Lighting and Rendering



  • Directional Light – light that travels in a specific direction, all the rays go the same way
  • Ambient Light – light that already exists in a scene; natural light (from windows) or artificial light (from lamp).
  • Point Light – light that radiates in all directions (like the Sun)
  • Spotlight – a cone of light projected from a certain point
  • Area Light – emits light in one direction from a particular area (good for windows)
  • Volume Light
  • Light Intensity
  • Light Colour
  • Light Linking – links a light to an object so that it only affects that object
  • Cookies (Light) – (or Stencil) simulate light coming from off camera to create shadows
  • Three Point Lighting – used in movie industry, key light (main light), fill light (brightens shadows), back light (details)
  • Depth Map Shadows – most cost effective, quick to render shadows, work best with spotlights
  • Ray Traced Shadows – more realistic shadows, allow for transparency shadows
  • Maya Software Renderer
  • Mental Ray Renderer
  • Arnold Renderer

Ambient light is bad; it tries to bounce the light but it makes the scene look 2D.



In the lesson we experimented with the lighting in our scene to make our newly textured spaceships look more realistic (i used Matt’s spaceship which i had previously textured). We learned about the advantages of using 3 point lighting in our scenes.

3 point lighting.png

The first thing i did was add a spotlight at the front to represent the main light. I made the light quite intense and at an angle so that it would cast shadows.


lighting 2.png

Some of the options for my spotlights

I then added another one to be the fill light. This one would be less intense than the main light, but still bright enough to pick out the details of the model.


Finally i added an area light in the background. I made it a dim red so that it would pick out and define the outline of the model against the black background.


Below is the render i took of the ship. I like how it turned out, and once i have textured my own spaceship i will do the same with the lighting. Instead of a black background i could add a space scene to make it look cooler.




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s