This Daz3D Indoor Lighting tutorial shows how to apply lighting to buildings and environments. It covers both day and night indoor lighting in Daz Studio. Making outdoor lighting is not that hard. Usually you just need to place a few lights or even a single HRDI can be enough. Indoor lighting is harder and a lot less obvious. Besides it differs depending on whether there are windows in the room and whether it is day or night on a scene. This article should help you with this and clear out how to make a proper indoor lighting.
Daz3d Day Indoor Lighting
Main thing in setting up lighting is that you need to simulate the real world. Meaning that you need to imagine this scene in the real world and where the lighting would be coming from. And this is especially true for the indoor lighting. Let’s take for example this simple room with two windows:
First of all we need to simulate the sun. We can do this by placing a warm and strong light outside pointing directly at the window. It also should have a little angle and be big to create soft shadows. Sun does not usually create crisp shadows.
Adding a bit of color can be a good idea too. But as you can see, this is not enough. This did not produce enough light and everything is still really dark.
This happened because the sun is not an only thing that lights everything around you in real life. The other main source of light is sky and objects around you that reflect lighting. So we need to simulate that. There are a couple of ways how we can do that.
First method would be to place spotlights at each window. And set those lights to be really big, have a big spread angle and a little blue tint.
This makes the scene look and feel better. It is not that dark anymore. Though it does not feel ideal A bit too unnatural, similar to the studio lighting.
Another way of achieving a similar result includes a bit of cheating. That is to say that we will not simulate real world lighting, but make something unusual. More precisely – I have placed a point light at the top of my room.
This lights room very evenly but can feel more like artificial lighting from the lamp rather than a natural one coming from outside. Though depending on the situation – this can work.
You can experiment with this method. For example, switch a point light with a really wide spotlight or an emission light, like here:
Probably the best way of creating environmental lighting in this situation would be an HDRI. It is an image that will add both environmental lighting and a good background instead of the greyness.
We have an Daz3d HDRI Tutorial: What It Is and How to Use article for you to learn more about HDRIs.
This looks really good and feels a lot more realistic. Though default settings are a bit too dark for me. So I can bump “Environment Intensity” and “Environment Map” settings a bit. Or, Alternatively, I can simply hide my room’s ceiling.
We can’t see the ceiling from the Camera view anyway. So it would not be seen in the final render too. This means that I easily can hide it, if that makes my scene look better.
On Daz3D Shop you can find HDRIs that would suit your indoors lighting. Mainly you need only images of the skies in your renders, so you can take a look at the Skies of Economy Redux – Volume 1 by Daz Originals & DimensionTheory. It includes 8 different sky HDR textures.
Daz3d Night Indoor Lighting
There are two types of the indoor lighting that include darkness. First is when you have access to the natural lighting in your room. Be it via door, window or something else. Similar to how it was in previous examples.
We already have a Daz3d Night Render Iray Tutorial where we explain how you can easily turn your day scenes into night scenes, how to simulate moonlight and what is “day for night”. By using those techniques it is possible to turn my previous render into a night one.
Another type of indoor lighting is interiors that needs to be lighted artificially. This can be either any interior at night or just interior that doesn’t have access to the natural outdoors lighting.
For situations like this – the main rule stays the same. Imagine that it is a real place and imagine what parts of the environment would be producing lights.
For example I can see a bunch of small lights on the columns. This means that I need them to produce lighting. I can put point lights near each one of them to simulate artificial lighting.
But I think that this takes more time and is overall inferior than using emissive lights. I will not go into details on how to set emissive lights up, because I already did in the Daz3D Emissive Lights Tutorial that you can read even right now.
This looks better and was a lot easier to create than other alternatives. Though there are a lot more places on the scene where I can use emissive lights. Besides it is still really dark on the scene.
It already looks pretty good. Though still rather dark. There are lamp objects hanging from the ceiling of the environment.
I can use them to create more emissive lights, like I did with everything else. And make them strong lights so they would produce enough lighting.
But as these lamps are not visible in the render anyway – I can come up with something totally different. For example I can set up a few spotlights that will emphasize on the parts of the scene that I want to emphasize.
And if you find the result still too dim – instead of finicking with the lights and trying to set them up better – you can fix everything in post. You can use third-party software or built-in “Tone Mapping” function from the “Render Settings”. For example just increasing “Film ISO” made the result instantly brighter.
Alternative to making everything manually, such as placing lights, creating emissive surfaces and so on – is to find the ready-made environments on the Daz3D Shop. Meaning that all the lights, emissive surfaces and other stuff is already made for you.
Another similar product is a 1stB One Bedroom Downtown Condo Apartment by FirstBastion. It features a whole apartment with fully prepared rooms such as kitchen, bedroom and living room. The scene files include all the interior light as well as balanced ambient light emitters.
And you even can find something more unusual than just a house interior. A good example would be a Modern Commuter Carriage by Dogz. It is the interior of the Modern Commuter train Carriage. Set not only includes 3 variants of this carriage, but also props presets for the Night, Dusk, Sunny Day and Day Overcast lighting.
Hope that this Daz3D indoor lighting article helped you with your setup set it up. Now you should be able to make Daz3d indoor lighting better for the enclosed premises with natural lighting and closed rooms with artificial one both at day and night settings.
Indoor lighting render
I have used the god rays technique to produce the render above. We have an in-depth Daz3D God Rays Lighting Tutorial that explains how to achieve this effect yourself. Also have a look at our Daz Iray Lighting Tutorials and other Daz Tutorials.