BMW Z4 in the spotlight.

What better excuse to create a new image than to learn something new?

Exactly, that’s what I thought, so I created this…


Now when I was starting out on this image, I knew what I wanted it too look like. I wanted to make a big deal of the car. Like it was on stage. I had remembered a music video by Linkin Park that had the look I wanted. It was called Faint. If you don’t know it, here are a couple of stills from it to show you what I meant.


You see, stage lights or spotlights… pretty cool. So all I would need is a floor, a car and some spotlights. The first challenge here is I didn’t want to use VRay lights to create the spotlights as it would take forever to render all of those lights so straight away I know that I was going to be using a VRayLightMtl. I also didn’t want all of the spot lights to be the same brightness either. So in order to create this effect I created a single light which was just a single polygon. I then duplicated it hundreds of times and attached them all together so that it was one object. I then applied a VRayLightMtl to this object.


And that is what it looked like…not very interesting. To get the variance in the lighting I added a “Material By Element” modifier to the spotlights. The will allow each light to have a different material added to it. I then made several different VRayLightMtl‘s with varying intensities to a MultiSubObject and then applied this to the spotlights. Now all each spotlight would have a different power output. Nice.

So what about the glow? Well turns out, you don’t need to do that in post, which is a good thing? I don’t know but if it speeds up post work then I am all for it!

Right you need a nice ingredient called VRayLensEffects now you can get this in 3DsMax by pressing “8” on your keyboard and clicking effects and selecting. I’m not going to insult you by showing you how it works, but if you don’t know then click this link here!

Basically what it does is makes the lights glow. You can either have work in the render itself or render it out as a separate pass. Here is some of my tests using it.


I kept playing with the settings and the power of the lights as this has an effect on how much bloom you get out of it. Above I was testing with it effecting the render but in the end I had it so it was a separate render pass.

Once I was happy with how it looked, I got on with lighting the car. Just as you would for a normal studio shot. I wanted to keep the lighting quite soft as I didn’t think harsh lighting would match the bloom from the background. This is what the render looked like straight out of 3DsMax:


As you can see this is just a beauty shot, I render in passes so I get full control of each element of the render. One of the passes that came out was the “bloom” pass which looked like this:


Mmmmm blurry! How you use this pass is up to you but I used it twice in my final image. I used it once as Colour Dodge to burn some of the light onto the car then I used it as Liner Dodge to add the effect. I think that is how I used it, I can’t remember. But anyway it is up to you to experiment with it and see what you like. I like this pass as it means you don’t have to manually paint it into the render in photoshop. It gives your the correct placement of the glows and bloom which is handy for getting some sort of accurate looking image.

Now my final image has obviously been worked up a little bit more but I will leave that up to you to figure out what was done….or you could ask in the comment section and I will explain if you are interested.


Thanks for watching.


4 responses to “BMW Z4 in the spotlight.

  1. Wow…so you did some color corr, some comp with all your passes and nothin more…waa is too simple! 😉 love it…what kind of passes you rendered out of vray? Do you usually prefer using Raw passes or the colored ones? Just to know when is better to use the color informations let’s say, in shadows, or just use those passes as layer masks….

    • Hey man,

      Yeah there is slightly more to the render but I’m not going to go into every detail as that will take forever.

      With regards to render passes, I don’t use the RAW passes, the ones I used for this render were;


      Now how you compose those is up to you but I have my own way of doing.

      I hope that helps 🙂

  2. Pingback: Ceiga - Online 3D artist Magazine·

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s