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Lighting an Outdoor Scene

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Old Dwight Atkinson suggests the following;

1 big bright yellow colored directional light source to represent the sun

1 blue directional light source, cast shadows off, and facing 90 degrees back toward the sun to fill in the shadows and fake ambient light etc from the background, set this light about half the intensity of your sun

1 final small light shining up from underneath, colored blue, cast shadows off. This fakes light reflected off the ground, and lightens soffitts etc. Set about a quarter the intensity of your sun.

I'd be interested to see how you get on.



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I would also look at your settings for layer ambient light. The default setting is about 35. Depending on your light source intensities and object colors this could be too dark. In that case you may want to increase this slightly until you get what you want.

If you have an overexposed (too bright) you may find it is set way up toward 100. If this is the case decrease the brightness by small increments until you get what you want.

One mistake my CAD students make is that they set the ambient brightness in more than one layer. This causes some linked layer setups to show varying brightness to disadvantage. I would stick to setting ambient brightness to only the layer your objects display on.

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I use 4 lights with the following characteristics:

Main light 1: Intenity 60, Azimut -30, elevatiion 45, no shadows, no colour

Main light 2: Intenity 15, Azimut -30, elevatiion 45, cast shadows, no colour

Back light: Intensity 50, Azimut -170, elevation 10, no shadows, Colour cyan: 8 (cmyk)

Side light: Intensity 50, Azimut 85, elevation -40 no shadows, colour Magenta 5, Yellow 5 (cmyk)

Layer ambience set to 25

This lighting is fairly conservative, perhaps a bit boring, but it works everytime.

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