Rendering by a beginner

Even though my rendering has begun to improve considerably lately, I have a very long way to go.

Would it be appropriate to upload a model I have been working on, in which probably created way too many lights, with many wrong settings, with the request for other forum users to play around with what I have done, and improve my lighting and settings. I think I can learn a lot from what other people may be able to do with my file.

I am not asking you to spend a lot of time on this. I am mostly looking for pointers, since I feel I am mostly doing the wrong things.

I would appreciate this very much.

Yes, there’s no problem with you posting something like that here. I’m sure somebody will be able to offer some tips.

For now, I just have the stock Rhino renderer. I don’t spend a lot of time with rendering setups. I often do the the old 3 light setup, and go from there. I draw from photography for composition, lighting, and color.

If you need a lot of lights, what are you doing for reflection settings?
Sometimes rendering domes to spread diffuse light helps where you would otherwise use a lot of lights.

I’ve noticed a trick that the makers of Half-Life used in which they placed an object in their scene that has a grey-scale gamma-test texture. That way, they knew the were using as much dynamic range as they could.

Have you watched this video?

While it isn’t specifically aimed at rendering, it does cover a simple three-light setup as Brenda mentioned and show how to access some of the controls that can seem ‘hidden’ when you’re learning.

Edit: Just noticed you’re on Mac, so this may not be so useful…

I did watch this video several times, and came away very frustrated. Mostly because so many of the settings/icons/tools do not seem to exist in Rhino Mac, or I could not find them if they do exist. Like on the Render Tool palette. I could also not figure out how to apply some of the commands he executed in the video in my Rhino Mac, because it is so different.

With one command that is illustrated in the video “-ViewCaptureToFile” the program crashed every time. Possibly because of something that I did wrong. Nevertheless, this only added to my frustration.

This video tells me that certain environments are part of the basic installation of Rhino. If they indeed are, I cannot find them on my computer as part of Rhino Mac.

There are many other tool/icons that are seemingly not part of Rhino Mac like Skylight and Neon to name just a couple.

In short rendering/materials/environments continues to be a challenging/frustrating experience for me, partly because I cannot seem to find any instruction from which I can benefit.

Hi Zews
I too share many of your frustrations in regard to much needed functions that do not yet exist in Rhino Mac.
but Skylight is.

I do wish that it was [already] possible to control the intensity of an HDR environment image. like in Windows
or that it would be possible to directly edit materials in the view port and not in the [less comfortable] material editor.
for plugins like Neon we have to wait [hopefully not too long]

Here is my lighting/rendering test file inside a ZIP file. I have included the texture, bump and environment files I used.

I know it is very messy in regards to the number and positions of the lights I have used. I have played with turning them on/off/hide etc. I have also tried to use other kind of lights like rectangular lights like in the above mentioned video. So far without much success.

BTW, when I render with three rectangular lights as illustrated in the video , my computer’s cooling fans run in overdrive. I still get many dark spots, especially on the precious stones in the model, which I tried to solve with spotlights.

Ligthing:rendering (5.9 MB)