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Lighting A Simple Model

February 24, 2010

Copper Spring Toy

Well, if you thought the little spring model from the other day was a little lame, let’s take things a little further. Let’s light it. First off, I tweaked up my model a little. I was able to generate a new one with a thinner metal profile in about two minutes. Next stop, Carrara 7 Pro Studio. As you can see our very plain model is given some dramatic treatment here. One spot is set up to light the front, and another is set up above and behind the model, shooting down at the surface. The surface is nothing more than a modified cube with a reflective shader. The rear light is where the blue is coming from.

Simple objects are ideal when learning to set up lighting. In my opinion, simple forms and shapes are better for learning lighting than complex models. If you don’t have some basic lighting skills, you’ll be “tweaking” forever. And complex models will just complicate your learning in the beginning.

The Carrara setup I used here is pretty similar to how I would set up the lights in a studio to shoot the actual object on a reflective surface. In fact, when going through some of my old metal spring toy photo images, the light and shadow patterns are surprisingly similar.

Here’s the Carrara setup I used. If you don’t have Carrara, don’t dismay – the setup will be similar for most 3D programs out there.

Spring Toy Lighting Setup

Next step for the little spring? Maybe an animation in the future of this silly thing going down some stairs. Lots of possibilities from just a simple little abject.

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2 Comments
  1. Michael Brown permalink
    February 26, 2010 11:56 am

    The slinky is looking good! I would not have recognized the screenshot of the interface as Carrara, I guess it’s changed a lot since version .

  2. February 27, 2010 9:55 pm

    I was looking through an old issue of 3D World a few weeks ago, and there was a review for Carrara 5. It was described as “revved up” from the previous versions, so perhaps that’s when many of the changes took place.

    Even though I have not played with the Carrara modeling yet for any length of time, it’s pretty efficient navigation. And no crashes yet either which makes me happy.

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