Light, render and export
It’s time to light the scene using my thumbnail sketch as a guide. I love this phase in 3D software, because it’s so easy to experiment with different lighting layouts and colours. Unlike in a painting, moving these lights around only takes a few clicks – and the shadows are extremely realistic. When I’m satisfied, it’s time to hit Render, resulting in a 3,600px wide .PNG image that I’ll bring into Photoshop.
Render a selection map
The other image that I like to render in 3D is this rather strange-looking colour map. You can probably tell that it’s a render of the exact same scene, but with all of the lighting turned off and the textures replaced the with solid colours. Clearly, it’s not a beautiful image, but in the next step you’ll see why it’s key to my creative process.