Rendering light bulb with VRay

Ok, you’ve learned how to model a nice light bulb. But what if you need a nice, fast and visually appealing render? Well, again you’ve come to the right place. Lets learn how to setup simple HDRI lit studio scene and materials.


Right, in this tutorial I will not go into depth of either VRay render options or materials. But I will go through creating your own materials rather than downloading them from internet. So, lets say this one is for real ultimate beginners.:P



So for this tutorial, naturally, you will need a model of a bulb. So, you should first read and complete Modeling light bulb tutorial and create yourself a model. Oh, you’ve done it already? No you actually just took the finished model from the tutorial? Ah well, it is up to you actually.

If you haven’t already, download light bulb model here:

Final model

Final model

Ok, next step would be to set up your texture files. There is going to be some text written on the body of this bulb. So since I don’t have this kind of bulb at home, and I don’t know what is actually written on this one, I did some google searching and gathered some images. From Fresh2 website you can download some nice material like vector logo in .eps format and some images. And using some images from google I managed to recreate somewhat real looking textures. To save you some work, I will attach my finished textures here. You need one real texture that you will wrap around your model, and another called mask. It is basically black and white version of an original texture which tells our VRay where it will be transparent and where not. So, white color is marking the transparency, and black non transparency.

Texture image

Texture image

Mask image

Mask image


Ok, now that we have all our material, we can actually start. You can delete all layers except “default”. Now using select all curves and delete them. We don’t need them anymore.

the bulb 90 degrees counter clock-wise in front viewport and using Line (or PolyLine) command make one line:

image 1

image 1

Again, using Rotate command rotate bulb from one line end to another as first reference point, and then using Ortho rotate so that line gets in a horizontal position. Then using Snap position it so the line is on the x axis like on the image 2:


image 2

Now, from the top viewport using command create one surface. If you use Ortho and STrack it can help you create equal sizes surface.

image 3

image 3

Using Rotate (click on the Copy option in command line so it copies when rotating) create a copy of that new surface. Copy in right viewport:

image 4

image 4

Using fillet the two surfaces with around 100-200 units as radius. It depends how big surface you created. Ok, now we have created some simple scene for our model.

Next, we will start creating materials, but before that we need to set up couple of vray settings. Like output dimensions, you can set to 640×480 or 800×600 for testing purposes. In the Global Switches uncheck Batch render so you can work inside Rhino while rendering. Otherwise Rhino is “blocked”. You can hit the Render just to see the test. It is always a smart thing to do, to hit the render just to see the changes you’ve made to either materials or vray options.

image 5

image 5

Ok, now, instead of GI we will use HDRI for our scene illumination. To do so, go to Environment rollout and click on the small m next to GI (Skylight). A window will open, and there under Common, set the Type to Bitmap, and then on the right where it says Bitmap, File, browse for a HDRI map you have on your computer. If you don’t have one, use this one.

image 6

image 6

If the scene is too bright or too dark you can adjust it using multiplier just under the Bitmap drop down menu where you put the HDRI map.

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13 Responses to “Rendering light bulb with VRay”

  1. Tim says:


    This is a very helpful rendering tutorial. Just what I was asking for! Thanks!

  2. Tim says:

    By the way, what was the multiplier set to for your render?

  3. g.sahin says:

    this is such a good tutorial!! It helped me so much both with the other tutorial “modeling light bulb”. Thanks a lot!!
    with rendering I had a quite well result but only problem I had was the image on the bulb was not as clear as on your final render.

  4. Ivan says:

    thanks guys.
    I can’t really remember the multiplier, but I think it is 0.8. But than again, you don’t need to copy everything. If your scene is a bit dark, increase multiplier, and if it is too bright, decrease it. Actually that is rendering, playing with all the options and finding the best combination. However, it is always good to know the options 😉

  5. Pablo says:

    Great tutorial! You missed a very important setting when loading the HDRI, on the window where you select the file, in the top you have to change from “Texture” to “Environment”, this setting will tell VRay that you want to use the bitmap as light source.

    Thanks for the tutorial!

  6. floris says:

    One question, how can I download the textures?

    BTW, great tutorials, thanks for making them 🙂

  7. Ivan says:

    you got the textures on top of the page1.

  8. Nabeel says:

    i can’t find vray anywhere!

  9. Ben says:

    Hi there
    I am just wondering what spec your computer
    This is because i am having issues with my computer when the translucency setting in this tutorial is checked, when it is not checked it seems to work fine,
    would you be able to suggest any other way to achieve the same result with out using to much of my computers resources.

    Cheers Ben

  10. Ivan says:

    what kind of issues? Slow rendering, or crashes?

  11. Ben says:

    very slow rendering

  12. jann says:

    i have the same probs with the extremly slow rendering (almost nothing it seems) when the translucency is on. otherwise it works and the tutorial is great btw 🙂

  13. Nikolay says:

    Great Tut! This is my final render, but as you’ll notice I used sky settings instead of the HDRI map :]

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