Creating mood in the scene with HDRI maps

Light can make or break the scene. From mediocre to breathtaking look. It can create different emotions. It can emphasize the important details or hide the ugliness. Good light in the scene can immediately capture your attention.

All HDRI maps used in the renders are from website HDRI Haven and they are free to download and use. If you are in position please support the author of the website.

Let me first explain light setup in my scene.

Overall light is coming from HDRI environment map and there are also 3 other area lights in the scene.

There is one area accent light on the front left side of the scene. I used it to catch a reflection on the golden grape logo on the bottle label.

There are also two area lights on the wall. The right side light is light that illuminates the wall, but the left side area light have negative value. I used it to create deeper shadows on the left side of the wall.

Original light setup

This is the original scene that I created first. HDRI map I was using is Artist Workshop. I liked very soft light coming from one side. That created beautiful reflections on the wine glass and bottle. And small catchlights on the grapes.

Variation 1

This is very strong “golden hour” light. It is a Spruit Sunrise HDRI. Light color is very warm and shadows are strong.

Variation 2

Soft cool color light coming from above and warm color coming from sides. I rotated the map on Z axes to get the look I want. HDRI map that I used is indoor Leadenhall Market.

Variation 3

Bright afternoon sun HDRI map Delta 2 was my choice for third variation. Shadows are crisp and strong.

Variation 4

And finally for my last variation I picked HDRI map Venice Sunset. Sun is very low in the horizon and it creates beautiful play of warm sun light and cool bluish light on the opposite side. Very subtle shadows.