Simple lamp in 15 minutes

In this Tutorial I will show you how to model a simple lamp. You will also be introduced to realistic light setup and materials.

Step 1

First of all we need to model the lamp. Let’s start with the base. Create a Circle and change its direction to XZ to get it in horizontal position.

Add an Extrude NURBS and drag the circle on it. Select the Extrude NURBS and change the Caps Options Start and End to Fillet Cap. Also change the Movement of the Extrude NURBS to as shown below.

Copy the Extrude NURBS (including the Circle) and move it up a little bit. Increase the Extrude Movement (this defines the lamps height). Select the Circle in the Extrude NURBS you just copied and scale it down until it looks just like in the picture below.

Hurray! We just finished the Base! Let’s go on with the Lampshade…

Copy the Circle you created the very first and move it up. Duplicate this Circle again and move it up until it’s as high as the height of the base. Scale the upper Circle down a little.

Add a Loft NURBS and drop the last two Circles in there. Change the Caps Options of the Loft NURBS to None and your Lamp is almost ready!

Step 2

Now that the modeling of the lamp is done, the material setup comes next.

Hint: To adjust the Materials with realtime feedback activate the interactive render region.

The Base should get a slightly dark and rough chrome look so create a new Material and deactivate all Options but Reflection. Chrome isn’t white so you have to decrease the Brightness to ±75% in the Reflection Options. To reach the rough look you have to set the Blurriness to ±30%.


Drag and Drop the Material on your 3D Model to apply it.

Our Lampshades should be translucent so you can see the Light Bulb indirectly and vague. There are different ways to achieve this, but we show you the one with the best render results.

The idea is to generate a Material which is self-luminous to fake the translucency. By using a gradient, which is almost white in the middle and looses a bit of its brightness to the endings, we fake the light bulb in the middle. This way we get a really realistic look.

Here are the instructions: Create a new Material and deactivate all but Luminance. Click on the arrow next to Texture and select Gradient. Double-click the Gradient to adjust it. Remember: almost white in the middle and less lightness at the endings. Hint: use warm, reddish colors to get a realistic look.

Also change the Gradient Type from 2D – U to 2D – V. Set the Luminance Brightness to ±70% and select Add as Mix Mode.

Apply the Material to the Lampshade.

Hint: If your Luminance Channel is set up but the Brightness of the Luminance doesn’t fit to your render settings you can easily increase it (without changing the appearance of the Lamp Shade by increasing the Illumination (Illumination – Generate GI – Strength)

Step 3

Next on the list is the Light Bulb itself. To be honest, we won’t show you how to model the Light Bulb. Not because we don’t want to, we simply don’t need to. The Light Bulb is overexposed by the light it radiates.

But nevertheless it’s necessary to create a light. Otherwise there is no light coming out of the lamp shade openings and no shadows are casted.

Enough blabber, create an area light and change its area shape to Disc. Rotate it and move it up like shown below.

Set the Light Intensity to ±140% and change the color to a slightly warm tone.


Congrats! Your scene setup is now finished!