, we're going to use an HDR image, a Sky object, and then render it with a physical renderer in Cinema 4D. So let's go ahead and start with the renderer up here in the Render settings. We can switch from Standard to Physical and I'm going to go ahead and turn off the Save option right now. Then I want to turn on our Interactive Render Region. So you can see what happens when I come over to the Options in the Physical Renderer and turn off the Default Light. Now you can see everything goes away. That's because there's nothing contributing light to the scene. Let's go ahead and add our Sky object. Now you can see a flat lighting, generated by the gray default material, as well as the gray default material in the reflections of the bottle, but instead of the gray, we want to use our own texture, so I'm going to create a new regular old material. I'm going to close the Render settings for now, I'm going to rename this "Sky," turn off the Reflectance channel, come over here to the Color channel, and let's plug our texture in to the sky. It's this 7654_living_room. I'm going to say No to this warning, because I use the footage folder for my textures. And now we just apply this to the sky. And instantly you can see, we've got a really nice looking wine bottle. And what's happening is Cinema is using all the luminents data from our HDR image and generating lighting in the scene with it, so these hot reflections right here in front of the bottle, are from these bright windows in the texture. That's a pretty quick way to get great results, and you can come in here and grab your Sky object and rotate to dial in your reflections or to change the orientation of your scene reflections to match whatever else you have going on, but the magic number that I came up with, with my testing was minus 120 degrees for this image. That gave me a nice hotspot on the side, and the reflections in the front weren't too crazy. Go ahead and crank this resolution up a little bit so you can see better. And we're going to add additional lights for the label and other parts, but for now this is what we're going to use for our lighting. One problem I'm seeing is the reflections right here in the front aren't really a good representation of what we'll see in the final because there's no floor in the scene anymore. So let's go ahead and put a floor back in, just so we can get a better look at those reflections. Going to rename this "floor," and you can see in the renderer, it's pitch black. That's because there's no Reflectance channel in the default material that gets applied to your primitive, but if we create a new PBR material, come over to the Default Diffuse and turn that gray down a little bit, so it's not bright white, apply that to the floor, you can see it comes right back into the renderer because now that Reflectance channel is interacting with the sky. So let's go ahead and rename this "floor," because we'll keep this floor material for the final. And we want to use the lighting and reflections from this image, but we don't necessarily want it in our renderer. So what we can do is right-click on the sky and add a compositing tag and then just check the Seen by Camera checkbox, and now our sky's going to go away. And then the last thing we want to do is change this neck material to something that's a little bit closer to our final material. And this is a hold-out from that white wine bottle that we pulled in, so that's why it's gold. So, we can just jump over to the Reflectance channel and right here is that color. I'm just going to de-saturate it and drop the value a little bit and then just hit OK, and that's closer to what we're going to have in the final and that's pretty much it. As you can see, using an HDRI for lighting is an easy way to get realistic lighting in your scene instantly. We'll continue moving forward in the next video by constructing the set for our wine bottle to live in.
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