How to Create Realistic Interior Lighting with FluidRay

We are in trying times. No matter each of our specific situations, everyone has been affected by the global pandemic and we’ve all had to modify our day to day lives in order to keep our communities safe. The FluidRay team wishes everyone the best as we all adjust. 

Are you able to work remotely? Why not use this time to refine your rendering skills with these tips on how to use FluidRay to create renderings with realistic lighting? 

Proper interior lighting is crucial when designing an interior, particularly when working to create the ambiance of a room. Lighting adds both style and function and determines the mood of the space. Perfecting the lighting effects in 3D renderings enables designers to accurately communicate the intended mood for a room. Creating lighting effects in FluidRay is fast, easy, and produces beautiful results that will impress your clients! 

Keep reading for detailed instructions on how to bring your renderings to life with interior lighting. 

Step 1: Import Your 3D Model

Create your 3D model in your favorite modeling software. We used SketchUp for this example.

SketchUp 3D Model

livingroom.skp

Once your model is created, import the file into FluidRay. 

FluidRay Import Project

FluidRay works directly with SketchUp (.skp), Rhino OpenNurbs (.3dm), FBX (.fbx), Alias Wavefront (.obj), Collada (.dae), 3DS (.3ds, .ase), DirectX (.X), Stanford PLY (.ply), and STereoLithography (.stl). 

If your filetype isn’t listed here, simply export to an .fbx file within your 3D modeling software and then import into FluidRay. 

Step 2: Set Materials

Let’s begin by setting the materials in the model. By setting materials before adjusting the lighting, you can see how the materials will react in real time when adjusting the lighting. Select an object from the model and then from the drop down menu in the Materials tab, drag and drop the desired material into your rendering. FluidRay has a large library of high quality materials from which to choose and the ability to import additional materials. 

Step 3: Add Environmental Light

Environmental light comes from the outside, rather than from the inside. Environmental light is a global parameter, meaning it will affect the entire rendering, not only one part of it. 

FluidRay Drag and Drop

In this example, we start with the night environment and then we increase the light’s power. 

FluidRay

You can see the room in our model takes on light from the environment as if it is night time outside. Increase the light’s power in the right panel using the Environment tab.

FluidRay Increase Light Power

Step 4: Add Artificial Light

FluidRay

Artificial light includes overhead lights as well as table or floor lamps. We recommend applying the artificial light first without the environmental lights. Simply select the surface you want to emit light and tweak its emission power and color. You can also drag and drop an emissive material onto the surface. 

Emissive material

Go through these same steps for each of the artificial lights in your rendering. 

Step 5: Turn Environmental Light Back On

Turn the environmental light back on so the rendering includes both environmental and artificial lighting. This rendering is really coming together!

Step 6: Finalize and Adjust Your Rendering

In this final step, you’ll tweak the materials, environmental lighting, and artificial lighting to get to the final result. Thanks to FluidRay’s speed and ability to render in real time, you’ll immediately get an idea of how the render will look after each and every material or light change. 

Check out this video that walks you through how to do these steps in real time. 

Interior Rendering with FluidRay

FluidRay also offers training tutorials for more details on learning how to render images. You’ll create designs quickly and easily, freeing yourself up to focus on imagining interiors for your clients.

If you want to experience how FluidRay can help you inspire your clients, download our software for a free trial. Our pricing is inexpensive so anyone can experience the good side of rendering!




Watch Site Modeling In SketchUp Tutorial Video

A lot of professional 3D modeling work relates to architectural projects. For large scale developments, there is usually a site development or campus development element in addition to the buildings and other structures. Good site modeling is critical to creating an acceptable model for client projects because the environment needs to complement the structures.

This video comes directly from SketchUp & walks you through the steps to create a site model. Some highlights are how to use a mix of Google Earth & Google Maps views to understand the site; modeling new buildings from scratch; and creating utility scenes for studying.

You expect an official SketchUp tutorial to be pretty sweet and this one doesn’t disappoint. If you’re not into architectural rendering, then this may not be that fun to you, but I think most people doing models will appreciate the techniques and how he shows the capabilities of SketchUp.

Site Modeling in SketchUp

If you haven’t already, then make sure you subscribe to the SketchUp YouTube channel.

Watch How to Create Thai Temple Model in SketchUp Pro 2015

Building architectural models from the ground up takes imagination, an eye for detail, and a solid understanding of your tools. In this video, we see a Thai Temple developed in SketchUp 2015 with the addition all the shapes, dimensions, spacing, materials and textures shown.

The video, from JMsketch04’s YouTube channel. It’s longer than most of the videos we share (38:03), but it’s worth the time.

I especially like the order of the modeling with a good use of library assets and a consistent workflow. If you’ve ever tried building a complex models or ones with lots of assets, then you know that you need an efficient process to make sure everything comes together and avoid having to redo work later.

If you’re new to SketchUp modeling or want to learn how to build models more efficiently, then checkout this video.

Sketchup create 3d Model thai temple

Where to Find .SKP Files

Regular SketchUp users probably already have a big archive of .skp files to draw on for projects, but sometimes you need something new and it helps if you can grab one rather than building from scratch. I did some wandering around the web and found some sources for .skp files. Some are free and some cost a bit, but the nice thing is that these sites are reliable — you can bookmark them and come back whenever you’re searching.

3DWarehouse – https://3dwarehouse.sketchup.com/
No surprise you’re going to find SKP files at 3DWarehouse, but it’s worth mentioning that they have a fun mix of models including architecture, people and products.

SketchUp Texture – http://www.sketchuptexture.com/p/3d-sketchup-model.html
SketchUp Texture has several collections of room and furniture models in the SKP format. I liked a lot of the stuff in the Houses and Villas collection. It also never hurts to have furniture models when you’re figuring out interiors.

TF3DM –
These guys have a little bit of everything. The quality can vary, but it’s worth checking out. I’d definitely check here for military vehicles.

SKPWizard – http://skpwizard.com/freeblocks.php
SKPWizard carries a good selection of office furniture models. They also have some vehicles, construction supplies, and electronics. I’ve visit here before starting on an office interior project.

TurboSquid – http://www.turbosquid.com/Search/3D-Models/free/skp
I’d say their free .skp offerings are mostly related to furniture or home decor, but TurboSquid also has some human and animal models, as well as, some building models. Check them out for starter models to practice on.

GrabCad – https://grabcad.com/library/software/sketchup
I’ve found some gorgeous building models here along with a variety of furniture, mechanical, and other objects. If you’re doing product or industrial design, then make sure you check here for things like gears and motors too.

David Hier – http://www.davidhier.co.uk/freemodels.html
Let’s take a moment to thank David for sharing some of his models for high-end designer furniture. He shares a lot of his stuff on TurboSquid, but make sure to check his site for goodies. His models might be good for a hotel room or lobby project where if you’re going for a contemporary look and feel.

Creative Crash – http://www.creativecrash.com/sketchup/
Creative Crash’s marketplace has a lot of goodies. The quality and prices will vary a lot and some models are a bit pricey, but you’ll find plenty of well done vehicle, electronics, exterior and environmental models to work with.

Nomeradona SketchUp, VRay Resources – http://sketchupvrayresources.blogspot.com/p/free-sketchup-scenes-and-models.html
There is not a lot here, but the few models are well done. I especially like the sofa and padded material models. Hopefully, they’ll keep adding to the site, but I’d pick up the sofa models now to have handy.

SketchUp4Architects – http://www.sketchup4architect.com/sketchup-components.htm
There is a good selection of models here with an emphasis on architectural components (rooms, doors, windows, floors, stairways, etc.). You’ll also find some people, furniture, and vehicles mixed in. This is a good resource for assets to construct rooms or other basic architectural modeling tasks.

SweetHome3D – http://www.sweethome3d.com/importModels.jsp
SweetHome3D offers several collections of models, some with hundreds of files included. In some cases, you’ll be directed away from the site, but I didn’t find anything shady — just more models. Pay attention to the licensing rules.

Modlar – http://www.modlar.com/information/3d-models/
Modlar is the place to get manufacture approved models of appliances, tools, industrial equipment and more. It’s heavy into sinks, faucets and other kitchen and bathroom models, but you also have industrial, furniture and flooring. A good site for anyone doing kitchens and bathrooms, or looking for some well done pieces to refine home models.

TruStile – http://www.trustile.com/design-planning/3d-cad-symbols/sketchup
This is vendor site so you won’t find a variety. That said, TruStile gives you models for about 40 different styles of residential doors. I suggest picking them all up and keeping them as resource for any residential housing project.

Popular Woodworking – http://www.popularwoodworking.com/sketchup-for-woodworking-models
Every model here is for something wooden. Fortunately, you can use wood almost anywhere. A decent selection of models though you’ll see a lot of tables and cabinets. Worth browsing for touches to add to a rustic cabin or home. You might also use the benches for parks or other outdoor settings.

Kolbe – http://www.kolbe-kolbe.com/architectLibrary/index.cfm?pcID=7&pID=169
Another vendor site. This one is focused on Kolbe windows. The models are well made and done to work well with any architectural models. Like with TruStile, I’d grab as many as you can now so you have the for later.

That’s it for now. I’ll keep looking and adding as I discover new sites. Leave a comment if you want to share some of your own models or let us know about some good sites.

Feature image: Asus P6T6 3d model by 3DRegenerator

Cool Video on the Merits of HDRI for 3D Rendering

The images you use as sources and output have a big impact on the realism of your renders. This video from dimensiont on YouTube looks at the value of using HDRI images when doing renderings. I think the video could use a different soundtrack, but the examples given are convincing.

Merits of HDRI in 3D Rendering

In the video, you’ll see the difference in colors, shadows, lighting and reflections between high dynamic range images and formats like jpeg and png. The video does a great job of making the difference in contrast and detail obvious. It also gives you some hints to the value for different lighting environments though I’d say the video could use more lighting examples.

Watch this video if you’re working on placing made objects and people into real-world environments or struggling to fine-tune a render.

Cool Video: See How Rendering Works in Games

Found this video on the HappieCat YouTube channel. This video is focused on rendering in games, but it does a great job of explaining the basics of 3D modeling including the different technologies and math behind it.

I work for a 3D rendering and visualization company, but my background is in marketing. While I’ve learned a lot working with FluidRay, this was actually a great video for me to learn a little more about the concepts behind modeling.

I definitely suggest this video to anyone looking for a very straightforward explanation of what goes into modeling, especially if you like video games.

How Rendering Graphics Works in Games!

How to Integrate FluidRay RT with Modo for Easier Rendering

FluidRay RT Tutorial on how to quickly get started with the integration plugin for Luxology Modo.

Using the integration plugin will allow you to conveniently render models directly from inside Modo using FluidRay RT technology. This video will cover:

  • How FluidRay RT interconnects with Modo
  • Edit and render models in real-time
  • Applying materials & and changing surface appearance
  • Applying environment lighting

For more tutorials, check out the Tutorial Page.

Where to Find .3dm files

You can build your own .3dm files but it takes time and you may not get the best results. If you’re like us, then you’ve probably got a few spots you check for models, and you’ve also probably bought some sets over the years. But you always end up needing something you don’t have, and having to look around.

I did some snooping through my lists of sites to find ones that offered a good mix of .3dm models. Not all the sites are free or have large selections, but they are all dependable. Take the time to browse through a few of them when working on a project and you should be able to find what you need.

TF3DMhttp://tf3dm.com/3d-models/all/1/3dm
This site has a good selection of models, but they range in quality from high-end to beginner. You can find anything from full buildings to Black Hawk helicopters to a T-Rex. Prices vary a lot, and you need to be careful to check which license is available for each model.

CGTraderhttp://www.cgtrader.com/free-3d-models
A library of free 3dm models, heavy on automotive but you can find some animal, environment and product models if you look around for a bit.

GrabCadhttps://grabcad.com/library/software/rhino?per_page=20&query=3dm
Not a very large selection, but there are some nice ones here & the site has good search functionality.

AD-3D http://ad-3d.com/free-rhino-3d-nurbs-models/
This is a free collection — available for both personal and commercial use (but not reselling) — from Aleksandar Dimitrov. Mostly furniture models, but some exteriors like fields thrown in.

FlexiCadhttps://www.flexicad.com/download.php?lang=de&misc=1300
Honestly, it’s only 4 models here but its worth going to pick up the Audi TT model.

Aversishttp://www.aversis.be/3dmodels/
Not many here, but they are all decent quality. Click the links labeled “Rhino” to get the .3dm files.

Turbosquidhttp://www.turbosquid.com/
You’ve probably come across this site before. Big selection of models. You can search subject and then filter to get models compatible with Rhino. Pretty much everything here is high-quality, but you’re going to pay for it: prices range from US $5 – $500. Fortunately, you can filter by price. If you need a model for work, then this is a good place to look, but not sure its the right place for a student.

Craftsmansspacehttp://www.craftsmanspace.com/free-3d-models
If you’re looking for free geometries and pattern 3dm files, then I’d check here. Nothing to fancy is available, but you can use these models for things like fencing, icons, wall art without too many problems.

Yobi3D – https://www.yobi3d.com/
It finds 3D models on the Internet with simple keyword search. The models can be previewed in 3D right on your browser.

This list is a work in progress. If you’d like to have your model site, set or file added, then leave a comment.

MaxScript to prepare for exporting to FluidRay

This Maxscript for 3dSMax prepares the scene for better exporting to FluidRay RT. In particular, this script:

  • Converts proxies to full-res meshes
  • Converts VRayMaterial to Standard Material
  • Converts VRayCamera to Standard Camera
  • Converts VRayProxy to Regular Mesh
  • Adjusts textures to be more faithfully exported

Right before exporting, load the script in the Maxscript editor and press Ctrl+E to execute the script.

The export format that provides the best results is .fbx.

Get this script in the Addons Page.