How to Approach Lighting and Rendering as if You Are Taking a Photo

Discover how to create a jaw-dropping scene without having a reference or a concept art. After watching this tutorial, you’ll learn how to treat your 3d art like a photographer.

Lighting and Rendering Tutorial for Blender

When creating a new artwork, you start from… something.

Maybe you have a great reference nearby, and it makes your day. Maybe you start with a concept art (I usually ask my wife to paint one, but that’s our dirty secret).

But what if you start from scratch?

photography lighting tutorial

Surprisingly, you can get so many awesome images just by… acting like a photographer. You grab a virtual camera and search for the best shot in your scene. You take a leap of faith.

lighting tutorial

Are You Overlooking This Way to Make Amazingly Complex Lighting?

Dazzling complexity of the lighting. You stop. And the whole fucking world stops.

If you haven’t experienced it, check this tutorial from Open Lighting Project.


Feel free to share this tutorial by using a huge (and super attractive!) buttons at the top of the page.

And a good news: there are some share buttons… at the bottom of the page too.

Spread the word about the Open Lighting Project. It means a lot to me!



  1. Uncle Snail

    Great tutorials! I don’t usually think much about film emulation… but I should. πŸ˜› As a 3D artist (even a new one) I tend to think too much about getting great models, and not enough about actually getting a good shot. Thanks for helping remind what’s important.
    Also, I am thinking of building a better computer soon so that I have one which can actually handle Blender. Do you have any recommendations? What computer do you use?
    Thanks for the advise, Uncle Snail. πŸ™‚

  2. I’m convinced that we need to switch the modes of creativity to broaden our perspective on art. Like in this example, where we adopt the workflow of photography: grab a camera, aim, shoot (in already established environment).
    Regarding my computer: GTX 780, core i7 4770, 16gb ram, 128gb SSD VERTEX 3 for a system drive and 2tb WD black for storage. I would strongly recommend to buy a decent ssd in the first place πŸ™‚

    • Uncle Snail

      Thanks! I too think we should try to broaden our scope as artists. Try to think of things in new ways. That’s one of the reasons I like your tutorials. You made your own style, and it looks great. πŸ™‚ (Why didn’t your comment post as a reply to mine?)
      Anyway, do you have a recommendation for a graphics tablet (that is reasonably low-priced)? If I can afford it, I would love to get one of those too. πŸ™‚

  3. Souvik Karmakar

    WOWOWOW……… thanks for this pro tip @Spelle:disqus you are awesome !!!!

  4. Marcus Montgomery

    That was another awesome tutorial! You’re amazing!:)

  5. Jim Brandom

    Hey Gleb! I made this image with the stuff you showed. I’m really happy with the result! The graininess is just from my crappy laptop, I can’t help it. Thanks!

    • Oh my goodness, I see another awesome result. Jim, I’m proud of you! Share it with everyone πŸ™‚

      • Jim Brandom

        Thank you very much! πŸ˜€

      • Jim Brandom

        I’ve redone it on my computer now. Hopefully this looks a little less rushed!

  6. freshlemonflesh

    Awesome as always! But could you tell me where to find that flat theme from the youtube vid?

    • freshlemonflesh

      Oh I think you just turned off the “shaded” option everywhere, right?

  7. thisisprabha

    Try to create 2 one..but 1st one is my result…..
    but..i like 1st one…..

    • You know, I like it too! Very nice attempt of still life, thanks for sharing πŸ™‚

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