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Although the tools we previously added to our Maya Rendering shelf give us access to the already stated three flavors of the V-Ray light -- that is, the dome light option, the rectangular option, and the spherical Light -- there is actually a fourth option available to us. What we're going to look at in this video is how we can turn geometry in our scenes into a direct light source; a direct light source that has all of the light controls available, in the other V-Ray light types. To do this, we just need to come to, first of all, our Layer Editor. Because we have a layer, we need to make certain it is visible.
That is this Cylinder_Mesh_Light, and if we just click on that, we see a piece of geometry appear in our scene. And if we just select that geometry, you can see, coming back to the Attribute Editor, that this is just a simple cylinder object. So we have it named; it is already set as Cylinder_Mesh_Light. We can see we have no light controls available. To turn the piece of geometry into, essentially, a V-Ray light, we just want to come up to the Create menu, come all the way down to this V-Ray section, and the option we want to choose is this Turn selection into light. So if we just left mouse click, make certain that our geometry is selected, and if we just come across, here you can see we now have this vrayLightMeshProperties node, and as you can see, here we have all of the controls that have been available that we've been working with for our other V-Ray light types.
To demonstrate to you that this is indeed a direct light source, we're just going to come up the Window menu; let's pull up over Outliner. We'll grab our key light, and disable that, and we'll take a render. Let's just middle mouse click to select our rendering camera, and we'll take a render, and you'll see what we have is a piece of geometry acting as a light source in the scene. And of course, all of the same options, all of the same features that are available on the other V-Ray light types will be available on this mesh light. In fact, let's just demonstrate to you. Let's just get rid off our Outliner, let's select our piece of geometry; grab our Move tool.
Let's pull it forward in the scene. In fact, let's grab our Scale tool, and show you that the same requirements regarding the size to intensity relationship still apply in terms of the V-Ray light. Let's just grab this, and we'll move it up a little bit in the scene. Let's take another render, and you very clearly see a completely different level of illumination is what we're now receiving. And of course, we can see the light source in the scene. All of those same controls regarding hiding lights, the invisible option; all will work with this V-Ray mesh light option.
Now here we, of course, have used a very simple piece of geometry, but you can imagine that with some really complicated pieces of geometry in the scene, that we could get some interesting lighting effects going for ourselves. Clearly, the V-Ray light is an extremely versatile and powerful light type, and I'm certain that this mesh light option is something that we'll be able to find lots and lots of uses for in our lighting setups.
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