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Let's create some image-based lighting in 3ds Max. Previously we saw how to set up studio lights. In this chapter we'll look at image-based lighting. Now these are not mutually exclusive and in fact, you can combine them both in the same shot. However, in this chapter we're going to keep them separate. We're going to light the scene exclusively only. With our high dynamic range image. We can start by creating a Skylight. Let's go to the create panel and under lights, go to Standard and click sky light.
And just click anywhere in the top view and then right-click to exit. It doesn't matter where the Skylight is. The position, rotation, and scale are completely ignored so you can set it up wherever's convenient for you. Another thing I'd like to mention is that you don't need the skylight in order to do image-based lighting. The Skylight actually contributes to the diffuse component. Of your scene. And without the Skylight, you'll get reflections, but you won't get diffuse lighting. You can turn it off if you want, but you have to have some kind of light in your scene, and this is important.
Because if you have no lights in your scene at all, then Mental Ray and 3ds Max will light your objects with default lighting. And that will add to the image-based lighting that you create in the environment. So this is problematic. It's very important to understand this, that you must have a light in this scene in order to disable the default lighting. Now, again, you can turn that light off if you want to use only the environment mapping. Alright.
Let's go into the modify panel. Take a look at the parameters down here. We've got a multiplier, that's the strength of the lighting. And then we've got the sky color, and it's defaulted to white. What we want to do is actually choose Use Scene Environment. And when we add a map into our environment, that will light the scene. In the Skylight as well. So the skylight will look to the environment map to create the lighting in your scene.
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