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Creating sunlight

From: Blender 2.6 Essential Training

Video: Creating sunlight

Now let's take a look at the last lamp in Blender, and that's the Sun lamp. And this creates a good approximation of sun, and it can also add in sky as well. So let's go ahead and add in a Lamp > Sun. Now the Sun lamp basically works the same as a Hemi lamp, in that it is directional and not positional. So really the only thing that matters is the direction of the light. So I can basically keep this light here at the origin where it came in, or if I want, I can move it anywhere I want in the scene.

Creating sunlight

Now let's take a look at the last lamp in Blender, and that's the Sun lamp. And this creates a good approximation of sun, and it can also add in sky as well. So let's go ahead and add in a Lamp > Sun. Now the Sun lamp basically works the same as a Hemi lamp, in that it is directional and not positional. So really the only thing that matters is the direction of the light. So I can basically keep this light here at the origin where it came in, or if I want, I can move it anywhere I want in the scene.

Now I'm going to move it a little bit up here so we can just see it, but the direction of the light is really all that matters. So if I rendered this as is, you'll get light from above. In other words, you'll get pretty much noon sky. Now if I want to I can rotate this, so if I rotate it this way, then you can see how the light now comes from the front of the building. So if I change this to Local and I angle this a little bit more, you can see how, again, I can get light from the side.

One of the big differences between the Sun lamp and the Hemi lamp is that the Sun lamp allows you to do shadows. So if I go down to the very bottom here you'll see I have a Shadow rollout, and I can cast a ray shadow. And the parameters for this are pretty much the same as for the point light, so I won't go into those, but let's just go ahead and see that we can cast a shadow with this light. Now probably the most interesting feature with this light is the Sky & Atmosphere controls, and these allow the light to create an artificial sky as well as an artificial sun.

So I'm going to go ahead and turn this on, and as you can see, it creates a horizon with a sky. And if we render this, you'll see that my sky gets replaced by this particular sky. Now we have a number of options here for controlling this effect, but if you want, an easier place to start are with a couple of standard presets we have. We have a Classic sky, we have a Desert sky, and we have a Mountain sky.

Now the only difference between these is that it just changes the settings to reflect the preset, so once we dial in, say, a mountain sky, we can still continue to tweak the effect. So let's take a look at what this looks like in render. And so you can see it basically just has a gradient, but we don't have the sun visible in the sky. Well, that's because the sun is actually behind the camera. Now if you look in this scene, you can see that the camera is here, facing at about a 30-degree angle towards the house.

Now in order to see the sun, we have to actually point the sun at the camera. So I'm just going to go ahead and change the angle of my sun so that it's pointing pretty much towards that camera, and you can kind of see it here in this viewport. So when I change the angle so that it points at the camera, you can see how now I can see that sun in the sky. In fact, if I angle it up just a hair here, it might actually come in a little bit lower in the sky so you can see it.

Now you may think that because the sun is here in the viewport, that's where it is here in the render, but that's not really the case. Again, the sun is not positional; it's just angular, so it really depends on the angle in relation to the camera. So even if I move this sun completely out of the frame here in the perspective viewport, I would still get the same render. Remember, it's really the angle in relation to that camera. So now that we can actually see the sun in our render, let's go ahead and start playing with some of these parameters.

Now one of the first ones is Blending. This is how it blends to the original background. And again, we have all of our blending controls here, but the one that's most important is Factor. If I dial this down to zero, I get the original background. If I dial it up, then I start to get the sun, okay. And typically this is at 1, which basically just completely replaces that blend sky with my sun. Now I can also create a brightness for my horizon, so how bright is it down here? And again that shows up very nicely in that render. Or if I want, I can turn my Brightness down to zero to have a not-bright horizon.

The other important one is the Sun controls. How bright is this sun? So we can certainly make the sun brighter and so that will definitely show up in my render. I can make it dimmer. I can also change the Size of the sun. So a smaller sun with the same brightness will make the actual ball of the sun smaller, but the brightness will stay the same. So if I make my sun bigger, you'll notice that it actually looks a little bit bigger in relation to that.

Again, I can see my sun a little bit better. These parameters can really be tweaked as much as you want. I would suggest starting with one of the presets and working from there. Now, the final control here is Atmosphere. So again, do you want to add in atmosphere to your render? And that basically just gives you kind of a fog effect here. So as I add in Atmosphere, I can start to see how much Atmosphere I have, in terms of how much does a sun affect it, as well as what's the distance of that atmosphere? So again, the higher the distance, the more atmosphere I have; the lower, the less effect I have.

So you can create a hazy morning effect again just by adding in a little bit of Intensity here and not too much. So those are some of the parameters that you can use with the Sun lamp, and you can see this is a very, very versatile tool that you can use to create realistic skies.

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This video is part of

Image for Blender 2.6 Essential Training
Blender 2.6 Essential Training

94 video lessons · 22926 viewers

George Maestri
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 5m 50s
    1. Welcome
      1m 22s
    2. Using the exercise files
      28s
    3. Downloading Blender
      34s
    4. Notes on Blender 2.7 NEW
      2m 8s
    5. Using Blender on a Mac
      42s
    6. Using Blender on a laptop
      36s
  2. 30m 32s
    1. Overview of the Blender interface
      6m 6s
    2. Understanding 3D view windows
      5m 23s
    3. Navigating in 3D space
      6m 35s
    4. Configuring user preferences
      6m 24s
    5. Creating custom layouts
      6m 4s
  3. 32m 29s
    1. Selecting objects
      6m 12s
    2. Moving objects
      4m 35s
    3. Rotating objects
      2m 48s
    4. Scaling objects
      2m 16s
    5. Understanding transform orientation
      3m 53s
    6. Changing an object's origin
      5m 27s
    7. Selecting pivot points
      3m 22s
    8. Using Snap to move objects precisely
      3m 56s
  4. 49m 18s
    1. Creating mesh primitives
      6m 36s
    2. Selecting vertices, edges, and faces
      4m 48s
    3. Editing mesh objects
      7m 39s
    4. Proportional editing
      3m 52s
    5. Sculpt mode (Updated for 2.7) NEW
      5m 3s
    6. Sculpt mode
      4m 45s
    7. Working with edges and edge loops
      3m 42s
    8. Extrusions
      5m 18s
    9. Smooth shading objects
      2m 23s
    10. Subdividing meshes
      5m 12s
  5. 50m 31s
    1. Working with modifiers
      5m 52s
    2. Working with subdivision surfaces
      3m 48s
    3. Creating a simple creature
      7m 54s
    4. Symmetrical modeling with the Mirror modifier
      8m 21s
    5. Joining mesh objects
      3m 37s
    6. Stitching vertices
      4m 52s
    7. Finalizing a simple creature
      4m 48s
    8. Creating text
      3m 29s
    9. Boolean tools
      2m 59s
    10. Vertex groups
      4m 51s
  6. 22m 36s
    1. Using the Outliner
      8m 22s
    2. Using layers
      4m 30s
    3. Creating groups
      2m 48s
    4. Working with scenes
      4m 2s
    5. Creating hierarchies
      2m 54s
  7. 54m 26s
    1. Assigning materials to objects
      8m 4s
    2. Diffuse shaders
      6m 47s
    3. Working with specularity
      5m 56s
    4. Using the Ramp Shader options
      9m 45s
    5. Additional shading options
      2m 37s
    6. Creating reflections
      8m 29s
    7. Adding transparency and refractions
      6m 49s
    8. Subsurface scattering
      5m 59s
  8. 1h 6m
    1. Adding a simple texture
      6m 11s
    2. Using bitmaps
      6m 53s
    3. Mapping textures in the UV Editor (Updated for 2.7) NEW
      7m 43s
    4. Mapping textures in the UV Editor
      8m 28s
    5. Using UV projections
      5m 56s
    6. UV mapping a character (Updated for 2.7) NEW
      6m 35s
    7. UV mapping a character
      6m 11s
    8. Fine-tuning UV mapping
      6m 7s
    9. Creating Bump and Normal maps
      3m 15s
    10. Displacement mapping
      3m 48s
    11. Using the Node Editor
      4m 59s
  9. 53m 9s
    1. Adding lamps to a scene
      8m 44s
    2. Fine-tuning ray-trace shadows
      4m 32s
    3. Using spot lamps
      4m 20s
    4. Fine-tuning buffer shadows
      6m 19s
    5. Using Hemi lamps
      2m 32s
    6. Working with Area lamps
      5m 17s
    7. Creating sky and ambient light
      4m 49s
    8. Adding background images
      3m 19s
    9. Creating sunlight
      6m 6s
    10. Ambient occlusion
      7m 11s
  10. 30m 8s
    1. Working with cameras
      4m 47s
    2. Creating camera targets with constraints
      3m 43s
    3. Render properties
      5m 7s
    4. Rendering animation
      5m 13s
    5. Adding motion blur
      4m 10s
    6. Creating depth of field
      7m 8s
  11. 32m 30s
    1. Understanding the Timeline
      4m 3s
    2. Animating objects
      6m 26s
    3. Animating properties
      4m 0s
    4. Editing animation in the Graph Editor
      8m 36s
    5. Using the Dope Sheet
      4m 53s
    6. Path animation
      4m 32s
  12. 39m 59s
    1. Facial animation using shape keys
      4m 40s
    2. Understanding armatures
      6m 2s
    3. Fitting an armature to a creature
      7m 23s
    4. Deforming a character with an armature
      3m 49s
    5. Setting up inverse kinematics
      3m 53s
    6. Controlling the hips and body
      2m 1s
    7. Animating in Pose mode
      2m 47s
    8. Creating a test animation
      9m 24s
  13. 15s
    1. Goodbye
      15s

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