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Adding lights in blender – how to get better renderings

Adding lights in Blender deserves some consideration and some extra care. If you model something realistically way too often people just quickly add some lamps, or maybe you heard that HDRI maps just give the best light.

If you come from the photography world like me, you might already have a solid knowledge about how light works in photography, but are struggling to get it right in Blender. HDRI maps can be used for extra realism but they work their best in conjunction with normal lighting.

A great YouTube channel

Wenbo Zhao made this awesome youtube channel that can really help you in adding lights in Blender. It is by far the best youtube channel I have seen about lighting in Blender. I like it, because it shows how real world light works, and how you create realistic light in Blender.

Assuming you are not lighting characters or animated models, this guide on how to light a cosmetic bottle in Blender is a very good place to start. It shows how to mimic real world lighting.

Here is a really good video about not using hdri lighting as a key light, but rather as ambient light.

HDRI maps

Polyhaven is a really good place to get HDRI maps, and some of them are even in 16K 32bit exr. 32 bit is important, because 16 bit depth does not have enough bit depth to contain both shadeand sunlight in the same image without burning out the brightest parts.

Adding lights in Blender in a good way

Wenbo Zhao made this blender lighting 101 series. It is very good.

I want to add the following: no natural light source is pure white, so it is a good idea to change the light a bit with a yellowish or bluish colour, depending on the light type. You can also use the Blackbody note to set the temperature in Kelvin degrees.

Here is how to achieve it in a good article from blendergrid

Adding light in the real world

If you are interested in how to light almost every thing in reel life here is a really good (paid) resource.

So adding lights in blender takes some training but it is really worth it because it adds reel life realishm to you 3D work.

Want to make something cool in blender read the blogpost the best blender YouTube channels.

Happy lighting :)

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