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When lighting a scene there are times when you'll need an overall general light, such as light coming from a specific direction. This is where we use the Hemi lamp, which just creates directional light. So we're going to go ahead and add in a lamp called a Hemi. When we bring it in, you can see how it looks kind of like a hemisphere, and basically this light is an infinite hemisphere that projects light. So it's kind of like a spotlight in that the light is directional, but it doesn't have a specific source, so it doesn't create a cone, such as a spotlight.
If we go into the Properties panel for this, you can see that the Hemi light has very few controls. We have control for Color, and Energy, Specular, and Diffuse, and that's about it. The Hemi light does not cast shadows, but it does have direction. So if I were to bring this directly above that cup and just do a quick render, you can see that we get a general light from above that cup. You can probably see this a little bit more if I point the light in a specific direction.
So if I were to point this light completely to one side, such as this, then if I render, you can see that I'm getting light coming from the back of the cup. So if there is was a light coming from here, you can see I get shadows here and here. And we can do the same on the other side. So if I were to point the light that way, you can see how I'm getting light coming from this direction on the cup as well. Now one of the things about this light is that it's not location-specific, so even though I have this icon here floating in space, it doesn't mean that that's where the light is originating.
Again, the light originates from infinity, so it doesn't really matter where this is; this just controls the direction of light, not the position. So if I were to even keep this light above the cup and point it straight up, I should get a nice under-lighting affect, okay. So as you can see, this light can be very useful in creating directional light. Its only control really is the direction of the light and the color. There is no position of the light.
There are no shadows. But you can use it for a nice general illumination.
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