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Direct lighting

From: Lighting and Rendering with mental ray in Maya

Video: Direct lighting

This movie is going to review some fundamental concepts when working with CG lights in mental ray. There are two main types of light. We have direct lighting and indirect lighting. What direct lighting means is it's light that comes from a light source: rays of light coming from the sun, or a flashlight, or light in a room. Direct lights cast shadows when they encounter objects in the scene. Indirect lighting is the type of lighting that is caused when a ray of light from a direct light bounces off a surface and starts to encounter other surfaces in a room.

Direct lighting

This movie is going to review some fundamental concepts when working with CG lights in mental ray. There are two main types of light. We have direct lighting and indirect lighting. What direct lighting means is it's light that comes from a light source: rays of light coming from the sun, or a flashlight, or light in a room. Direct lights cast shadows when they encounter objects in the scene. Indirect lighting is the type of lighting that is caused when a ray of light from a direct light bounces off a surface and starts to encounter other surfaces in a room.

It's a type of ambient light. So I want to talk about direct lighting in this movie, and show you how some different types of direct lighting can be simulated. So I have a room model here, and this room was created by my brother Travis Keller for his design company, Silver Hammer Design and Construction. So he actually uses this to show off designs to clients. This is a room that he created. First, I want to show - I have a direct flight here, and this light is going to simulate a light source from outside of the room, and it's going to have shadows turned on for it.

You can see that the light is in the center of the room here, but if I do a render, you'll see that the light source comes from outside the room, and it's coming through the windows, and the shadows cast in the scene are created by the window frames. So if you remember, the only thing that affects the directional light is the rotation, not the position. So even though that this light source is in the center of the room, since it has shadows coming on, it's still coming from outside the room, and it's casting these shadows, and this is the affect that we see.

So here is an example of a direct light source from outside the room, maybe this is moonlighting or something like that. So I am going to store this image and close this. I am going to hide this light, and I have two point lights in here. These are candle lights. I'll show these by selecting them in the Outliner and doing Shift+H. And if I zoom in here, you can see that they are positioned above the candles, and again, they have shadows turned on. So I'll do a quick render. Then we can see that they're coming from a particular light source above the candle.

Now these lights are currently not visible in the scene. It's just the effect of the light that you are seeing. So it's casting shadows in all directions. If I store this image and compare it with the directional light, you can see the way this shadows are cast are affected by the light type. So the directional light, we have shadows that are cast, coming in through the windows, and they are very straight, because all the light beams of the directional light are parallel, whereas with the point light, you can see that the shadows are casts from a point, and they are going in all directions, so you can see how the back of the chair, its shadow sort of distorted this way, because the light beams are coming out in all directions.

So I am going to hide this, and I am going to show spotlight. In this case the spotlight is positioned here right in front of the picture, and I will do a quick render here, and we can see this kind of looks like a flashlight. It's casting lights, and the shadows are being distorted in this direction, so this another example of direct lighting. I am going to store that; you can compare it with a point light. You see how the different shapes of the shadows that are being cast is determined by the shape of the light itself.

Directional light, point light and spotlight. I'll store this and Ctrl+H to hide this light to turn it off; Shift+H to turn on the area light. If I go out of the room here, I can see that the area light is positioned above the room. It also has shadows turned on, and so it's coming through the skylights here in the ceiling, and if I do a render, we'll get an idea of how the shape of the light and shadows look as they are being cast from outside the room. In this light, in this case coming through the skylights, it does a good job of sort of simulating lighting coming from an overcast day, and this functions as a type of direct lighting, diffused lighting coming in.

So we can see how the area light affects the lighting in the room. It's casting shadows, it has a position in 3D space, it's coming through these Windows, and so this is another example of direct lighting. Direct lighting has a light source, and it creates cast shadows. Those are the most important concepts to understand when you're dealing with direct lighting. So when you're coming up with a lighting scenario for a scene, the first thing you want to think about is what type of lighting am I creating, what is the light source, what kind of shadows does it create, and how can I simulate those shadows using the different light types?

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Image for Lighting and Rendering with mental ray in Maya
Lighting and Rendering with mental ray in Maya

59 video lessons · 7945 viewers

Eric Keller
Author

 
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  1. 3m 46s
    1. Welcome
      1m 32s
    2. Using the exercise files
      2m 14s
  2. 19m 8s
    1. What is a CG light?
      1m 22s
    2. Types of CG lights
      10m 55s
    3. Direct lighting
      4m 48s
    4. Indirect lighting
      2m 3s
  3. 53m 20s
    1. Decay rate
      6m 30s
    2. Previewing lighting and shadows
      2m 37s
    3. Creating depth map shadows
      1m 57s
    4. Troubleshooting depth map shadows
      2m 38s
    5. Shadow map overrides
      5m 30s
    6. Using the shadow map camera
      5m 31s
    7. Saving and reusing shadow maps
      2m 48s
    8. Creating raytraced shadows
      1m 56s
    9. Adding softness to raytraced shadows
      3m 42s
    10. Creating area light shadows
      5m 11s
    11. Sample: mental ray area light
      4m 23s
    12. Setting area light visibility
      8m 7s
    13. Creating soft shadows with spot lights
      2m 30s
  4. 43m 35s
    1. Setting global illumination for interiors
      2m 33s
    2. Tuning global illumination
      5m 56s
    3. Global illumination photons
      1m 12s
    4. Activating caustic light effects
      3m 28s
    5. Tuning caustic settings
      3m 35s
    6. Setting caustic light effects on metal
      2m 35s
    7. Using final gathering for indirect lighting
      2m 9s
    8. Tuning final gathering
      4m 2s
    9. Reusing final gathering maps
      3m 21s
    10. Adding light with shaders
      5m 27s
    11. Creating final gathering maps for animation
      4m 26s
    12. Combining final gathering with global illumination
      4m 51s
  5. 1h 2m
    1. Activating the Physical Sun and Sky network
      2m 33s
    2. Tuning the Physical Sun and Sky settings
      7m 18s
    3. Applying physical light shaders
      8m 54s
    4. Applying image-based lighting
      8m 57s
    5. Tone mapping
      6m 23s
    6. Applying portal light shaders
      7m 45s
    7. Creating light beams with participating media
      10m 9s
    8. Adding depth of field with the Bokeh lens shader
      10m 39s
  6. 48m 21s
    1. Introducing render layers
      6m 13s
    2. Creating render layers
      4m 28s
    3. Splitting a scene into render layers
      15m 36s
    4. Applying render layer presets
      7m 47s
    5. Setting render layer overrides
      7m 7s
    6. Creating render layer composites
      3m 52s
    7. Organizing renders with tokens
      3m 18s
  7. 42m 24s
    1. Introducing render passes
      2m 56s
    2. Comparing render passes and render layers
      6m 44s
    3. Editing render passes
      10m 41s
    4. Using appropriate materials
      5m 51s
    5. Batch-rendering passes
      5m 56s
    6. Compositing in After Effects
      6m 41s
    7. Rendering the EXR image format
      3m 35s
  8. 23m 3s
    1. Anti-Aliasing Quality
      6m 44s
    2. Setting color profiles
      2m 53s
    3. Diagnosing raytracing
      5m 7s
    4. Adjusting motion blur
      6m 57s
    5. Finding mental ray help
      1m 22s
  9. 21s
    1. Goodbye
      21s

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