Rendering Using Cycles in Blender
Illustration by Richard Downs

Rendering Using Cycles in Blender

with George Maestri

Video: Adding secondary lights

Once you get your Primary Light in the scene, it's time to start adding Secondary Lights to illuminate other parts of the scene. Now, in this case, I want to add in the overhead lighting here. So if I take a look at this here, you'll see I've got a couple of holes here in the ceiling for lighting that's supposed to illuminate this wall and the art on the wall. So, we can do that by adding in some additional lights.

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Watch the Online Video Course Rendering Using Cycles in Blender
1h 28m Intermediate Jan 24, 2013

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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 secondary lights

Once you get your Primary Light in the scene, it's time to start adding Secondary Lights to illuminate other parts of the scene. Now, in this case, I want to add in the overhead lighting here. So if I take a look at this here, you'll see I've got a couple of holes here in the ceiling for lighting that's supposed to illuminate this wall and the art on the wall. So, we can do that by adding in some additional lights.

Now, because these are overhead spotlights, we're going to add a Spot. In fact, we're going to add three Spotlights and connect them together so that they all share the same parameters. First thing I want to do is go ahead and position my 3D cursor as close to the center of the first one of these. So, right about there, and then I'm going to go Add>Lamp>Spot. That brings in a Spot. But, it brings it in fairly low. So, I'm actually going to go ahead and move it up in my side Viewport here.

So that seems about right. So now that I have this first light in the scene, I can start to duplicate it. Now, I can duplicate it either as a separate light, or as a connected or linked object here. So, we can go Object>Duplicate Linked, and then that brings up that second light. You can see this is my linked light. Now, I'm going to right-click just to snap it there, and then grab my Move icon, and again, center that in that second hole.

Let's do this one more time; Object>Duplicate Link. I'm going to right-click. And that keeps it aligned along the y- axis and then I'm just going to go ahead and move it along the x-axis here. And so now I've got three lights that are linked. So when I affect the luminosity of one light or the strength of one light, it will go ahead and affect the strength of all three lights.

I'm going to go ahead and select my first light, and let's go ahead and start manipulating these and getting these positioned properly. So I'm going to turn on Rendered View so I can see what's happening. Obviously, not much is happening because these lights are not as strong as they need to bel So with this first Light, I'm going to go ahead and just turn these lights up, and you can see how already they illuminate the scene here. You can see how it's starting to put light on the floor. But we really want the light on the wall and on the art.

So I'm going to go ahead and just Shift+Select all of the lights and we're going to go ahead and just rotate them here towards the wall. And you can see right here that we're actually getting a nice pool of light on the wall. These lights are actually set up with a fairly narrow beam. In other words, they are at 45 degrees but with a very small Blend. So actually I am going to turn up the Blend on these to give it a much softer edge, which will help a lot.

And then I'm also going to actually increase the size of the Shape and basically make it a wider Spot. That will go ahead and illuminate that wall a little bit better. I can see I'm getting a little bit of light here on this stone piece here. And so what I can do is just select the light that's closer to this, which would be this third spotlight here, and just rotate that, so that it's not hitting that wall.

And I can probably do that the same with this light here, maybe just kind of rotate that in just a little bit so it's a little bit more focused on the art. Now once I have that, then I can start playing a little bit more with the Strength. Now if I bring up the Strength, you can see it pretty intensely. In fact, you can see the lights here. But actually I'm going to bring this down just a bit. In this case, here, I've got them probably in the 3,000s or so. It will give just enough light to make that art pop just a little bit.

As you can see, once you get your main light in, you can start adding secondary lights to illuminate other parts of the scene.

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