Ball lamp doesn’t look real

Hey! I have a problem with a ceiling lamps which don’t look very realistic. I made all of the balls in Sketchup using sphere tool and then I put sphere lights in each of them. As a material for the balls I tried many different ones- some pre made Vray material like frosted glass, I also tried making my own glass from scratch. Whatever I do it always turns out quite fake :stuck_out_tongue: What do I do wrong? Please help!

To me they don’t look too bad in your screenshot. The only thing that is a little bothersome to me is the bases for the ones on the ceiling don’t look right. The globes don’t look like they could be attached. I’d look at some similar fixtures in a catalog or something to get an idea.

What is your image about? Is it about the lights? If not, I think it’s fine.

Try this

Oh yea, looking at them (the ceiling ones) I can see they look like they weren’t attached to the base (but they are, I promise haha). I was talking about the glass mostly, I feel like it looks a bit fake, I don’t like the sharp edges of the lights I get with that glass. I read the materials have to have their thickness to work properly with light sources etc but I’m not actually sure if the sphere you make in Sketchup has any thickness? Sorry if I sound a bit confusing lol

I think I have a problem with choosing the right reflection and refraction to make the glass frosted but still a bit see-through in the same time :frowning: so my lamps look a bit rubbery?

I saw that video! I don’t know if I’m dumb or what or what but I don’t get why the material used for lamps looks like ceramic or sth, not like glass at all. So when I tried adding “transparency” layer to my glass in vray it didn’t really change anything. I’m attaching the screenshot of the moment in video with these “weird” looking material :stuck_out_tongue:

I’m not a V-ray expert, so can’t help specifically, but to my eye the lights look too “flat”. That is, their brightness is uniform across, and that makes them look like flat discs not spheres. No impression of 3D depth.

Yes, exactly! And that’s why I need some help haha :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes: I think I’ll try to create a two sided material for the glass balls later on, we’ll see how it goes. I have no other ideas to make them look better haha

Are some dead flies missing? (sorry, couldn’t resist. Spent my school years under ball lamps that had those)
As an aside, light from ball lamps usually, in reality, generates a rather bland atmosphere. They are not very strong and if you want a lot of lumens the number grows large. I have needed to use them in renovation projects and I am not too happy with the result. It was a very popular luminaire in modern architecture from the 1930s to the 1950s.

Haha, yes, flies! Oh, I love the look of those lamps so much anyway! :face_holding_back_tears:

Just a couple of different ways to model that type of light. The second example shows how you get thickness to the glass globe.
Not a V-Ray user ( I use Twilight). But assuming they handle this sort of thing in a similar way…. I paint the glass globe with a white color, put a light inside, then assign a “lamp glass” material template to the globe in Twilight’s material editor. If I power the light properly everything looks great. Easy as pie. I’m sure you can do something similar in V-Ray.

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I wow, okay, thanks a lot! I’ll def try it out!! :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

Look at the V-ray documentation about “Two-sided materials”.

When working with curved glass, it helps to give it a thickness (as noted already). You can do this using Fredo’s JointPushPull - Thickener easily.

Here is a basic attempt to create two lamps - I have XRay mode on so you can see the thickness and the Sphere light placed inside.

Here is what it looks like rendered. I used Light Mix so that I can adjust one Sphere light to see how it differs. Light on the left has 200 as its intensity value. On the right was bumped up x4 using Light Mix in the VFB. Note that the brighter the light the more it will override or wash out any transparency in the glass. Speaking of glass, I used V-Rays Frosted-Shiny from the default library. I took out the blueish/greenish tint in the refraction color settings.

With the corrections panel open and after adding an ‘Exposure’ adjustment layer, notice the balance between exposure and highlight burn. Here is highlight burn all the way up…

Compared to mostly down. Maybe not any better than you’re achieving but it makes the point that there is a strong interplay between light intensity, glass settings, exposure and highlight burn settings.

Let me know if any of this was helpful or not.


Just thought of how to give thickness with no extensions - just copy and paste the sphere in place and scale using the modifier so that it stays centered:

Just make sure to reverse the inside face or it’ll cause some coloration issues when rendered

Looks good:

Wow, you’re being so helpful, I really appreciate that! Unfortunately I have a problem giving some thickness to my sphere :frowning: I checked this joint push pull tool and found out it wasn’t free :frowning: is there any other way to do it? I was checking up 3d warehouse but every ball lamp model is just a sphere, no thickness to it :frowning:

We may have been typing at the same time. Try my second method above and let me know.

Oh yea, that’s the case haha, lovely, on it!

I’m losing me peace hahhaa

A few things still to consider:

  1. Try increasing size of sphere light to better reflect size of bulb (unless that’s the size in real life).

  2. Try using a slightly warmer color for your sphere light emission

  3. Remove the color from the frosted glass V-Ray material

  4. Be sure to test the light inside of a box or room so that you can see the light better since it’s ultimately going into an interior shot.

Feel free to steal, or borrow from my file if helpful - GlobLightsTest.skp (820.0 KB)