In this Video Tutorial, I will show you Step by Step process how I make Lighting for my Low Poly Scenes in Blender 2.78a.

These 2 of my Low Poly Scenes use the same lighting technique:

 

I hope that this tutorial will improve your lighting skills in Blender Cycles 🙂

 

Learn:

  • Basics of the Lighting in Blender
    • Setting up a simple Scene
    • Add and use Sky Texture
    • Add Light Source to the Scene
    • Use Color Management Tools
    • Render your Scene

Software used:

  • Blender 2.78a

 

Down below is the same Tutorial in Text and Pictures format with more Information and Explanations!

 

SETTING UP A SCENE

Before we start lighting, we need to set up some things and make a simple scene.

 

1. Set Blender Render Engine to Cycles Render!

To use Cycles, we need to set it as the active render engine in the top header.

 

2. Set Blender Units to Meters.

Go to Scene(little icon with a cylinder and ball), inside you will find Units tab, open it and press on a button “Unit Presets“, select Meters. I always use meters. You can leave it as it is, but I recommend you to change it to meters, so you can follow this tutorial easier.

 

3. Building a simple scene.

First I deleted default Lamp. Moved the cube on top of the grid, and added a plane. Then I used Bevel to make nice cube edges (you can see how I did that by watching Video Tutorial).

I moved my camera to this position (turn on camera view by pressing NUMPAD 0):

Now I Split the View into two pieces. Press LEFTMOUSE on the Corner and Drag it to the Left.

I set the right view as a camera view(NUMPAD 0).

And now I set a Viewport Shading to Rendered. Just press SHIFT+Z or on a little sphere icon down below. This way I can see how my render will look like in real time.

Go to Render settings, inside Render tab you will find Device: set it to GPU Compute if possible. This way you can render on your GPU instead of CPU, and it can be much faster if you have powerful GPU.

If you can’t see the Device setting, make sure you have supported GPU and It’s turned on inside File>User Preferences System Tab.

Turn on Border. By turning it on, your preview render window renders only camera view (this helps to reduce real time render time):

So now I finished setting up my scene, and it looks like this:

 

LIGHTING THE SCENE

 

1. Setting up the Sky Texture.

Go to the World settings, you should see a button which says “Use Nodes“, click on it.

Now press a little button and select Sky Texture.

Just play with all setting and see what suits your scene the most. My settings for now(I will change it later in the next steps):

My scene looks like this in the camera view now:

 

2. Add Area Light to the scene. I used Area Light because this scene is very small. For all my other big/outdoor scenes I used Sun light.

Add Area Light to the scene and move it to any position you want(depends on what lighting you want for your scene). My Area Light position:

To change Area Light Settings go to Data, you will find a Lamp tab here. Play with those settings to suit your scene. My settings:

 

3. Add Materials to the Cube and Plane.

First I split the left view into 2 pieces, and I set the bottom piece to Node Editor. Also, added simple default Diffuse Material to the Cube.

After that I added Reflective Material to the Plane:

 

4. Setting up Color Management – Playing with colors.

Go to the Scene settings, and inside you will find Color Management tab.

I always set View: to Film, and after that, I change Look: to something interesting(just try them all). I set Exposure to something like 0.400, and I usually set Gamma to 1.300. It really depends on your scene and what look you want to achieve. I also used curves to change scene colors very slightly. For now, my settings looks like this:

And my scene looks like this:

 

5. Let’s Render the scene!

Before rendering the scene – change Viewport Shading to a Solid (by pressing on the little ball icon down here or pressing SHIFT+Z):

Go to Render settings, and set Render Resolution to 100% (if I render on 50% my image resolution would be 960×540 (half of 1920×1080))

Go down and find the tab called Performance, inside that you will find Tiles: change X and Y to 256. This can reduce render time.

Scroll up a bit, and you will find the tab called Sampling. Open it, and you should see Samples: here you can change Render Samples(bigger number = less noise your rendered scene will have). For this scene, I used 500 samples, and it worked perfectly.

HIT RENDER! or press F12 to Render your scene.

After render is complete, my scene looks like this:

I saved this render and played more with my scene. After some tweaking, my final scene looks a bit different:

I changed Camera position and slightly moved Area Light. Also, changed some lighting settings. Final Area Light Settings (color hex code: FFF9E7):

Final Sky Texture Settings:

Final Color Management Settings:

And here is the FINAL RENDER with those settings:

 

LIGHTING EXAMPLE SCENE

I made this new, and simple scene using two objects: Car and Road. This scene use default lighting settings, there is no light in the scene(only default gray World light).

As I showed before, I added Sky Texture, Sun Light(instead of Area Light), and changed some Color Management settings. I used the Sun Light because, for me, it works much better when I make Big/Outdoor Scenes. The finished scene looks like this:

Watch a Video(06:46) to see whole lighting process!

Final Sky Texture Settings for this example scene:

Final Sun Light Settings for this example scene (color hex code: F0FAFF):

Final Color Management Settings for this example scene:

 

FINAL RENDER

 

I highly recommend you to watch the whole video to understand more about my lighting technique and process. And don’t afraid to experiment with all of those lighting settings!

Thank you for your time, and I hope that this step by step Tutorial helped you a bit 🙂

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Feel free to ask for anything, and leave your feedback in the comments below!

I want to see your RENDERS, so feel free to post them in the comments below!

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