How to Create Realistic Lighting for Indoor and Outdoor Scenes

How to Create Realistic Lighting for Indoor and Outdoor Scenes

When we experience lighting in the “real world” it tends to just well—happen! Without much effort from us, the sun rises, we flick a switch, or we open the curtains and there we have it, light! We may put some thought into where we place a lamp, how we angle the blinds, or where we aim a torch, but much of the time our experience with light is generally a passive experience.

Things are different in the 3D graphics world, where we’re wanting to maximize a scene that we have carefully set up. It’s to optimise the elements of mood, a character’s expression, the textures and objects or certain areas in the scene.

With effective lighting you can make your 3D models really stand out!

There are a number of deep-rooted 3D lighting standards, and the type of scene usually determines which one is most appropriate.

Esha, a long standing published artist at DAZ will guide you through the lighting maze.

Learn how to light outdoor environments and indoor scenes. Master the Daz Studio Environment Render Modes and how to tweak them.

  • Scene types : Outdoor and Indoor
  • Environment mode combinations : Dome, Scene, Sun and Sky
  • Considering HDRI
  • Intensity settings
  • Shadow settings
  • Positioning of the sun or other light sources
  • Light types : Spot, distant and point
  • Other light sources : mesh light and sky dome
  • Render settings : camera, quality settings and environment controls
  • Scenarios : Studio setup, outdoor/indoor scenes and dark (night) scenes.
  • Postwork on light scenes

About the presenter Esha

Esha lives in Austria and has been creating 3D products for nearly 13 years!
She has created content for Smith Micro and Daz and is an active vendor at

When Daz released the Developer Tools for Daz Studio in 2008 she integrated them into her workflow and has been working with Daz Studio, alongside Poser, ever since. In recent years she has been focusing on DS for product development.

Esha’s favourite tools include Daz Studio, Poser, ZBrush, Wings3D, Xfrog, Marvelous Designer, UVLayout and Photoshop. In all of these she is a self-taught artist, basing her skills on years of experience and numerous online tutorials.
She fully understands the difficulties of moving from Poser to Daz Studio, having made that journey herself, and enjoys passing on her Studio know-how to new users.

Esha also has several years of experience in teaching adults. She firmly believes that the best way to learn is to actively do something yourself, so she favours a hands-on approach in teaching.

Knowing only too well how tiresome it is to gather scraps of information all over the web she wants to provide comprehensive webinars that really offer solid information. Moving from the basics to advanced procedures she takes care to make sure that her audience will be able to follow her courses smoothly.

In her spare time Esha loves listening to classical music, baking muffins and collecting cat photos.

What's Included and Features

  • How to Create Realistic Lighting for Indoor and Outdoor Scenes (.MP4):
    • Session 1 : 1 hour and 50 minutes:
      • Introduction
      • Types of scenes: Outdoor and Indoor
      • Environment Modes
      • Light Types
      • Case Studies
    • Session 1 Timestamps:
      • 00:05:00 Preview lights and environment modes
      • 00:10:00 Draw ground option
      • 00:15:00 Dome mode : Orientating the dome
      • 00:20:00 The effect of White Point
      • 00:25:00 Fixing the ground in an environment map.
      • 00:30:00 HDRI recommendations
      • 00:35:00 Q&A - Fixing domes
      • 00:40:00 Light types
      • 00:45:00 Sun-Sky only and Latitude/Longitude/Time settings
      • 00:50:00 Q&A - Day and Time depends on system settings
      • 00:55:00 Sun settings
      • 01:00:00 Sun Multiplier
      • 01:05:00 Using reflectors
      • 01:10:00 Distant light
      • 01:15:00 Point light
      • 01:20:00 Light temperature
      • 01:25:00 Light profiles
      • 01:30:00 Spotlight
      • 01:35:00 Spotlight parameters
      • 01:40:00 Light geometry and render costs
      • 01:45:00 Emission
      • 01:50:00 Mesh lights
  • Session 2 : 2 hours:
    • Introduction
    • Outdoor Scene : Provence set by Faveral:
      • 00:05:00 Outdoor scene lit with different HDRI maps
      • 00:10:00 Ask the audience - why isn't the scene working?
      • 00:15:00 Visibility of elements in the scene affecting lighting
      • 00:20:00 Setting up the sun camera
      • 00:25:00 Tone mapping: Burn highlights and Crush Blacks
      • 00:30:00 Using spotlight to highlight elements in the scene
    • Indoor Scene : Chinese apartment by Esha:
      • 00:35:00 Overview of Chinese apartment
      • 00:40:00 Morning light
      • 00:45:00 Lighting an asset or indoor scene properly
      • 00:50:00 IES and talking about a prison set
    • Outdoor scene : Lighting up architecture:
      • 00:55:00 Improving an older asset with lighting and Iray
      • 01:00:00 "Soft" spotlights
      • 01:05:00 Property photography
      • 01:10:00 God rays
      • 01:15:00 God rays SSS
      • 01:20:00 SSS and render times
    • Postwork and lighting:
      • 01:25:00 Photoshop Levels Histogram
      • 01:30:00 Layers and light in Photoshop
      • 01:35:00 Canvases
      • 01:40:00 Photoshop : Canvas Exposure Properties
      • 01:45:00 Canvas questions
    • Attendee Questions:
      • 01:50:00 Attendee questions - two sun alien planet set
  • PowerPoint Slide Set


  • This product includes:
    • 2 General Installer

Compatible Software:

DAZ Studio 4.10

Install Types:

Install Manager, Manual Install