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In 3ds Max 2011 Essential Training, author Aaron F. Ross demonstrates how to use this top-tier application for digital content creation, widely used in diverse industries such as architecture, industrial design, motion pictures, games and virtual worlds. This course covers modeling with polygons, curves, and subdivision surfaces, defining surface properties with materials and maps, setting up cameras and lights, animating objects, and final output rendering. Exercise files accompany the course.
To complete our introduction to Lighting, let's adds some fill lights to this scene. Throughout this chapter, we've only had this single spotlight in here. As a result, our shadows are super-black. They are 100% Black, or 0% white, and that's not terribly believable. Additionally, we are not getting enough shading and modeling on our text here. So, we can just create a few omni- directional lights that will fill in all those dark shadows. I'll go to the Create panel, and I will go to Lights > Standard.
I've got an Omni light. So, an Omni light is a point light source that radiates in all directions, like a light bulb. So, I'll click Omni, and I am just going to create a few of these here. I'll click once, twice and three times and then right-click to exit Omni Light Creation. I've got three lights in here. I am just trying to fill in the blanks, so that I don't get all these sort of really dark, black shadows. But as you can see, it's overlit, because the default intensity of a new light is usually a value of 1.
So, I'll go ahead and select these and go to the Modify panel. Open up the Intensity rollout, and you'll see the Multiplier is set to 1. So, let me bring this down to something more reasonable, such as a value of maybe 0.2. I'll go around to each, and it's already starting to shape up. Maybe, this one we'll set to .1. Okay, so yeah, that's not so bad. So, let's see what this looks like in an actual true blue Rendering.
It is a bit overlit. You can that this is blasting out a little bit. That might be okay, depending upon the effect we are trying to achieve. If I don't like that, then I can move the lights around, and/or I can change their intensity. Notice also that the lights are all created at an elevation of 0, or a Z value of 0. So, I will want to move those up as well. So, I can shine the light in various directions. This is just simulating ambiance, light coming from different directions.
You'll notice, also, that these omni- lights are creating a highlight on the logo. So, to see this with a little bit more accuracy, I am going to go over to my Camera view, and I am going to choose ActiveShade from the Camera view menu. As I move these around, I am going to see if that makes any change here.
To see it more dramatically, maybe I'll just turn the Light off completely. So I've got an off switch here. So you can see, yes, it is affecting the Specular component here. So I have the option of actually turning off specular highlights for this light. So, because this is supposed to be a fill light, it should be, have a kind of diffuse illumination and maybe not produce highlights at all. So, I can go into the Advanced Effects and disable Specular, and I might do that for all three of these.
So now it's only generating diffuse illumination, and it's not producing Specular highlights. Of course, I can play around with the Multipliers of all these lights. There is one less thing I can show you, which will make your life a little bit easier, so that you don't have to keep selecting these lights and going into the Modified panel for the most commonly used parameters for light. You can do them all at once from a menu call the Light Lister. It's found under the Tools menu, Tools > Light Lister.
This is a list of all the lights in my scene. I can do things like select a light by clicking on the button here. I can turn lights on and off using the check box. I can adjust their Multiplier and Color, and whether they project shadows or not. So, I can bring the Spotlight down, maybe to like .8, and maybe bring these Omni lights down to .1. So, that's the Light Lister. It's pretty useful, because I don't have to keep clicking around on everything, especially if you've got a scene with lots of lights, the Light Lister will come in really handy.
That's our introduction to basic standard lighting.
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