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    Sintel’s Cabin, featuring Indirect Lighting!

    on March 14th, 2010, by Pablo Vazquez

    Yo! Pablo (venomgfx) here, on my debut as Durian Blogposter (sounds cool uh?Β πŸ˜€ )

    The past week was awesome!, not only because it was my first one here :P, but also because David came all the way from Toulouse, to help out, and he was a huge help.

    Sintel Cabin's Progress

    Sintel Cabin’s Progress, more detail needed!

    Even though its not finished, blogposting wont hurt (hope so!).

    On this scene, my work was supposed to be design-model, then light/compo this shot, but since this was my first week, I’ve been told “No need to be completely productive the first few weeks”, great! relief.. so I took some time to learn the workflow and pipeline here, luckily is really similar to how I use to work before and on my personal projects nowadays.

    So, Monday was mostly settling down and playing with the file I found first, which was pure proxies (top-left frame on the screenshot >> ), needed to design! but luckily for me that day David arrived, so I quickly set up basic lighting on a file Soenke worked before (adding the stuff shown at the top-right frame on the screenie), for Tuesday I got a *beautifully* made paint-over my render, even in 2 flavors! sort-of-day, and night.

    Sintel's Cabin by David Revoy

    Sintel’s Cabin paint-over by David Revoy

    Then Wednesday went about modeling all the small details everywhere, with such a great reference this task was relatively easy, just a matter of time..

    Thursday!, until this day I used Approximate Ambient Occlusion’s Indirect Lighting for this scene, which gave me nice results overall, I felt I was in the right path, probably would need a lot more tweakings for faking stuff (bounces, shadows mostly), until I saw some experiments Soenke was doing with Raytraced IL, “wow! gotta try that!” <- along with a O.O’ face, OK render times went up a bit, but the results (and less work on fine tuning/faking stuff) deserved it.

    Below is the render with Raytracing IL and Approximate respectively, not really fair comparison though since the Raytraced one has some minor changes to lights , basically because the bouncing was too strong making everything too bright, this also demanded some changes to the materials.. so I spent most of Thursday on tweaking the shading/lighting, some modeling as well but not as much as was needed.

    Sintels Cabin WIP

    Sintel’s Cabin Work in Progress, Indirect Lighting tests.

    It’s Friday! (..I’m in love! β™ͺ, recalling The Cure, but actually I had a crush on Indirect Lighting πŸ˜› )

    Was time for my first weekly! and to show what I’ve been working on the whole week, even when I think I could have done much more this week, I also believe I learned a *lot*, specially on the rendering side, it’s been very productive to me and I’m glad I still have a week more scheduled for this scene, so I can catch up with what I have left to do (more models/cloth!), and also because that scene is not only a bed/wood/medievalish stuff, characters are missing in there!

    Sintel's Cabin - IL

    Lighting setup at the left, how it bounces at the right.

    Before wrapping up I want you to see a small screenshot that shows how much magic goes behind Indirect Lighting, on the left is the setup showing I only used 1 Spot lamp for the “Sun”, then a Halo light for the beam light, and the rest is all bouncing (plus a big blue emitting material plane as sky), at the right is sort of how the light bounces to lit the scene πŸ™‚ , a whole new world for me at lighting, love it! πŸ˜€

    Ouch already Sunday morning here :/ gotta get some sleep to kickoff the week tomorrow.

    That’s all folks! πŸ™‚

    Tags: , , , , ,

    50 Responses to “Sintel’s Cabin, featuring Indirect Lighting!”

    1. Gallardo Says:

      Whoa, first πŸ™‚

      Those renders really look awesome. Love the mood of the render!
      Sintel is going to be brilliant, i can feel it. Great work guys!

    2. NooBPoWeR Says:

      Awesome! just AWESOME!

    3. Pablo Vazquez Says:

      Thanks a bunch!

      By the way, this week the whole Durian team switched to the Render Branch, which is the one I used for the renders above.

      We will be using this branch for now, but the merge with Trunk is going to happen very soon anyways, so we’ll be back to Trunk.

    4. Satish 'iluvblender' Goda Says:

      Just Beautiful…

      I have been playing around with Environment lighting myself.. and Indirect lighting too..

      Keep up the good work folks..

      Cheers from India,

    5. horace Says:

      nice renders!

      did anyone test already how this new indirect lighting works with animation? does it flicker? are you sure already that you will use it for final rendering?

    6. nawabz Says:

      coool nice renders indeed.


    7. kaZoo Says:

      …,amazing,…you guys are great,i can’t imagine how much work is going in this,but i can tell you need a little sleep :D,…anyway I was wondering what’s with the roof on that bed,I just don’t get it, looks weird :S

    8. kram1032 Says:

      Great results πŸ˜€

    9. tyrant monkey Says:

      that looks really good, damn that just made my day top notch stuff Pablo

    10. Shiretoko Says:

      Wow, my favorite guy VenomGFX Pablo!
      Absolutely stellar stuff, great work. Update again next week too.
      Thanks for sharing.

    11. Shinobi Says:

      This post shows clearly and unmistakably why the entire community was taking his breath waiting and hoping for a great GI implementation coming in Blender, now that day has finally come and Blender could produce a totally new render quality level, matching what CG really asks for.

      Good GI is a must for a modern renderer, I really can’t understand people referring to this as “whistle and bells”…. mad…

      Anyway, this is totally awesome, Pablo, and I’m happy to hear the team switched to the render25 branch!

      @ horace:
      have you read Render development update Blog post? The whole hard work Brecht put in this astonishing GI solution is aimed at producing

      great quality,

      at a good speed and…

      … flicker free in an animation wise environment! πŸ˜‰

      That’s even more astonishing to see at it under this point of view.

      @ Pablo, are those cabin log/trunk rendered with tile subdivision? The displacemente level of detail is incredible….

    12. Shinobi Says:

      There is no reason left to still with Approximate Ambient occlusion now, the only one I can spot is (render time apart) a better bump handling (you can spot this in comparison screenshot), but I think Brecht is working hard on implementing this in the render25 branch for Raytrace Indirect Lighting too, soooooo…… go Brecht, go team, and wait for final results! πŸ™‚

    13. wayne Says:


      good job guys, love the visual style of the renders.

      paintovers are pretty too πŸ™‚

    14. wayne Says:

      could we get hi-res renders / paint-overs?

      would love to use them as 1080p wallpapers πŸ™‚

    15. KLLo Says:

      Very impressive. David’s talent is a blessing in this project. Well done Pablo! the raytraced IL looks really well.

      I can image those fabrics swinging with the wind.

      You said Soenke was doing some experiments that made you think: I got to try “that”.

      Was “that” the raytraced IL itself, or some other tricks? do tell pls.

    16. Another Fellow Says:

      I love you pablo XD

      That’s some great work. I also like the whole Durian team XD

    17. Maya Says:

      Pablo, use the Mortar and Pestle thats on blendswap:) Its on davids drawing but it’s not in the render πŸ™‚

    18. KLLo Says:

      I keep watching the cabin render with raytraced Indirect Light and looks really well. But just getting nitpicking I was wondering if you’re planning to use Image Based Lighting to add that subtle variations of light that make things even more realistic.

    19. rickyblender Says:

      very nice render for this scene

      any site where we can get more news about this new render branch?

      also tried to play with this new indirect light
      now anyway to get control which faces emit light
      may be with reflection map or several mat with diffe spec an diffuse values ?

      very interesting work guys
      keep up the good work – can’t wait to play with the advance version!

      happy 2.5

    20. Pablo lizardo Says:

      Wow pablito awesome work!!! And only in a week!
      I’m looking forward for more news!
      Big hug from a tocayo!

    21. Del McOmie Says:

      Je pense qu’il devrait laisser Rob Russell a continuΓ© comme le leader de la tribu. En fin de compte, aura pour tenter de les amener Γ  voter contre lui au large Γ  une grande menace, puis Russell pouvez cliquer Slide

    22. duude o awsome Says:


    23. Sjoerd van Kampen Says:

      PLEASE make a tutorial on this

    24. AlphaSite Says:

      Hey, anyone else notice the “i <3 Drag" in the corner? πŸ™‚

    25. Bao Says:

      Great work. I love the style of the renders.
      And 2D artists are not dead in a 3D world. They are creators and 3D artists need the creators.
      David must be on the team texturing or whatever while he is not correcting/creating. Don’t let him fly again to Toulouse, use some rope!!!

    26. RNS Says:

      This feature will be excellent for my Sea Fleet under water scene.please finish the alpha series testing.

    27. JustinBarrett Says:

      Yeah, saw the I love drag in the first image….ROFL.

    28. Victor Says:

      am I crazy? or I can see the image divided in blocks/cells in the rendered image with GI(gathering), look at the cloths, I mean during composition… there are glitches. I’ve seen this happening when I was rendering your last work, Pablo, from your website on blender-alpha-2. A centered block with a darker tone.

    29. Linkeltje Says:

      Wow excellent post! Very bright, the information on the light πŸ™‚

      I’ve got to love those paint-overs, I can see they helped a lot to build to those renders. Speaking of… they are already beyond my expectations. It just looks fantastic!

    30. Aoti Says:

      Fantastic renders! Keep up the excellent work.

    31. Tea Monster Says:

      Wow, I love it, I can’t believe how far the renderer has come in just a few months!!!

      Oh, and is that a ‘God Ray’ over the bed in the IL test shot?

    32. Eibriel Says:

      Wow!! Great to see a fellow working on something so good!
      Greetings from Argentina!

    33. D Says:

      Thank you, Plablo! πŸ˜€
      Even though you can see that the raytraced IL is a lot more blotchy compared to AAO, the lighting on the rolled up pillow for example is infinitely more natural!
      O, what the final product by June might be like. πŸ˜€

    34. Bmud Says:

      Keep on rocking it, Pablo. Coloring and lighting is where I really like to do my damage too, so any posts you put up like this one gives me that warm fuzzy feeling πŸ™‚

    35. eeean Says:

      @Victor: This happens in the Render preview window, so I suspect that the image on the left came from a screenshot of that window. If you save the image properly it does not happen.

    36. Shinobi Says:

      Victor said:
      “am I crazy? or I can see the image divided in blocks/cells in the rendered image with GI(gathering), look at the cloths, I mean during composition… there are glitches. I’ve seen this happening when I was rendering your last work, Pablo, from your website on blender-alpha-2. A centered block with a darker tone.”

      Victor and eeean,
      that is a rendered image, not preview render. Then, why those blotches?

      Because of a very low amount of samples in that raytrace indirect lighting test, consider it is only a quick render test (it has to render fast), 12 samples is waaay to low for a decent blotches-free image, but enough to show IL effect and something good to the community.

      I did some test myself and I can say in my scene I have to reach something like 36/48 samples to get good results.

    37. Pablo Vazquez Says:

      @ horace: Rendering with enough samples should give you non-flickering results, it is what we’re going to use for the end product, so!

      @ kaZoo: yes I still need to work on the thickness of the logs, they are much smallers on the drawing, they should give a feeling of protection to Sintel (which now they don’t, is more like a feeling of “this is going to hurt if it falls” πŸ˜›

      @ Shiretoko: Next scene I’ll work on I will try to blogpost as soon as its in a level I like (not final but somewhere there, like the shot on this post), thanks!

      @ Shinobi: Actually it’s not displacement!, just a NormalMap with good 2.5’s filtering πŸ˜€ , I made some experiments with displacement and its awesome mostly now than Brecht fixed some mapping stuff, so is definitely something I’m using soon.

      @ wayne: Wait for Sintel to be there! will look so much better πŸ™‚

      @ KLLo: He was working on the Shaman’s scene, and lighting the whole place with just two main sources of light, the rest was all bouncing, so I wanted to try that with this scene, I bet we will see some of this renders here soon πŸ˜€

      @ Maya: Will try to add them, they’re a bit lowres but I think pushing the bump mapping of it could work πŸ™‚ , I already took a candle for this scene from BlendSwap !, there are many files on queue to be added and I always check for new ones πŸ˜€

      @: KLLo: At the moment I’m using SkyColor for Ambient Occlusion, no SkyTexture, but yes I could try.. at least for AO, since is not possible to do it for Environment Lighting yet, don’t know what the plans are to add this but haven’t heard news from it.

      @ rickyblender: I guess you can control via a texture affecting the Emit values, on this shot there is only one object using Emit (the big blue plane on the back), the rest is all bounce of light coming from the Spot Lamp.

      @ Sjoerd van Kampen: Sure! About what specially? could save it for Venom’s Lab Volume 2! πŸ˜›

      @ Bao: yeah would be awesome to have him fulltime πŸ™ but he is flying again in two weeks! πŸ˜€

      @ AlphaSite: sshhh!! Spoiler alert! πŸ˜› (hehe I love to add this little messages/thingies everywhere)

      @ Victor: You mean Johann van Grosso? Because that one was RayTracing free, just ShadowBuffers and Approximate Ambient Occlusion, should not give this gather artifacts, the ones on this scene are because I used just 12 samples, when I should be using more than 48 at least.

      @ Tea Monster: God Ray? that’s just the sun going through the little holes on the ceiling! πŸ˜› None of all the Gods have nothing to do on it, just air and physics, hehe kidding, it’s a Halo Spot Light, stronger on the first tests, went down a little on the final RT IL, will probably power it up a bit.

      @ D: Yes but is just my laziness of putting some more samples and wait πŸ˜›

      @ Shinobi: Thanks for explaining, was just writing the same until I press F5 and read your comment πŸ˜› , explained this to Victor few lines above.

      Thanks to all! I’m very happy with such a nice response, a big chunk of motivation to kick off this week and do it better and faster! πŸ˜€

      Hugs everywhere!

    38. Shinobi Says:

      “Actually it’s not displacement!, just a NormalMap with good 2.5’s filteringdisplacement”

      AAAhhh!! Incredible… just astonishing…. O.O’

      “and its awesome mostly now than Brecht fixed some mapping stuff”

      do you mean is it now possible to UV map texure for per-tile displacement??? I was aegerly waiting for that to come! Go and try!!

      Thank you for your answers! And we return the hug πŸ™‚

      Soenke… let us see some of your IL test too… please… πŸ˜€

    39. D Says:

      Great Pablo! No words can describe how awesome you are for your gracious super-reply, so have a smiley. πŸ˜€

    40. Simon Says:

      This is the best post so far on this page! I appreciate that you took the time to talk about everything this much, with many pictures!

    41. A saurus1 Says:

      Looks awesome. I was hoping for a way to do the IDL without using Emit meshes, and it looks like here it is.

      I also noticed that when you have samples at say 12, and Bounces at 1, it looks relatively smooth, but when you bump bounces up to 2, suddenly everything goes grainy. Is there a reason for this?

    42. Rudiger Says:

      Wow, the raytraced GI image looks absolutely superb and with a render time not that much greater than the approximate one. I can scarcely imagine what it will be like to see the effect when it’s in motion. Great first post Pablo and well done Team Durian!

    43. Facundo! Says:

      Buenisimo pablin πŸ™‚ mas mas avances πŸ˜€

    44. munhu Says:


      am sorry for shouting but I am finding them extremely helpful in understanding the physics of the lighting on the scene. together with the scribbles, they’re just so awesome.

      keep on it guys!

    45. rickyblender Says:

      don’t know if too early but would be a good idea to open up a WIP on this where we can show pic in forum and discuss problems with ID

      we already have some threads i blender’s forum on ecnountered problems for ID and not certain what to do with like bleeding colors noise ect..

      can’t wait to see final results for this – looks a lot better then the old radiosiity i think much deeper colors and ncie looking

      happy 2.5

    46. MeshWeaver Says:

      wow, Indirect Lighting, looks nice! πŸ˜€

      GO SINTEL/DURIAN TEAM! (been a while since I had said it last, so…) πŸ˜€

    47. kopi Says:

      I don’t understand any of it, but it’s still awesome!

    48. hector Says:

      Grande Pablo!!!

    49. Mohamad Fadhil bin Yaacob Says:

      can we get the blender build for this wonderful feature?