Improving Lighting/Environment

Started by CodyBrown, March 14, 2022, 01:46:23 PM

Previous topic - Next topic

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.


looking at all the other scenes you guys are able to render the results are really incredible. this is just one example of many i've seen that look so real its hard to tell if its a render or actually sitting there.

i want to get my lighting and environment skills to the next level and be able to produce breath taking renders like these. ive attached 3 of our most recent marketing images from our newest model we just announced. i want to be able to really make it pop and not just look flat and basic.

everything i do in keyshot has been self-taught over the last 2 years and picked up through the manual and tutorial videos. if anybody has any good pointers, basic things to start with, a good youtube tutorial channel, or anything at all that can help get me going in the right direction or start me on a path to it would be greatly appreciated!



You need to study lighting. The materials can be top of the line super detailed, but without the proper contrast and angle of lighting that bump map and surface detail material you spent so much time on won't show up. I had to come to this realization the hard way as well. Find resources on product lighting, lighting for outdoor photography and such.


What Matt says, it's all about the lighting. Materials come after that.

In your example, it's clear to see that you have very uniform/flat lighting. Where is the sun for example, there are no cast shadows anywhere.
Your background doesn't help either, it's so busy, it makes the image look muddy (plus it's over-saturated, with very unnatural looking colors).

If I were you, I'd start with a simple sun/sky environment, find an angle for the sun that works for you and continue working on your image from there. You can add lights on your boats to light up areas that are covered in shadow. A premade hdri sky environment works as well, but you have no control over the sun angle and your shadows.

With big objects like these, I like using longer lenses from a bigger distance. That creates less distortion in your subject.

Keep your water dark and let the color come from the sky reflection (unless you want that super clear tropical paradise look).

Some cool examples I found:


Dark water, balanced real world HDRI, brings out the contrast and reflections. These are from a design project a few years ago. All Keyshot default materials and HDRIs, though the water took some tweaking as I recall. On the boat make sure to turn on rounded edges in the properties to add realism and enhance reflections on edges.

These are the raw renders. No post work (we rarely do that as we don't have time)