Blue Villa – Light Balance | Cg Blog

Blue Villa – Light Balance

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In this lesson I’ll talk about Light Balance.


  • Analisys of the light contributes
  • How to use V-Ray IES as primary light
  • Use V-Ray Dome and Plane
  • Create the correct light hierarchy
  • Why use exponential color mapping + VFB
  • Professional workflow: lighting 1 by 1
  • Fix overlapped faces
  • Fix Light Cache imperfections
  • 15 mins narrated video showing all the process
  • Basic and lighted model for the exercise  / 80mb

Time to complete this lesson: 35 – 40 mins

This is the final image every student could render after completed the full training.

(*) Result after completing light balance

Before to start I suggest  to check the important lesson 2: “Setup 3ds Max and V-Ray for renders”
(linear workflow + test + final V-Ray presets)



A great way to start building the light balance is having an untaouchble starting point. Something fix we won’t move: this element let us build a stable light balance. This element is the camera.


  • f aperture = 8 / default
  • Shutter speed = 50  (it is a fraction of second, actually it means 1/50)
  • ISO = 100 / default
  • White Balance = neutral

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/ Also Learn Corona Renderer

55 Responses

  1. Damian cg3 says:

    Hei Ciro I did the exercise and it was worndeful. I really have to thank you becasue you are a real teacher and I feel I’m seriously learning every day on cg blog. Gracias.

  2. Jennifer Shapiro says:

    Thank you but the ies is missing..:)


  3. Asim says:

    waoooo…. Excellent work ….. would be another great addition in your helpful Tutorials Collection……… Good Luck ! :-O)

  4. Sandro Fernandes says:

    Great man… you are rox… really nice tips…

  5. Aldo Tor says:

    this training in fantastic… and the video is really easy to understand and to apply!!!! another great work ciro!

  6. Matt Darson says:

    AMAZING IMAGE! I feel I’m learning every day… you have an huge skill in making easy the most complicated concepts. SUPERB JOB!

  7. Sandro Fernandes says:

    Ciro ! will be nice if you do scenes Exterior Night and Day !!! and I can’t wait next week

  8. Lucas GC says:

    I can’t wait for the next training Ciroooooooooo!!! wonderful job… my dream was render night versions of my renders and now I understood how to do. Thank you!!!!!!

  9. jhoo says:

    wow Excellent. . . ..
    especially this video tutorial!

  10. Martin Chocho says:

    Oh my god.. this training is really impressive how it is simple too understand, and how great is the result!!!!

  11. M'barek El baz says:

    good job thanks

  12. Alejandro Alonso says:

    Why my computer is running slow for this scene, maybe you can help me.
    Intel core i7 cpu 920 @ 2.67ghz, 24.0 gb memory (ram), nvidia geforce gtx 465 4096 mb total available graphics memory, primary hard disk 931 gb total.
    Excellents tutorials. THANKS

  13. jakub Olszewski says:

    your english is fine 🙂 dont worry

  14. Renante Jimenez says:

    Hi Teacher! Great Tutorial… ies is missing

  15. atmaram says:

    oooooo………….. very good render how is it possible to this render please teach me in detail with file.

  16. henkhome says:

    great work!

  17. Farrokh Rostami Kia says:

    very well explained tutorial. even better artifacts removing tip. Thanks again.

  18. VIKTORIA says:

    Hello Ciro!

    Great tutorial. Having in mind a simple methodology we can create amazing scenes.
    I would like to ask whether it is better to use an HDRI or an EXR file into the dome light instead of color?
    Another one question about the scenes we exercise on them. Can I use them in my online portfolio? Of course personally I have prepared different scenes according to what atmosphere I wanted to create, but following your advice. Should I use a credit with your name or something else because the scenes are ready from you?

    • Ciro Sannino - Auth says:

      Hi Viktoria,
      you can use HDRI or EXR, it’s pretty the same (I prefer Hdri bacause are smaller files) – Of course you can create your own versions and put them in your portfolio 😉

  19. Muhammad Idzwan Sawal says:

    Great tutorial!! so If I apply FIX ARTFACTS tips, I can resolve splotches along english style cornice/skirting/beading, can I?

  20. Carlo Martin Fernandez says:

    Thanks again sir for this wonderfull tutorial.

  21. tasismoh tasismoh says:

    hi Mr Ciro

    thanks for this wonderful tutorial of yours

    i learn another technics thanks man…


  22. Labrini Karathanasi says:

    Great lesson Ciro,

    very organized, clever way of working, great display !!

  23. Giovanni Leone says:

    Hi Ciro,
    I have spots everywhere all the pixels have a bit color difference one from another affecting the render, so my immage is not clean at all . I try to fix them overlapping the face as you shown in the pic example above , but this noise had only a litlle reduction on my render.
    I tried also to use the preset for the final render that you gave us in the beginning , but the spots are increased.
    Suggestion please

  24. SEED YASEAN says:

    Great Tutorial man. Many many thanks

  25. Gustav Hernandez says:

    Brilliant explanation, very useful, thanks Ciro


    Hi Ciro,
    Thanks great tutorial.
    But I couldn’t find the maps for the scenes. Are they in the ZIP files?

  27. Michael Nairn says:

    First of all nice tutorials.
    I’m not sure what’s happening but when I try to render the scene with the 29 IES Lights the rendering comes out completely black. I added a regular VRAY light and it lights the scene but I can’t figure out why the IES lights won’t work.
    Hopefully, you can help me figure this out.

  28. Alvaro Henrique says:

    Cyrus first want to thank for its super classes. I need a help, I have an environment which is a hotel lounge with 15 meters wide and 25 meters deep and 6 feet tall, carpeted floors and walls with soft texture of wood. What is the ideal light for this case???
    Alvaro Henrique – Brazil – Rio de Janeiro

    • Ciro Sannino - Auth says:

      Hi Alvaro,
      lighting is really easy… is not about tips or tricks: it’s just about the reality. If you know the REAL lighting project is easier, the difficult starts if you don’t know it. So the question is not about VRAY. It’s just about how to light your environ in the real world. Forget V-Ray.. do you know how lighting works in this environment, in the real world?

  29. Benny Lay says:

    Thx u Ciro,
    I’m beginner in 3ds max (big zero), but I learn a lot from u cause it’s easy to understand. You’re great teacher…… Now,3ds max is fun for me….CG-Blog the best….

  30. Alessandro Nascimento says:

    Hi Ciro,
    My first time here. One question please:
    Did this exercises have 5 steps, like the others?

    • Ciro Sannino - Auth says:

      Yes Alessandro,
      but every scene has steps more interesting by others in order to get 5SRW Certification. I’ll publish another lesson for this training the next week 😉

  31. Brenno Emidio says:

    Isto é FANTÁSTICO!
    Parabéns Ciro!

  32. Hina Chitalia says:

    Hi Ciro,
    Its really nice tuts.
    I want to ask one thing that How we decide hierarchy? means
    which light we count in primary , which in secondary?
    & its vary in every scene or same hierarchy is there.

    One more thing ,I can not render
    when I click on render button ,just blink render window then
    nothing is render.

    • Ciro Sannino - Auth says:

      Hi Hina,
      the most important thing is DECIDING that you’ll have a primary and a secondary light. It’s on your taste, but is important create a balance from different lights… or you’ll have a flat or unpredictable result.

      PS about your issue, what is the max files you’re talking about?

  33. Simon Maiorana says:

    Hi Ciro – Just a question about the viewport for this exercise. When i open the file in 3DS 2013, and have 4 views in viewport (top, left, front in wireframe and camera in shaded view) WHen i click and drag to rotate and move around, it kind of lags a bit? Is that normal? FPS is about 3.6 frames ps.


    • Ciro Sannino - Auth says:

      Hi Simon, basically is depends on your graphic card and visualization type. In these situation I just try to work with ust 1 viewport or I avoid to use wireframe to speed up the frame rate 🙂

  34. sirmontal says:

    Thanks Ciro, I have a GTX 460 – which graphics card would you recommend to make it better?

    • Ciro Sannino - Auth says:

      Hi Sirmontal,
      a different Graphic Card to work with Real Time is not for BETTER, but for FASTER.
      Just choose the GTX with more CUDA cores as possible! 😉

  35. Eduardo Gomes Baroni says:

    Hello Ciro. When a test the Vray Dome light it doesn´t work with the vray camera. If I render a perspective view it renders fine. when I render by the vray camera it´s completely dark. Any idea what is going on? By the way I am using Vray 1.5 and Max 2011.

  36. Eduardo Gomes Baroni says:

    Ok Ciro I figured it out what was going on. I had to raise the multiplier to 30000 to get same effect you had with multiplier 30. Probably some modification in units for version 2.

  37. rana babul says:

    ?Hello Ciro,
    i have not V-Ray 2.30 ! now what can i do this lesson? How i can use this file? if i open it with V-Ray 2.0 any problem this settings ?

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