Blender 2.5 Lighting and Rendering

Blender 2.5 Lighting and Rendering
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Table of Contents
Sample Chapters
  • Render spectacular scenes with realistic lighting in any 3D application using interior and exterior lighting techniques
  • Give an amazing look to 3D scenes by applying light rigs and shadow effects
  • Apply color effects to your scene by changing the World and Lamp color values
  • A step-by-step guide with practical examples that help add dimensionality to your scene


Book Details

Language : English
Paperback : 252 pages [ 235mm x 191mm ]
Release Date : November 2010
ISBN : 1847199887
ISBN 13 : 9781847199881
Author(s) : Aaron W. Powell
Topics and Technologies : All Books, Blender, Other, Open Source

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Introduction to Color Theory and Lighting Basics in Blender
Chapter 2: Outdoor Lighting: Setting Up Our Scene
Chapter 3: Ambient Lighting Techniques in Blender
Chapter 4: Outdoor Scene: Adding Materials
Chapter 5: Indoor Lighting: Setting Up
Chapter 6: UV Mapping and Texturing
Chapter 7: Indoor Lighting: Finishing Materials
Chapter 8: Combining Indoor and Outdoor Lighting Techniques
Chapter 9: Hybrid Lighting: Materials and Textures
  • Chapter 1: Introduction to Color Theory and Lighting Basics in Blender
    • Basic color theory
      • What is color?
        • Primary colors
        • Secondary colors
        • Tertiary colors
      • Color relationships
      • Color temperature
      • Real world, real lights
        • Candlelight
        • Incandescent light bulbs
        • Florescent light bulbs
        • The sun and the sky
      • Chromatic adaptation
    • Lighting basics in Blender
      • The Point lamp
      • The Sun lamp
      • The Spot lamp
      • The Hemi lamp
      • Area lamp
    • Basic light rigs
      • 1-Point light rig
      • 2-Point light rig
      • 3-Point light rig
      • 4-Point light rig
    • Shadows
    • Summary
  • Chapter 2: Outdoor Lighting: Setting Up Our Scene
    • Getting the right files
    • Blender render settings
      • The Scene menu
        • Render settings
        • Dimensions settings
        • Output settings
    • Establishing a workflow
      • Evaluating our scene
      • Planning our light rig
      • Setting up our scene
      • Setting up a 3-Point light rig
      • Adjusting the lamp color
        • The Lamp menu
    • Adding shadows
    • Adding a fill light
    • Adding dimensionality with a backlight
    • Good habits start early
    • Wrapping up
    • Summary
  • Chapter 3: Ambient Lighting Techniques in Blender
    • Ambient occlusion
      • Raytraced ambient occlusion
      • Changing the options and settings
        • Factor
        • Sampling
        • Attenuation
        • Energy and color
      • A new approach to ambient occlusion
      • New algorithm, new settings
        • Sampling
        • Attenuation and influence
    • Advantages and disadvantages
      • Raytraced ambient occlusion
      • Approximated ambient occlusion
    • Environment Lighting
      • Lighting a scene with HDR lighting
  • Indirect Lighting
    • Applying ambient lighting to our working scene
  • Finishing up
  • Summary
  • Chapter 4: Outdoor Scene: Adding Materials
    • Creating a new material
      • Taking a closer look at the Materials menu
        • Material name, type, and preview
      • Preview
        • Diffuse and specular
        • Shading
        • Transparency and mirror
      • Creating materials for our scene
        • Let's burn some rubber!
        • Taking a shortcut
        • Almost done!
      • Changing the environment
      • Finishing up
    • Let's review!
      • Reviewing our workflow
        • Evaluating the scene
        • Planning our lamp setup
        • Actually setting up our lamps
        • Adding materials
      • Ambient lighting
      • Blender material basics
    • Summary
  • Chapter 5: Indoor Lighting: Setting Up
    • The first few steps
    • Diving in
      • Enhancing our render using layers
        • Let's take a quick look
        • Organizing our layers
    • Turning theory into practice
      • Setting up the general rig
        • Adding Spot lamps
        • Setting up Area lamps
      • Adding ambient lighting
      • Lighting our wine bottle
    • Summary
  • Chapter 6: UV Mapping and Texturing
    • Changing our interface
    • UV basics: marking a seam
    • Unwrapping our mesh
      • Cleaning up the UV map
        • Blender's UV editing tools
      • Using a reference image
    • Creating a UV texture
      • Exporting our UV map
      • Downloading GIMP
      • Hello GIMP!
      • Getting reference images
      • Importing our UV map
      • Adding text
      • Save often!
      • Now let's continue…
    • Summary
  • Chapter 7: Indoor Lighting: Finishing Materials
    • Setting up project folders
    • Exporting our UV map
    • Creating materials using Blender's Compositor
      • Creating a glass material
      • Creating a label material
    • Finishing up materials
      • Downloading images
      • Creating a wood material
      • Adding a wallpaper
      • Giving our lampshades some color
      • Turning on the lights
      • Adding the final wood material
      • For dramatic effect
    • Summary
  • Chapter 9: Hybrid Lighting: Materials and Textures
    • Downloading the files
    • Referencing real-world images
      • Referring to our reference image
      • The room material
      • The mirror material
      • The table material
      • The door material
      • The hanging light materials
      • The coat hanger material
    • Summary

Aaron W. Powell

Aaron Powell is currently studying 3D Digital Graphics at the Rochester Institute of Technology. Since joining the Blender community in 2005, Aaron has worked as a freelancer and tutor to students through one-on-one meetings and online tutorials, and since 2008, his primary focus has been on digital lighting techniques in both Blender and Autodesk Maya. In his spare time he manages the increasingly popular blog,, where he hosts Roland Hess's "The Essential Blender" book on PDF. Blender users can constantly find him plugged into the community through the forums at and, as well as on Internet Relay Chat under the username "blndr08".

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Submit Errata

Please let us know if you have found any errors not listed on this list by completing our errata submission form. Our editors will check them and add them to this list. Thank you.


- 1 submitted: last submission 29 Aug 2013

Errata type: others | Page number: 8

Correction: The last paragraph on this page "Color temperature is typically measured in degrees Kelvin (°K), and has a color
range from a red to blue hue, like in the image below:". Please ignore the °K used here. It should simply read K.

Sample chapters

You can view our sample chapters and prefaces of this title on PacktLib or download sample chapters in PDF format.

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What you will learn from this book

  • Optimize Blender's Internal Renderer for your projects
  • Establish a well-tested and efficient workflow to constantly produce high-quality work
  • Apply both ray-traced and approximated ambient occlusion to your scene
  • Configure the default settings of ambient occlusion by manipulating parameters such as Sampling, Attenuation, and Influence
  • Configure settings found with Blender's materials to create, duplicate, and add special effects such as transparency and reflections to your materials
  • Modify World settings to add a gradient effect to the background to create a more interesting render
  • Separate your scene into layers to light the scene using a complex light rig
  • Construct a complex light rig and link lights to specific layers
  • Add indirect lighting and integrate it with your scene
  • Add textures to materials
  • Enhance your scene by using Blender's node compositor
  • Simulate light "bending" with 3D lighting techniques
  • Illuminate dark corners and crevices in your scene using ambient light
  • Set up the basic material and then add textures and look at many different materials with varying properties such as plastic, metal, glass, wood, brick, marble, and concrete


In Detail

Blender 3D is a popular, open source modeling and animation package. It is used for game design, architectural visualization, character design, animation, and still images. However, creating believable lighting and texturing is difficult in any 3D program.

This step-by-step tutorial aims to familiarize you with Blender's new interface and basic features as well as take a look at what it takes to produce a believable scene using lighting, texturing, compositing, and rendering.

By using the example of a tricycle in an outdoor scene you will learn to establish an effective workflow to increase your productivity. You will also thoroughly studying the scene and deciding how your tricycle would look on a sunny, cloudless day using Blender lamps. Not just that, you will also learn to implement your decisions by applying a 3-point light rig, adjusting the color of the lights, adding shadows, and using light groups to control the lighting. You will learn to add ambient occlusion effects to your scene by using both ray-traced and approximated ambient occlusion algorithms. A mesh example shows you how to give a particular look or "feel" by adding and editing materials. You will light a wine bottle on a table by taking a look at lighting interior spaces and how to create complex light rigs and custom UV textures for your scenes using Blender's UV editing capabilities. You will create a custom UV map, export it as a file type Blender can read, and finally add your UV map to the wine bottle mesh. In the same example you will add wood material to booths. You will further enhance the background by adding wallpaper, giving color and metallic tint to the lamps, and adding material to light bulbs. You will look at lighting techniques used in scenes that include both interior and exterior light sources in a scene that has sunlight traveling in through the window and a light bulb hanging from the ceiling.

A step-by-step guide, with practical examples, that builds up your knowledge of lighting and rendering in Blender and helps you to implement these various techniques in your own work


Each chapter develops a different aspect of a Blender technique. The book is essentially a step-by-step tutorial, which builds up your knowledge throughout. It has practical examples such as lighting a tricycle in open space, lighting a wine bottle on a table, and lighting a room that has a lamp as well as sunlight coming in through the window. These examples will show you how to implement the different Blender techniques in your work.

Who this book is for

If you are a Blender user and you want to improve the quality of your renders, this book is for you. You need to have experience in Blender and know your way around the Blender interface. You may be a professional or freelancer or hobbyist willing to increase the quality of your portfolio and interested in adding perfection to your renders.

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