Rendering an Interior Scene with Cycles

Discover how to light and render a realistic interior scene using Blender and Cycles.

53 minutes
Blender 2.61 & Photoshop
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 4.9/5 (181 votes cast)

In this tutorial you will discover:

  • How to light an interior scene effectively
  • How to use of various types of shaders
  • Post processing tips to improve a final image

Thanks to the release of Cycles, it’s now possible to create realistic interior scenes right from within Blender.

In this tutorial I will walk you through lighting and texturing a scene for rendering with Cycles.

We’ll use this reference image and these textures:

  1. BrickOldSharp0137 (Image 1)
  2. WoodPlanksBare0029 (Image 1)
  3. WoodFine0039 (Image 1)
  4. MarbleTilesWall001 (Image 1 & 2)
  5. Plastic0046 (Image 3)

Final Result

Download the Starter File

At a Glance

Screenshots from the video:

Where to Find Architectural Inspiration

Good architectural images are often hard to find, but I’ve found a few sites that dish it up regularly:

I hope you enjoyed the tutorial! If you make something awesome, please post your results in the comments below :)

Rendering an Interior Scene with Cycles, 4.9 out of 5 based on 181 ratings

About Andrew Price

User of Blender for 9+ years. I've written tutorials for 3d World Magazine and spoken at three Blender conferences. My goal is to help artists get employed in the industry by making training accessible and easy to understand. I'm an Aussie and I live in South Korea ;)
  • Change

    Anyone with a good tip as how to render without looking too noisy? Also, nice tutorial!!! Learning new skills each time I watch this :).

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  • Arthur Shen

    thanks andrew, great tutorial

  • Cyril Croisy

    Thanks for your tutorials. Fresh and clear!

  • Joddy Schäfer

    Why Photoshop? Can’t it be done with compositor?

  • irvan

    where do am download cycles for blender 2.69

    • yegor

      it comes within blender 2.69 ready to go

  • SreejithP


  • Guest

    Thanks Andrew, you are great I tried you interior lounge and this one. Great stuff. Here is my take on this one. Always Lighting fails me. .I will improve I guess

  • Iraz Tejani

    Amazing tutorial! Thank you so much! Your tutorials are amazing!

  • Julio Jimenez Bello

    Great tutorial, Thanks!!!

  • Timofey

    Andrew, Great tutorial!
    can you write in information desk of tutorials render time of finish result? it’s wery interesting)

  • Fonty

    Great tutorial, but what if you have a very well lit tunnel (clean, painted, white concrete walls with lots of fluoros etc.) to might everything very well. This is where I’m having troubles.
    This is not like your subway tunnel tutorial, as it’s very well lit. I can’t seem to make it work without flaring out some things while others remain relatively unlit.

  • Parker

    How were you able to match blender’s camera with the perspective of the picture so well? I’m attempting to recreate another image and it’s really tricky. Any tips?

  • Metal Gear Feline

    heya dude, just wanted to say thanks, i just finished this for my games design course, and i think it worked well, tell me what you think for a beginners try lol?

  • Sam

    Thank you very much, learned a lot! Curious why you didn’t use the Blender compositing to do the alpha glow on backroom light and window (you used photoshop)?

  • Glenn

    Fantastic Tut! Dude, you’re so easy to understand. You probably saved me 150 hours of trial and error.

  • Gella Yo

    Thank you very much for all the work that you are doing!

  • Domenico Acito

    Why the download of the starter file doesn’t work?? ):

  • Aga

    Your tutorials are great, very clear, you’re my inspiration

  • Magda

    Thanks for that tutorial. It is very good and cover lots of functions.

  • Oliver McCarthy

    Thanks for the tut. Is it just me or is the table and balcony on the left missing from the start file?

    • Magda

      table and balcony are on another layer. just turn it on with shift.

      • Oliver McCarthy

        Ah right. Thanks.

  • Mark Stillman

    Brilliant , thanks for this, just got started with blender on a saturation session to get up to speed.
    Nice tutorial as usual!

  • Tiler

    ДА уж, “ОЧЕНЬ понятно”. есть хоть один урок в котором можно самому сделать хотя бы просто прозрачный куб !??

  • zac

    Loving this tutorial !
    Having a problem with the UV unwrapping though. It doesn’t matter how much I scale or alter the mesh in UV editor the texture doesn’t alter or scale in the cycles render view. So i cant do things like adjust the brick lengths of move the alignment with wall corners.

    I am using the latest Blender.

    • zac

      FIXED IT !

      After each adjustment I need to toggle to object mode and back to edit mode so it updates the cycles render.

      • plastygrove

        Thanks for that. I was having the exact same problem and couldn’t understand what was causing it!

  • brandon

    when to you need to use the UV unwrap method?

  • Demetrius

    using as a reference to model my room

  • Demetrius


  • ajju

    i think you missed cup board and table in starter.blend

    • Mark

      No, they are there, check in the other layer

  • # machfud

    seems like i can’t enabling rendering using gpu
    somehow there’s no gpu listed in the user preferences
    any idea how to enable that

    my gpu ATI RADEON 5145

  • Sipke


    i loved this tutorial! however when i try to do something myself:

    the image keeps being grainy.. even with 3000 samples
    can anyone explain why that is ?

    im rendering it with blender 2.63.13 and on GPU with a GF 295GTX

    • poorna

      Sipke.. good try man… its as come out good, but im not getting y this grainy as come i think u missed out some settings….

  • Corey

    How do you render with your GPU? I tried looking in the user preferences, but I can’t seem to get it to work.

    • Pietro Scarso

      Go to Files -> user preferences -> system
      and under “cuda rendering device” select your GPU

  • Fenasi Kerim




  • dennis


    first of all, thanx for your great tutorials, andrew!

    but i have a problem with this one..i keep getting very strange results while rendering with the gpu.
    the left image is gpu rendered, the right one using the cpu.

    my system:
    Phenom II x4 @ 3GHz
    Nvidia GT 430
    4 Gigs of RAM
    Ubuntu 12.04, xfce desktop
    tried Nvidia Devdriver 295.41 and Nvidia Driver 295.53, same results.

    on windows it rendered fine, but unfortunately thats not an option…

  • Peter Jones

    Hey Andrew,
    Awesome tutorial, i gave it a go a while back as i have been looking into indoor scenes for a while now. Here is a still that i did with the help of your tutorial and the sites you linked for reference image.
    I hope you like it :)

  • Nuno

    Am I the only one that gets the original file without the balcony?

    • Jerry

      It’s on Layer 2

  • dyllon

    some settings need changing. Render, performance then adjust samples etc to what suits you

  • SGTHoward
  • Andi Drajan
    • poorna

      Drajan i saw ur work sample.. it as come out well, good kept it up… practice more…

  • Anthony

    How many passes do you use in your renders?

    • andrei

      Hi Anthony and thakns for your quick response. I really haven’t change any settings for my render… so I see in Render->Passes only Combined and Z are checked. My render is set on CPU, but still, the rendered image is very noisy. I’m really confused, what am I suppose to change :( to get such nice and glossy image like everyone..

      • Andi Drajan

        did you change the render samples? i think the default is set to 10. you can change it from the render panel, under integrator.

        • andrei

          thanks to all, I’ve changed the version from 2.62 to 2.63 and the white pixels are gone :) . I did not knew about render samples .. I’ve used that and it’s better . thanks again guys!

  • andrei

    hi guys! please can anyone help me with some info: I have the latest version of blender, and therefor there’s cycles engine in it. I’m working on a scene of an interior , and my renders in cycles are very noisy with many white pixels in it. maybe it’s because of my video card (geforce 8600 gt quite old, does cycles even use video card or render if it’s not specified to do so? ), but I’m render with CPU thou (my cpu is quite good, Phenome IIx4 at 2.80GHz and 4GB of RAM) . can anyone explain me if it’s in video card problem or some settings should be performed.

    • Anthony

      well you have to switch it to graphics card and it just calculates it on the graphics card instead of the CPU. it shouldn’t really make a difference look wise, however you do have to change the amount of passes in the render settings. it may take a lot of passes.

  • squibblejack
    thank you mr. Andrew, i choose to model the cathedral
    of Lleida. i always enjoy your lessons, peace.

  • Yorick
  • James McTaggart


    You are the don! Great tutorial … thanks!!!

  • c001os

    This is the most informative tuttorial for cycles! Thy a lot!

  • Yan Xiaoqiang

    Great! You are the man!!!!!

  • Uwe

    Hi Andrew!
    Thank you for another informative and entertaining tutorial.
    And for those ones that can’t afford to do the postprocessing with Photoshop:
    In Gimp->Filters->Light and Shadow you’ll find the filter “Supernova”. With a spokes count of 1 you’ll get a similar glow effect like we’ve seen in your tutorial. And yes, size and color is changeable!

  • هيثم

    شكراً لك ….عمل ممتاز جداً واصل….

    • nieghel

      Totally agreed! :D

    • ME

      How?? :D