Realistic lighting and environments are the key to realistic computer graphics.  With the proper lighting, nearly anything will look realistic, while with poor lighting, even a perfectly modeled and textured object will look strange.  Thus, it’s of critical importance to have a realistic render setup.

In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to create a virtual render studio in Cinema4D that will allow you to get realistic and crisp renders every time you use it.  You’ll learn how to set up some lights, materials, and how to use HDRI to get the most realistic renders possible.


Hi everyone! First of all, thanks for reading this tutorial and I hope you can learn something, not only how to create 3D studio like this, but also to understand how Rendering works. During this tutorial I will explain some tips and tools that I think will be very helpful!
You will learn how to create a “virtual studio” as a photographic studio with Fresnel lights, Infinity Background and a pretty cool reflection with a HDR image.

Final Image Preview:

Create a new document on Cinema 4D and go to Objects > Spline Primitive > Rectangle to create a Spline Object. So, change some values on the Object Properties tab like the following image.

Now, press C to make it editable and on the Right View select this vertex.

Delete it and you will get something like this.

On the Object Properties tab uncheck the Close Spline option.


Now, select the other vertex.

Go to Structure > Edit Spline > Chamfer.

And make something like this, use Radius: 90m and click on Apply.

Now, duplicate this spline and set the X value like the image.

After that, go to Object > NURBS > Loft NURBS and put these two splines inside of this Nurbs Object.

On the Objects Properties tab change some values. And add more subdivisions on the mesh.

Create a new Light Object (Objects > Scene > Light). On the General tab change some values and set the position like the following image.

Now, on the Details tab change some settings.

Duplicate this Light Object and change the position to make something symmetrical.

Create another Light Object, but with other settings.

Change some values on the Details tab.

So, you will get something like this.

Now, we will do the material of this Virtual Studio. Create a new material and on the Color tab select the white color.

On Luminance, set the Brightness: 40%.

On Specular, set the Mode: Plastic, Width: 50%, Height: 20%.

So, this is what we have now.

Now, we will create a “fake atmosphere”, because if you place an object with some reflection it will reflect nothing except the floor. And with this atmosphere, the object will reflect a real scene, because we will use a HDR image.
So, first of all, create a new Sphere Object (Objects > Primitive > Sphere) and set these values.

Here is another view of the same atmosphere.

Now, we will create the material of this “fake atmosphere”. Uncheck all the options (Color and Specular) and check the Luminance option.

Load a HDR image (*.hdr file). In this case I downloaded the file on deviantart’s resources.

Here is our “fake atmosphere”.

And another view of the same object.

Now is our first render test, I placed five spheres with different colors and different sizes.

I used a normal Metal material, with some Luminance and Reflection, something pretty simple.

Here is our first render. In this case I didn’t use the “fake atmosphere”. If you observe, the spheres just reflected each other and the floor, so it remains very artificial.
The shadow is pretty soft, because we used three area lights with area shadows in three different positions, doing something symmetrical.

And now, we have a render that I used the “fake atmosphere”. If you observe, the sphere reflected the HDR image and the floor. It became more realistic. In a normal scene with some objects, this simple effect can do much difference.

Now, we have more examples that I used this Virtual Studio.
In this case, the reflection on the blue metal is pretty real. It gives the sensation of something heavy and tough. And the light and shadow fits perfectly.

In this example, the HDR is essential. The metal part is something like chrome, and if I hadn’t used this atmosphere, the chrome wouldn’t work, because it wouldn’t reflect anything except the floor. This HDR makes the glass material more realistic too, because it helps to define the curves of the mesh.

And finally our last example: Pioneer CDJ. In this case, the light and shadow are pretty cool and the object has a nice reflection.

I think this tutorial focusing only on the rendering part is very helpful, because all the wallpapers that I did I used this kind of “studio” and it is pretty simple to do.
So, I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. If you have any doubts, just post it on the comments.