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Interior scenes remains dark no matter how many lights I add

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I attach the hipfile of a closed interior scene, just a window letting the light in. I have a VERY HARD TIME lighting the REST of the scene, the one that's not close to the window is unrealistically dark.

Am I doing something wrong? I've tried with:

Dome light HDRI

+ Sun Exposure 10

+ Portal 1, exposure 22!

+ Portal 2, exposure 21!

+ Area light exposure 8

The light doesn't go further, the rest of the scene is dark and the window area is too bright.

If I add a point light inside to cheat, I get the bright spots on the ceiling, the floor and nearby walls/objects.

If I add an area light the rear will be darker than the front, if I make it double sided, the edges will be darker.

Here is the free scene I'm using (file sop): https://www.turbosquid.com/3d-models/3d-design-kitchen-gray-model-1616267

Perhaps, a more direct question: how would you light it?




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Lighting interior scenes is super tricky and heavy you need a lot of bounces to get a good result, and yes more bounces the better but my advice it is not to use mantra but Karma and if possible XPU.
You can use the light objects on the scene to start lighting the interior, I am not a architect lighter but I think it is a good start.
I hope it helps.


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As Michael says, interior lighting from only a window source is tricky and expensive. But, most renderers will have some kind of portal light (the names vary by renderer) but it works like a dome light except that you set a size like an area light. They might work slightly differently in different renderers, but you load your HDRI into your dome light, then position one or more portals in front of your windows, the portals are optimized to push light into the interior. Here's a description of the Octane version:


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