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Published: 3 years ago

Vray Tutorial – Lighting & Setting up a Realistic Render with Vray and 3ds max

vray tutorial     In this tutorial you will learn how to lighting and setting up a realistic render with vray 2.0 and 3ds max 2011, also how to use ies lights, setting lighting with vray sun and vray sky and using vray physical camera, and see how you can set up your render. Soon i will upload a tutorial about modeling and unwrapping realistic furniture with 3ds max, zbrush and photoshop, but this times is just lighting and rendering. YOU CAN SEE THE NIGHT LIGHT TUTORIAL OF THIS SCENE CLICKING HERE This is the final render of this tutorial…. DOWNLOAD THIS SCENE (Updated Version) To start i have used vray plane lights, vray sun & sky, photometric ies lights and vray camera, i used 3 plane lights for each window, all the lights have the same settings, you can see the settings in the right panel, this is how it looks from the top view Also i have used vray sun and sky, and this is the position for vray sun and the settings Now this it is time for the vray camera, and this is the settings of the vray camera. In the indoor lighting i used photometric ies lighting with vray, i did not used the vray ies because the standard photometric lights has more customizable settings/parameters, all the photometric lights have the same settings, this is an screenshot of all the ies lights in the scene and the settings. DOWNLOAD THIS SCENE (Updated Version) If you want to download the ies file that i used in this scene click here And this is how the ies looks like We are done with the lighting part here, let’s see the render settings, i usually use brute force, but in this time i was looking for some fast render times, and irradiance map + light cache is more faster than light cache + brute force, and this is the the render set up with vray ( remember you can OPTIMIZE your render settings, i did pay too much attention to this because i have a render farm, but you can have the same quality or better with lower subdivisions ) If you want to speed up the render time using this setting, go to the Settings tab, and in the Global Subdivision Multiplier change the 3 for 1. In photoshop i did a color correction, chromatic aberration and sharpen, nothing more :P I hope that you have learned something and please if you have any question, just comment :D Some other renders from this project DOWNLOAD THIS SCENE (Updated Version)
  1. Stev says:

    great outcome i’m going to try this

  2. JFS-IA says:

    Good job.
    I won´t use Vray AO. I´ll calaculate as an independent pass for more control.

    • Avatar of aleso3d aleso3d says:

      yes you have more control if you export an ao pass, but not everybody knows how work with photoshop or another compositing app, also you can check that i have made it a tutorial about creating ao pass :D thanks for you input

  3. nagacharan says:

    wow looking for this easy and wonderful quality tutor thx for the author…

  4. 3DArtist says:

    Thanks for sharing!

    But honestly, this tutorial would be great if it came from 5 years ago. With today’s standard, it doesn’t live up to the bar. Some several things could’ve been done to make it look better such as material on the floor, wood, etc…

    Good thought!

  5. bulletrender says:

    impressive man it is very realistic, waiting for more…

  6. Luis says:

    What an amazing tutorial. Congratulations man!! I will try this and if I have doubt I will let you know. =)

  7. Avatar of aleso3d aleso3d says:

    please feel free to get in touch if you need help, happy rendering! :)

  8. Roman says:

    Greetings Aleso, great blog, great tutos, I was wondering if I could translate this tutorial to spanish and post them in my blog to share them with my followers, please let me know if its possible I’ll give you all the credits, don’t worry about that.

    Thanks and keep up the good work.

  9. Avatar of aleso3d aleso3d says:

    I am glad that you like my blog and tuts, but please do not translate and publish the tutorial in your site, i’m sorry about that, but what you can do is to post a link to the tutorial from your site to mine, i will add an option to translate the page very soon, hope that you be ok with this

  10. Imam Zatnika W says:

    I Like it. One question, if viewport not use vrayphysicalcamera it’ll change ?

    • Avatar of aleso3d aleso3d says:

      i can not understand very well your question, but i will try to response, if you not use vray physical camera you will have an overexposed image, because the lighting setup is a combination of the lights and vray camera.

      If this is not what do you want to know, please ask again :D

  11. max3dvi says:

    “But honestly, this tutorial would be great if it came from 5 years ago. With today’s standard, it doesn’t live up to the bar. Some several things could’ve been done to make it look better such as material on the floor, wood, etc…”
    3d artist………..it is easy say that with out given advice.
    tell us what is your way to do
    “Some several things could’ve been done to make” could be godd for all having a discussion about that

    aleso3d rely thanks for sharing this tutorial

  12. Harisha.s says:

    nice work…dude i need 3ds max 2011 vray 32 bit wr i can dwnld plz help me..if u have link plz…

  13. Luis says:

    Gracias aleso…. muy util ya estoy adentrandome en el 3D para la aquitectura…

    Se agracede… saludos!!

  14. edo says:


  15. Carlos says:

    Hola Aleso perdoname yo soy principiante y espero aprender con vos de estos excelentes trabajos, reconozco que me toca despacio aprender pero me gustaria aprender con vos más acerca del mundo 3d max.



  16. Bibi Ong says:

    Great job… ^^ Thank’s for sharing…

  17. 123D says:

    Thanks for this.

    -your parameters of light cache is 1200?

    -the gamma parameters is 2.2 in color mapping

    and gamma/LUT setup?

    -when using sub-pixel mapping?

    -when using Clamp output?

    Good Work, thns for sharing man.

    • Avatar of aleso3d aleso3d says:

      123D sorry i did not get noticed that i don’t put the light cache settings, i use between 1200 and 2000.

      1.- yes i use gamma 2.2 in both but if i use gamma 2.2 in the color mapping section i always check Don’t affect colors (adaptation only)

      2.- Sub-pixel mapping – this option controls whether color mapping will be applied to the final image pixels, or to the individual sub-pixel samples. In older versions of V-Ray, this option was always assumed to be on, however its default value is now off as this produces more correct renderings

      3.- Clamp output – if this is on, colors will be clamped after color mapping. In some situations, this may be undesirable (for example, if you wish to antialias hdr parts of the image, too) – in that case, turn clamping off.

      thanks for your comment

  18. Rafo says:

    I really like all your posts, and I wanted to see the woods and fabrics materials used in this scene, if possible:)))

  19. Alex says:

    Asumo que el render está o se trata de un segundo piso? por lo que veo en la ventana, y si; si pudieras subir elgun setup de los materiales usados seria genial…

    ej: el sofá del fondo.

    y como se logra ese fx que parece como lineas rojitas en el render?


    • Avatar of aleso3d aleso3d says:

      hehehe vamos a asumir que esta en un segundo piso, la verdad que no le trabaje el exterior, porque a primera instancia las vistas no se veria hacia afuera, my bad :P, en la semana proxima subire algunos seteos de los materiales, sobre las lineas rojitas que te refieres son las que bordean el mueble? si son esas es porque les hice unwrap al mueble para poder pintar detalles directamente sobre el mueble en las areas deseadas, Saludos!

  20. Marcos says:

    Plese, wich are the VRaySky (Environment Map) parameters … is Default? Thanks for the good tutorial Aleso!!! :)

  21. Nancy says:

    aleso ..

    ur tuto is great..but when i m trying it on my scene..its not giving the accurate result..scene become darken…what to do?

    And tell me what is physical camera…

  22. trgraphics says:

    I have followed your examples but I am not coming up with the results you have.

    Would you mind posting the scene with just your lights, camera and settings.The scene lighting and settings are spot on and I’m sure everyone would appreciate just the stripped down scene to study more closely.

    • Avatar of aleso3d aleso3d says:

      you need to take in count your materials and gamma/lut setup, but i will try to post soon an empty scene with a daylight setup for free download, so you can do what you are asking for, so stay tuned and subscribe to the feeds so you can have in your email the blog updates.

  23. trgraphics says:

    If you are doing a paid version of the full scene, I would be interested.We can always learn something new from a well done scene.

    • Avatar of aleso3d aleso3d says:

      i really appreciate your interest and kind words but in this time i have no paid version, i promise you in the coming days i will upload a nice scene setup for free download, thanks again!

  24. Shashank says:

    Good work! But I did not understand only one thing. Which material the window glass panes shall have to show them as back-lit by sunlight? I have been facing this problem in all my works which show day time rendering. Please help or allow to download a copy of the same file in MAX9 and VRay1.5 with materials. Thanking you in advance.

  25. onedesign says:

    It really rare tutorials, I appreciate your hardwork. Thank you very very much aleso3d

  26. Candela says:

    Where have I been?? Your webpage is THE BEST free tutorial that I can find. Im just a beginner in 3d max. Why is my render can’t be exactly like yours?? Did you use photoshop on top of it?? And can you give a tutorial on how to make a good glass with cut out frosted film?? Thanks a lot Aleso3d. Keep up the good work :)

    • Avatar of aleso3d aleso3d says:

      hey thank you very much for your kind words, i really appreciate it, i will have in mind your suggestions for making some nice tutorials, thanks again!

  27. mez says:

    care to share your vray cam setup with depth of field? very nice tutorial indeed, thanks for sharing.

    • Avatar of aleso3d aleso3d says:

      thanks mez for your comment, for the camera with dof i have activated depth of field options in the camera settings, subdivisions to 12 i think and move the target of the camera to the center of the object that you want in focus, that’s it!

  28. mez says:

    thanks a lot! hope to see more great tutorial stuff from your blog.

  29. Luminita Tabirca says:

    Hi Aleso,

    Can I just say you saved me with these tutorials? I’m trying for 2 days some of your light and render settings and the result is pretty awesome, even if I have some problems with the light. I would very much appreciate if you could give me an advice on how to get that natural light. For now is just light, no shadows, and no realistic look. I can send you the result and you can make a clearer opinion on my mistakes and give me some feedback.

    Thanks a lot

    Greetings from Beijing,

    Luminita Tabirca

    You can reply in Spanish if it’s easier for you.

    • Avatar of aleso3d aleso3d says:

      thanks luminita for your comment, about natural light of my renders, i think it is a combination of lighting and materials, if you i like to use natural surfaces like wood, also the use of soft glossy reflections helps to get that kind of effects, try to fine some pictures of natural environments and make some test, and yes you can send the result to my email, i will try to answer as soon as i can. happy rendering

  30. Freerunner says:


    i’m a Student! i Tried this tutorial so many times.. but can make it like your one… my one is getting darker.. I tried Increasing Sunlight Mult. & VrayLight Mult. but still cant figure it out… Can you please help me for it… I Try to find common tutorial like this but your are the one who took my eyes :)

    Thank you for your great tutorial..

  31. Gnasty says:

    Great tutorial!

    Sorry, but where is the “promised” free version of the scene? As a few others have been requesting, I kind of want to know how your scene is set up with all render settings and camera settings etc. No furniture or anything, just the lighting part of the scene.

    Thanks in advance!

  32. zing robert says:

    2 thumbs up !, i’ve been checking tuts for ages…couldn’t get what i wanted
    all complicated stuff, this one just delivered! live safer!! Huge thanks!!

  33. vinay raturi says:

    nice work

  34. Kevin says:

    Awesome scene ! Great job !

  35. lalabelle says:

    just found out ur website.. great tutorial!! =) how long did it take to render? n why do you put the vray lights (for the windows) far away from the windows? my teacher teach me to put it as close as possible to the window.. is there a big difference?

    thanks for the tutorial ^^

    • Avatar of aleso3d aleso3d says:

      i am glad that you liked the tutorial, about the windows your teacher have to tell you why to put it close to the windows and why not :) if you put the lights close to the windows your will have more stronger shadows if not you will have a more softer shadows, that job was for the sun :)

  36. Alexander says:

    Hi there.
    I’m just a beginner and I can’t get the right sky even with the default settings of VraySun.
    Your tutorial is really great but I still have problem.
    If I send you an example of my scene can you help me explaining what’s wrong?
    I just need a little advice to figure out my problem.
    Thanks in advance.

    • Avatar of aleso3d aleso3d says:

      Hello, you can send screenshot of your scene setup and i will check that, but have in mind that i got too many emails daily and if i take a little bit longer to answer is because of that, but i promise that i will help :)

  37. Alexander says:

    Thanks for the help.
    With this scene i tried to recreate your settings but now it’s even worse than before.
    Here the screenshot with my settings and setup:


    This is a screenshot of the final render:

    Any idea of what can be the problem ?
    If you need other detail let me know.

    Thanks again.

    • Avatar of aleso3d aleso3d says:

      What i see is that you need to texture your scene with better materials, is not just lighting and render settings it is a combination of materials because depends of how your materials setup will absorb the light, also i see that you have a different render setup than my scene, try to make a more simple scene for example a chair near to the windows and try to get a nice lighting and shader setup, if you got something good, you can start making more bigger scenes, this is what do when testing :)

      • Alexander says:

        Allright thanks for the advice.
        I’ll try something simpler and i’ll see if i can get something better.
        Besides my materials ( i know that they aren’t good), the color of the sky is also completely different.
        I have alreay tried a simpler scene with just a room and a window with your settings and i still can’t get a sky like yours.
        Is just an idea of mine or this problem is different?
        This is a screenshot of a simpler scene with the default settings of vray sun and your settings of the vray camera, color mapping and background.


        It seem like the intensity of the light of the vraysun is lower.
        Why even this scene give this problem ?
        Thanks again

  38. Napstter says:

    Hi Aleso,

    Very nice tutorial. But i would want you to through some more light on the post production part of this particular tutorial(if it is convenient)

    Thanx for all the sharing it is really helpful.

  39. kekktt says:

    i like it.very good…super man.kaaa

  40. Avrel says:

    Hi Aleso! Love your 3d so much! I’m going to try this setting.

    Can i know this 3d takes how many hour to complete?

    Keep up your good work!

  41. hamid zojaji says:

    tanks for your tutorial … it was useful for me … what is your idea about mental ray ?
    which one is better vray or mental ray for interior house making

    • Avatar of aleso3d aleso3d says:

      i am glad you like it, about your question vray is more faster than mental ray, but in my personal opinion mental ray works better with photometric lights and the daylight system, but you can get the same results with any of both, it is just workflow preferences :)

  42. sathish says:

    hi aleso,

    nice job, i try it. but my system is not supporting,
    tell me ur system configuration plz…

  43. nadeem says:

    thanks for your tutorials

    i want some help about rendering
    after rendering i not get good quality if other setting is required for this please help

  44. Avatar of aleso3d aleso3d says:

    thanks dhany for your comment, about your glass material i think the problem can be that you are not turning on Affect Shadow in the refraction option, look up for that and make click in the check box.

    • Catherine says:

      i did exacltly the same things and i only change some parameter of the sun because my picture was way to much bright. But i’ve got a little problem.

      Why did the light in my window appears white and you blue?
      How did you create that little pretty blue shade.

      • Avatar of aleso3d aleso3d says:

        do not change the value of the vray sun, use your vray physical camera to control the exposure, you can increase the f number if you want to have a less light in your scene, the blue shade is created by the vray sky

  45. 黄光桃 says:

    How do you do
    Sir, I according to you the parameters of the setting, the end result is very dark, how to solve?

  46. Sandro says:

    Such an amazing tutorial, but could you upload the files somewhere else ? file sonic doesnt work anymore only for private stuff

    • Avatar of aleso3d aleso3d says:

      thanks, i will reupload the file, i can not find it :( sorry but i will try my best

      • Sandro says:

        thank you for your time and thanks
        one last question,
        is there anyway i can Speed up the rendering, it’s taking about 30 minutes to render every picture for me
        Thank you for this awesome tutorial :)

        • Avatar of aleso3d aleso3d says:

          your welcome :) and if you want to decrease the render times, just use less subdivisions in the render setup

          • Catherine says:

            i just have some withe spot on my render, do you have an idea of what can cause that?

            The spot disapears when i delete my vraylight, but it’s the only source of light with the vray sun….

          • Avatar of aleso3d aleso3d says:

            this can be cause by a low light calculation in the GI, maybe the irradiance map or light cache, if is what i think the name is a light leak, you can solve it increasing the subdivisions to the GI bounces.

  47. riski says:

    hai..im new using 3ds max i will try your setting in my max with confusing thank you..hahaha..
    anyway is this setting works for exterior..?

    • Avatar of aleso3d aleso3d says:

      hehehe hope you can do it better the next time, and yes you can use it for exteriors but you will need to work on the vray physical camera settings

  48. senthil says:

    i have vray lighting glitter problem how to solve anybody help me

  49. Diana says:

    Hi Aleso!! great job!! It look very profesional…I have a problem, why I can’t see photometric lights in the Vray Render. I see them only when I use the Mental ray render.
    Thank you so much.. Congratulations!!!

  50. Foad says:

    Good work…

  51. Atovon says:

    thanks for this simple but very effective tutorial. also the other tutorial you made for us friend.

  52. Dickson says:

    hello Alex,
    thank you very much for your tutorials, kindly advice me, anytime i render interior scene, i see my furniture reflected in the windows. i will like to change that, i want to see only the environment.

    Thank you

    • Avatar of aleso3d aleso3d says:

      I do not understand very well your question, but if you have a surface with reflection it will reflect everything and this is the way that real world works :)

  53. sudeshna says:


    I went through your tutorial and must say its very useful. I hav a question. My vray settings keep changing automatically,I mean it goes back to the default setting. Even when I change the settings before rendering a view, I again have to set it for the next view. Why is this happening and what can be done to stop that?

  54. Rob says:


    I used/bought your settings, but rendering my scene takes a very long time. Can i adjust the camera’s resolution from 1600*900 to 800*450? Cause i dont need the render to be that big.


    • Avatar of aleso3d aleso3d says:

      First thanks for your support, and yes you can reduce the resolution, also you can decrease the light cache and the antialiasing if you want a faster render

      • Rob says:

        maybe a stupid question, but how to resize the camera’s resolution? Cause build in frame-buffer gives another effect to my final render.

  55. Avatar of aleso3d aleso3d says:

    i am glad that my tuts have been of help to you

  1. [...] Go to the Tutorial>> Posted in : Autodesk 3ds Max, CG Tutorials, Lighting, Rendering Tags: 3ds Max Tutorial, IES Lights, Interior Lighting, Realistic Rendering, VRay Sun /* */ « Previous Entries Next Entries » [...]

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  4. [...] start let me show you the layout of the lighting in the scene, you will see i am using a Vray sun & Vray sky, a small Vray light and two photometric lights combined with the Vray physical [...]

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