3D: The Power of Indoor Light

by Kimberly Potvin

posted on 05-30-2017

Light plays a central role in determining the mood of a scene – it can improve, change or enhance the situation and subject. Photographers often spend hours sourcing the perfect location and manipulating the lighting conditions (both pre-existing and self-created), and designers spend even more time touching up bright reflections, correcting exposure, and removing shadows. All this for the single purpose of making the highlights, shadows, and tones just right.

With Project Felix, you now have the ability to harness more control over lighting in both indoor and outdoor scenes. In this two-part series, we’ll show you how to use Adobe Stock assets in Project Felix to quickly and effortlessly change the look, feel, and perspective of any model or scene by simply swapping out the light in a single click or a shifting of a slider.

For the purpose of this article, we’ll apply different indoor lights to the same model. The type and temperature of light makes a big difference in the tone and presence of the object. In addition, being able to try out different lighting scenarios without hassle means photographers and designers can leave less to chance, and get precisely the look they need for their project.

Warm, golden light

An indoor light like the inside of this shrine offers a rich, warm glow. The yellow highlights and lush, gold undertones add a welcoming and accessible feel to any composition. By controlling the rotation and ramping up the intensity of the light, this 3D asset adds a punch of bronze, yellow and chocolate brown and is perfect for a variety of models, including trophies, watches, or even gears. This color is also reminiscent to the golden hours that photographers are always trying to capture, the essence of that tranquil moment of transition from day to evening.

Cold, blue toned light

Tunnels, covered bridges, and other enclosed spaces, like this train station platform, can provide some amazing lighting scenarios. The composition of the structure and the reflective properties of the surrounding architecture can all impact the end result and imply travel, movement and freedom. In this example, a backlit scene was created by rotating the light, emphasizing the shape of the 3D model. Afterwards, a subtle, blue filter was added in Photoshop CC to enhance the final work. This lighting, in particular, would enhance any kitchen scene. Imagine early morning light, streaming in a window shining light on a colander, filled with blackberries. Lying nearby is basil on a cutting board waiting to be sliced with a sharp knife. It is a beautiful scene that would work well in a variety of situations.

Subtle, matte light

When working with interior locations that have muted light, such as this map room, getting the right shadows and highlights can be difficult. There is rarely enough control over the exterior surroundings for a designer to get that soft, muted feel while retaining the integrity of the scene. In this example, our 3D model has a lush, shimmering feel, and there is a cutting-edge appearance to the skin, clothing and glasses. The light, rotated to come in from the front, left side of the frame adds a bright highlight to the hair and shoulders while retaining those hard-to-get, subtle undertones. This lighting would be a great addition to an abstract scene while incorporating splashes of liquid flying in the wake of this fun, futurist rocket.

Bright, contrasting light

One of our interior studio lights can give any model a stunning, modern look. The stark white light in contrast with the deep black shadows adds a shimmering effect to a scene. This is especially true when combined with one of our metal materials, such as worn steel. In this example, the reflections and tones of light can be seen to bounce strongly across the hanging folds of fabric. The bust, with substantial highlights on the cheekbone and forehead, demonstrates that this light bumps any depiction to the next level. The metal materials and indoor lights are a complement to a variety of scenes especially those that contain fun object-oriented assets like the ampersand, magnifying glass, or this quirky heart ornament.

With these 3D assets at your fingertips, you have the ability to control the light of any scene. Stay tuned for our second part in this series…the power of exterior light!

Topics: Design

Products: Photoshop, Creative Cloud