Rendering Using Cycles in Blender
Illustration by Richard Downs

Adding primary lights


From:

Rendering Using Cycles in Blender

with George Maestri

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Video: Adding primary lights

At this point we have just some basic environmental lighting in our scene. Let's go ahead and take a look at what we have. We basically just have a sky with clouds and that's casting kind of a blue tint over the whole scene. What we really need to start off with is the primary light source in this scene. Now this environmental light source is kind of more of an ambient light, but we really need a direct light source. In this case it's going to be the sun streaming through this window.
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Watch the Online Video Course Rendering Using Cycles in Blender
1h 28m Intermediate Jan 24, 2013

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

The open-source 3D graphics suite Blender now offers Cycles, a rendering engine that adds a new degree of realism and professionalism to your projects. In this course, George Maestri introduces Cycles, and reviews its lighting types, materials, and render settings. Learn how to layer shaders, enhance surfaces with texture and gloss, and add lifelike lighting and shadows to your scenes. In the final chapter, follow along with a small, self-contained project, where a simple architectural interior will be rendered.

Topics include:
  • Controlling interactive rendering
  • Using the shader node system
  • Adding textures to materials
  • Adding bumps and displacements
  • Adding primary and secondary lights
  • Using ambient occlusion
  • Using objects as light sources
  • Creating cameras
Subject:
3D + Animation
Software:
Blender
Author:
George Maestri

Adding primary lights

At this point we have just some basic environmental lighting in our scene. Let's go ahead and take a look at what we have. We basically just have a sky with clouds and that's casting kind of a blue tint over the whole scene. What we really need to start off with is the primary light source in this scene. Now this environmental light source is kind of more of an ambient light, but we really need a direct light source. In this case it's going to be the sun streaming through this window.

Now typically you would think, well, I should just add a Sun Lamp to the scene, but that's not as controllable as some other types of lights. So in this case, I'm actually going to add a Spot Light. So let's go ahead and Add> Lamp; I'm going to add a Spot. So that comes in here. Now let's go ahead and turn this over to Material Mode here so that way we can actually see how the light is being projected into the scene.

And let's go ahead and select our light here. So I'm going to go ahead over to my Spot, and you can see we have the Color and the Strength of the light as well as the Spot Light Shape. Now the first thing I'm going to do, is go head and do Show Cone, which is actually going to show the cone of the light. Go ahead and start positioning this light so that it's shining through the window. So I'm basically just moving and rotating this light. Now I really can't see exactly how that cone is falling on the scene.

So the easiest way to see that is to just scale up the light, so I'm hitting the Scale Tool and I'm just going to go ahead and scale up the entire light. It doesn't affect anything other than how this displays in the scene. It's not making the light brighter or dimmer by scaling it; it's simply just making it bigger in the Viewport. Now once I have that, I can start positioning this light. So I'm actually going to go ahead and pull this light back quite a bit. I really want to get enough light so that it fills the window without spilling over.

So really I'm looking here at how this is falling on this wall here. Now once I have that I can start turning up the light. So I've got my light here, I think it's pointed in the right direction. Now I'm going to look here in my Render Viewport as I turn up the Strength of that light. So I'm going to turn it up quite a bit here and it's starting to cast kind of a shadow on the scene. But I really actually need that light to come down a little bit more, because I'm really not getting the type of shadows that I want.

Let me turn this up a little bit more here. I'm actually bringing this light up quite a bit. You can see I'm right now at about 100, 000 in terms of Strength, and you can see how that's creating this nice shadow effect. But I feel like this light is a little bit too low, so I'm going to go ahead and move it up just a hair and angle it down. Again, I'm just doing a rotation here, so that I get better illumination. So in other words, it's coming down a little bit more.

So it's starting to look pretty good. Now I'm getting a pretty intense shadow here on this wall, and maybe what I need to do is bring this light over just even a little bit more and just move it over this way. Again, turning up my Strength to get a pretty nice shadow and illumination in the scene. Now once you start playing with this, you'll see how this actually has replaced a lot of that environmental lighting in the scene.

So as we start adding light, that environmental light will become less and less important as the total overall lighting in the scene. So this is a good starting place for this. We may come back and tweak this light, but I think it's time to start adding additional lights into the scene.

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