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The Sun Lamp in Blender simulates the real sun in the kind of sunlight you would get from the actual sun in your scene. Now, the sun is a directional light, just like the spot light, and the direction is shown by this dashed line here. So right now the sun is shining towards the camera, kind of simulating a sunset when the sun is appearing in to you and you're facing west or the sun can be behind you and by pressing R we can rotate the sun so that it's facing away from you. When you do a render now, the sun, even though it's not pointing directly at the mountains, still lights up the mountains here, because the sun simulates the sun out in outer space, where it's like an infinitely far distance from you.
So all of the light rays are coming in parallel into the scene. It's not like from a spot light, where they're coming from one specific light source and then they're fanning out in a cone. Here with the sun, it's parallel when it's covering the entire scene and bathing the entire scene in a very even amount of light. In addition to the standard Falloff controls and energy, we also have Sky and Atmosphere controls. When you turn on Sky, now the Sun Lamp will, depending on whether it's a sunrise or a sunset, affect this color of the sky in different ways.
Normally, if the color of the sky is a combination of colors set in the World settings over here under Material, World, where we've set the horizon color and the zenith color. Now, based on these colors, Blender figures out what kind of atmosphere you're in. So if we were simulating our atmosphere on Mars, we would use different colors and the sun on Mars would affect it differently as well. But on Earth here, we have blues. So now when we affect the Sky color, based on the Turbidity, and the mixing method, we alter the color of the sky.
So here we have a certain mixing effect that goes into effect with an average amount of Turbidity. Turbidity is the amount of dust and pollution that's kicked up in the outdoor atmospheres. So to simulate something like smoggy downtown, and I won't name a city, but you're going to get a lot of these orange, brown colors coming in, and which is also shown for you here in the Preview. Or to set it back to of a more of clean atmosphere, like on beautiful white, we would set it here.
Now, if the mountains were in the way, we would see that we can start to get some pinks and blues down near the horizon. The amount of Mix factors set here, and so now by mixing in and changing the Mix factor, we get more of these pinks now, and now the sun itself you can start to see is whitening out the zenith. If we change the Mix method to say Add and let's say just a little bit of Add, now the sunlight is adding this white. It's mixing in based on the Turbidity and the amount of scattering that would be up there, to produce a beautiful teal color.
Similarly, we can simulate a very thin atmosphere by telling the Sun Lamp to darken the atmosphere. Now this is almost like a moonscape, if you will, where there is very little atmosphere to be scattered and, in fact, the sun is darkening the horizons. These other setting is in fact how the horizon and the distance to the horizon is affected by the Sun Lamp. Then we have a whole another set of Atmosphere settings. The atmosphere goes hand in hand and simulates the haze and the pollution that's in the atmosphere, unfortunately.
Again, the goal is try to get to realistic lighting and lighting situation that affect how the scene looks. The atmosphere that was shot in 'Toy Story' versus the atmosphere that were shot in 'Blade Runner' are two totally different atmosphere conditions. In here, Atmosphere adds on to all these Sky settings and goes hand in hand by simulating the haze and the pollution that's in the atmosphere. This covers how fast light is scattered based on what's happening in the atmosphere. So let's go ahead and set his back to mixing.
Set it to about noon, by rotating the Sun Lamp. So now, if we set like say the Extinction factor, to something really little. Now, the light isn't getting from the sun to the ground. So there is a lot of pollution or scattering in the upper atmosphere. If the light doesn't travel as far through the atmosphere, and so it's cut off or faces extinction faster, based on this setting. So in this video we saw how to use the Sun Lamp, to give a rough approximation to the different atmospheric conditions, you would want to simulate in your CG scene.
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