The White Room - A test on shadowing with blender

A room with a single lamp in the middle does look somewhat dull. To get some descent light in the room one often needs to resort to different lamps in all kinds of different places. In the end this often turns out to be unmanageable. A good approach to solve this problem is the use of area lights and place six of them on the 4 walls, the ceiling and the floor. This results in much more realistic images as shown below.

Take care to have an area size equal to the size of the walls and a light distance equal to the size of the room. The floor area light should not drop shadows. All others should do so. Because we now have 6 lights we should set the energy of every area light to 0.166 instead of 1. In this room we can now use standard lamps, which will in cooperation with the present ambient area lights give a nice realistic feeling. The lamp should be dimmed somewhat to 0.5 energy and their shining length should be 4 times the size of the room. The result is shown below.

If we then render the same image with area lights casting 16 rays and making use of a noise basis, we get (be prepared this little image took a loooong time to render)

The blender file can be downloaded