Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member

Setting area light visibility

From: Lighting and Rendering with mental ray in Maya

Video: Setting area light visibility

Area lights have the interesting property that sets them apart from other types of lights, in that they can actually be made visible in the scene. So you can actually see the light itself. So, I'm going to create an area light to demonstrate this principle. I'm going to click on the Area Light icon, and here it is in the outliner. So, I'll pull this up and scale it up a bit. So, a few things I want to do is I want to set the Decay Rate to Linear.

Setting area light visibility

Area lights have the interesting property that sets them apart from other types of lights, in that they can actually be made visible in the scene. So you can actually see the light itself. So, I'm going to create an area light to demonstrate this principle. I'm going to click on the Area Light icon, and here it is in the outliner. So, I'll pull this up and scale it up a bit. So, a few things I want to do is I want to set the Decay Rate to Linear.

I'm going to set this to 8, so it's nice, and we have a decent intensity there. I want to turn on Ray Trace Shadows. Then in the mental ray Area Light section, I'm going to do Use Light Shape. So, I'm going to rotate this around so that it's facing the painting here on the wall.

Let's see how this looks when we render it. So, here we can see some of the effect coming out of that rectangular shape of the Area Light, and it's shining this way. So, I'm actually going to increase that Intensity, maybe even double it, and do another render. Now we're getting something a little bit brighter. So, now if I actually want to see this light in the room, I can scroll down to the Use Light Shape settings, and I can turn on Visible, so now when I do a render, we'll actually see the rectangular shape of the light.

There it is, this gray area right here. As I increase the intensity, I'm going to bring this up to - double it again, and just render this region, and start to see that it becomes brighter along with the light itself. Now, where this gets actually interesting is I can actually change the shape of the light. So, in other words, I have several choices here. I can set this to a spherical shape.

Now we can see how this light looks as a sphere. I might shrink this down a little bit, and create another render. You're going to see a couple of different things. For one thing, now the light is actually being cast from within a spherical volume. So, unlike a point light, which casts a light from an infinitely small point in space, we get light cast in all directions, but from within the spherical volume. That means that the shadows are nice and soft, just like we would expect with an area light, but it's also going in all directions.

There is also a Shape Intensity here. So, if I want to make the brightness of this shape more intense but not affect the intensity of the light that it creates, I can pump this. I'll try a setting of 2. I'm just going to render this region right here. We shouldn't see any change in the light cast on the walls, but you can see how the intensity is a little bit higher. So, as an experiment, I can try setting this to Cylinder.

I'm going to make this a bit more intense, maybe set it up to 4, and scale it down, and scale the shape this way, and move this over to match the position of the light fixture, near the light fixture of the painting. So, I'll scale this down a little bit, and actually place it here.

So now, it's actually going to act as part of this light fixture. The only thing I don't want is I don't want the geometry from inside the light to actually cast shadows or affect the light, maybe just the light casing.

So what I can do is I can select this and just hide it, because we're not going to see that anyway. So, now we can just have this acting as a light bulb from within the light fixture. So, let's do a test render and see how that looks from an angle like this where we can actually see the light in there. Obviously, the light is fairly grainy, because this is an area light. So, I'm going to have to increase the samples on the light itself to get rid of some of that graininess. But as a test render, we can see how this is starting to behave.

But now we can actually see the light inside the fixture itself, without having to create any extra geometry or shaders. So, in some instances, this can be very helpful for creating realistic lighting. Another way I could use this is I could create an area light and set its shape to spherical and place it inside each one of these globes.

I'll just do one here as an example. Once you create the light and establish its settings, of course, you can just duplicate it, and move it around, so that it appears within here. So, I have this turned on here. I'm going to set the Intensity up to 16, and the Decay to Linear, and turn on Ray Trace Shadows.

Now that I have this in here, I'm going to turn on Visible. Let's hide this other area light, the one for the painting, so we can just see this one. We'll start to see how this casts light in the scene. You can see that shadows are being created by the chandelier fixture, shedding light in all directions. So you can see the shadows of the chairs, the candlesticks on the table. Once again, I can reduce the graininess just by increasing the high Sample Limit.

We'll start to see less grainy appearance there. Of course, I've got something funky going on here. I'm going to increase the Shape Intensity. Let's set this up to 8, and see if that improves the look of the light. It looks like an actual light bulb is inside the globe there.

If you were using another type of light, such as a point light, or something like that, a type of light that doesn't have this visibility feature, what you'd have to do is you'd have to find a way, using geometry or a shader applied to geometry, to sort of simulate this light bulb effect being visible within the light fixture. That's certainly fine; there are definitely reasons for doing that. But this is a nice option that gives you another alternative for creating different lighting effects.

Show transcript

This video is part of

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

59 video lessons · 7946 viewers

Eric Keller
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  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

Start learning today

Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.

Become a member
Sometimes @lynda teaches me how to use a program and sometimes Lynda.com changes my life forever. @JosefShutter
@lynda lynda.com is an absolute life saver when it comes to learning todays software. Definitely recommend it! #higherlearning @Michael_Caraway
@lynda The best thing online! Your database of courses is great! To the mark and very helpful. Thanks! @ru22more
Got to create something yesterday I never thought I could do. #thanks @lynda @Ngventurella
I really do love @lynda as a learning platform. Never stop learning and developing, it’s probably our greatest gift as a species! @soundslikedavid
@lynda just subscribed to lynda.com all I can say its brilliant join now trust me @ButchSamurai
@lynda is an awesome resource. The membership is priceless if you take advantage of it. @diabetic_techie
One of the best decision I made this year. Buy a 1yr subscription to @lynda @cybercaptive
guys lynda.com (@lynda) is the best. So far I’ve learned Java, principles of OO programming, and now learning about MS project @lucasmitchell
Signed back up to @lynda dot com. I’ve missed it!! Proper geeking out right now! #timetolearn #geek @JayGodbold
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ.

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Join now "Already a member? Log in

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed Lighting and Rendering with mental ray in Maya.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member?

Become a member to like this course.

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses.

Get started

Already a member?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferencesfrom the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Are you sure you want to delete this note?

No

Your file was successfully uploaded.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.