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Employing environmental lighting

From: LightWave 10 Essential Training

Video: Employing environmental lighting

Setting up lights in the 3D scene is always a skill that you are going to be perfecting and learning as you grow. But sometimes you want to do something even more realistic and the way to do that is with environmental lighting and what that means is that is the environment that your object and your scene lives in that can be used as a lighting source. Let me show you what I mean. I am going to come over here to the Perspective tab. This is what we have in our scene. We have got our coffee cup scene. This is the 06_06_EnvironmentBegin file. It has got one default distant light. It has got a black backdrop, a few cups and our light and our camera.

Employing environmental lighting

Setting up lights in the 3D scene is always a skill that you are going to be perfecting and learning as you grow. But sometimes you want to do something even more realistic and the way to do that is with environmental lighting and what that means is that is the environment that your object and your scene lives in that can be used as a lighting source. Let me show you what I mean. I am going to come over here to the Perspective tab. This is what we have in our scene. We have got our coffee cup scene. This is the 06_06_EnvironmentBegin file. It has got one default distant light. It has got a black backdrop, a few cups and our light and our camera.

So what I am going to do is come over to the Render tab, open up Render Globals and then under Global Illumination, I am going to click Enable Radiosity and look what happens. Not a whole lot. you can see it change a little bit. But what is happening there is it is using the environment as a light source. So let me jump down to the Camera view, turn on Radiosity, and see how much brighter it got? Let's do this. Let's open up Windows and choose Backdrop Options. Let me put on Backdrop Color.

I am going to make it just almost white. Close the panel, click into the Layout a bit, and what you are going to see is a much brighter environment there that's helping light the scene. So I will turn this off and turn it on, and now this full white environment is actually what's lighting the scene. What I am going to do is turn off the overlay for the OpenGL as well as the wireframe. And that way you can get a better sense of the scene. I am going to press my Lights at the bottom of the screen and open Properties, and our distant light that was in there by default, I am going to say do not affect the diffuse values, meaning turn off the light.

It is still going to affect the shine, the Specularity right here. However, if you wanted to get rid of that you could, but sometimes your object is going to look too flat. So I am going to keep that on. So what I have effectively done is put on a white backdrop, an environment that is fully white, and I will just go to Perspective view here, you can see it. My environment and my entire LightWave universe is white. That is now strong enough because of Global Illumination, just by clicking that on, 2.03] that is actually my light source.

So there is no lights in the scene that are lighting it, just that white environment, and the beauty of that is that it creates this very realistic looking scene. However, a problem with this is, is that you can get this blotchiness down here because you are relying too much on the engine to calculate that light source. Now you can increase the quality of your render on output, but typically, what I like to do is use a Global Illumination, use that Radiosity, to enhance my lighting. All right! So let me show you that. I am going to come back and open up my Lights, hit the Properties.

I am going to turn the Diffuse Value back on for the main light and then I'm going to just bring that value down about 30% and what happens now is I still have a main light source, but the Radiosity, the global environmental lighting, is helping create the soft shadows. It is filling in the other areas where normally I would have to put a lot more light in there and it gives it even a more realistic approach. In the real world, if you've got a lamp on your desk, that lamp is hitting the desk.

It's bouncing all around. Hitting the walls, the color from the walls is being diffused through the scene. That's what you're doing in the computer. You do not want the entire environment only lightened. You wanted to add as a bonus, as a fill. I am just kind of thinking those terms and you lend up with a little bit better look than you would traditionally. So I will warm up that light just a little bit just to give a little color. The other thing I can do to help that to it is change that light to an area light and that would help create softer shadows. But what we might have to do, going to a Perspective view and put your Overlay on, so you can see your light.

It has changed that light and make sure that the size of it, under Modify > Size, is big enough to create a soft shadow that matches the environmental lighting, and then let's move it just back just a little bit. Check back in the Camera view by clicking up here on the left and now we have got soft shadows that match our environmental shadows and we get a much better look and now you can play with the Intensity just to make that light a little more prominent and have a little more purpose.

So the environmental lighting is a terrific way to just enhance your scene, create a more realistic product shot, and this also can work for outdoor shots as well. You can put an image in your environment and we will go over here to Windows and choose Backdrop Options and down here under Add Environment, you can load Image World and with Image World on, you can see it certainly gets dark. I can load an image, you can just double-click this, and Light Probe Image, if you have an HDR, High Dynamic Range, image you can load that.

I don't really have one here but I want to show you this you don't necessarily need one. I am going to go to the Chapter 5 folder and under Images, I am going to load the clouds from our previous project, and you'll see that even something as simple as a cloud image can be used to enhance your scene. Do you see that? So the blue from the cloud, and I am going to open up our Image Editor. This blue and white image now is being used to light the scene.

So while it is not a High Dynamic Range image, it actually has enough strength to add more enhancement to the environment. Render > Render Globals. Just a few other options here. You can tell the Global Illumination to use Transparency, to have Ambient Occlusion, to use any Gradients you have put in your scene, use the Bump Maps. You can increase the Intensity if you want. Just like I did right there and that increases that Global Illumination Intensity. The more indirect bounces you have, the cleaner it will be, but of course, the longer it will take to render.

As well as the Rays Per Evaluation and the Secondary Bounce Rays. If I bring these rays down, it will calculate in a finer detail. You can change the Pixel Spacing. so how much ray is calculated per pixel, as well as the Pixel Spacing for the maximum value and basically the finer detail you have there, the finer calculations will be, the less blotchy it would be. But for most part, often the default settings will work well if you balance environmental lighting, Radiosity, with your normal lighting.

The other type other than Monte Carlo is a Final Gather and it is just a different algorithm and you can change that depending on, you are doing indoor or outdoor, and how your final render could look. I have found that the Monte Carlo works quite well for most things. So environmental lighting is a terrific way to add an enhancement to your scene without adding extra lights and calculating environmental lighting.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for LightWave 10 Essential Training
LightWave 10 Essential Training

83 video lessons · 5344 viewers

Dan Ablan
Author

 
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  1. 4m 22s
    1. Welcome
      49s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 30s
    3. Working with projects and setting the content directory
      2m 3s
  2. 46m 20s
    1. Understanding the LightWave 3D interfaces
      1m 50s
    2. Exploring the Hub
      1m 54s
    3. Understanding 3D space
      1m 13s
    4. Working in Modeler
      6m 49s
    5. Working in Layout
      4m 48s
    6. Selecting elements
      5m 31s
    7. Identifying the elements of a 3D model
      5m 26s
    8. Using the Numeric panel
      3m 10s
    9. Using layers
      8m 38s
    10. Using the Statistics panel
      2m 52s
    11. Working with menu and keyboard configurations
      4m 9s
  3. 22m 49s
    1. Working with geometric shapes
      4m 21s
    2. Using Extrude
      5m 11s
    3. Building with Bevel
      3m 47s
    4. Working with Polygon Bevel
      6m 4s
    5. Editing polygons
      3m 26s
  4. 34m 37s
    1. Understanding subdivisional surfaces in LightWave
      3m 20s
    2. Comparing Subpatch with Catmull-Clark subdivisions
      2m 18s
    3. Creating a basic model
      4m 27s
    4. Beveling with subdivisions
      3m 50s
    5. Adding detail to models
      6m 39s
    6. Deforming and shaping objects
      7m 13s
    7. Recapping subdivisions
      6m 50s
  5. 48m 42s
    1. Working with EPS files
      3m 24s
    2. Correcting EPS errors
      6m 13s
    3. Creating 3D text objects
      8m 1s
    4. Building objects with curves
      10m 6s
    5. Exploring Rail Clone methods and uses
      5m 13s
    6. Exploring Rail Extrude methods and uses
      2m 49s
    7. Modeling with Array
      4m 42s
    8. Using Symmetry
      8m 14s
  6. 56m 24s
    1. Understanding the Surface Editor
      10m 56s
    2. Comparing the Surface Editor and the Node Editor
      5m 12s
    3. Creating surfaces for polygons
      5m 11s
    4. Editing surfaces
      4m 39s
    5. Understanding the Texture Editor
      6m 22s
    6. Looking at image map textures
      4m 29s
    7. Using procedural texture options
      7m 40s
    8. Adding bump maps for realism
      4m 39s
    9. Enhancing surfaces with specularity and glossiness maps
      2m 43s
    10. Creating a reflective surface
      4m 33s
  7. 42m 2s
    1. Building 3D scenes
      1m 26s
    2. Importing, loading, and working with objects
      8m 29s
    3. Organizing a 3D scene
      8m 48s
    4. Working with different light types
      9m 25s
    5. Lighting a 3D scene
      6m 39s
    6. Employing environmental lighting
      7m 15s
  8. 22m 27s
    1. Understanding LightWave cameras
      8m 25s
    2. Setting up a camera in a scene
      7m 6s
    3. Placing multiple cameras
      3m 27s
    4. Animating cameras and camera elements
      3m 29s
  9. 38m 23s
    1. Understanding the Timeline
      3m 9s
    2. Adding and controlling keyframes
      6m 9s
    3. Fine-tuning keyframes in the Graph Editor
      8m 44s
    4. Using motion plug-ins to enhance keyframes
      5m 15s
    5. Animating textures
      7m 37s
    6. Enhancing scene animation with displacement maps
      7m 29s
  10. 36m 58s
    1. Introducing particles
      7m 29s
    2. Creating a particle animation
      7m 21s
    3. Working with Hypervoxels
      9m 6s
    4. Going a step beyond with particle animation
      8m 8s
    5. Replacing particles with items
      4m 54s
  11. 21m 58s
    1. Understanding dynamics in LightWave
      1m 27s
    2. Setting up a dynamic scene
      4m 21s
    3. Animating cloth
      2m 39s
    4. Building collisions
      6m 16s
    5. Creating a hard dynamic scene
      7m 15s
  12. 27m 30s
    1. Understanding bones
      3m 14s
    2. Understanding skelegons and when to use both skelegons and bones
      4m 4s
    3. Placing bones in an object
      6m 10s
    4. Fine-tuning bone placement and activating bones
      3m 51s
    5. Setting up Inverse Kinematics
      6m 37s
    6. Working with rigged characters
      3m 34s
  13. 21m 32s
    1. Understanding resolutions and rendering
      2m 21s
    2. Setting up a render project
      6m 50s
    3. Determining the proper anti-aliasing filter
      4m 24s
    4. Rendering to movie files vs. image sequences
      7m 57s
  14. 4m 8s
    1. Exporting an object
      2m 13s
    2. Exporting a full scene for backup
      1m 55s
  15. 1m 0s
    1. Final thoughts
      1m 0s

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