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The V-Ray dome light offers a tremendous amount of flexibility and quality when it comes to creating a global skylight, or even daylight effect in our renders. Again, to create it, we can just come up to our Maya Rendering shelf. We have the icon; we just left mouse click on it, and as you can see, appearing in our view port, we have a V-Ray dome light gizmo. A couple of things just to be aware of; with regard to actual translation information -- so if we just select the Move tool -- any translation we make with regard to our gizmo, our icon in the scene will not affect our lighting solution.
We can place this icon anywhere we want, and the lighting solution that we get will always be the same. However, the same is not true with regard to orientation information. If we rotate around our V-Ray dome light's vertical axes, so in this fashion, then really, no effect will be made on our lighting. We can do that, and everything will be just as it was before we rotated the gizmo. Even if we have a high dynamic range image attached to it, it won't make any difference. However, rotating around the other two axes will change the lighting solutions, so if we rotate around those, we're going to have to be aware that what we get in terms of lighting will be different from our pre-rotation lighting setup.
Now, of course, as the V-Ray dome light is really just variant of the already examined V-Ray lights -- the ones we've looked out, such as the rectangular and spherical light options -- we can see, if we come into our Attribute Editor, and if we just come down the options, you can see that we get pretty much all of the same options available to us. However, there are a couple of notable differences. For instance, we've this Dome Tex option. Again, this is where we would map a high dynamic range image to our V-Ray dome light. We would, of course, have to make certain that we have checked our Use dome tex option.
The brilliant thing about the V-Ray dome light, when we add high dynamic range images in there, is that we do get important sampling as a part of the system. So V-Ray very efficiently uses the samples available to create a high quality lighting solution for us. We do also get a 180 degrees of direct light from our V-Ray dome light. So with it set up in the scene, let's just take a render, and you can see, what we instantly get is a high quality sky lighting effect. Well, maybe there is a little bit of work we would need to do with the noise in the scene.
Again, that is very easy to do. We can work with our Image sampler controls, or we could just work with our Subdivs parameter, so let's raise that to a value of 16, and take a second render. What you can instantly see in the scene is that we do get very, very good contact shadow information. That, of course, is in contrast to the way our environment skylight options were working. So the V-Ray dome light offers a very quick and easy way to create an almost global illumination lighting effect. Now, we do have to remember that GI is not enabled here. In fact, let's go and pull up our Render Settings window, go into the Indirect Illumination tab, you can see none of those systems are turned on, and yet we get an almost complete lighting solution.
Of course, we don't any bounce light on the side of these pieces of geometry, so we just need to be aware that we've not got any bounce light taking place in the scene, but as you can see, still a very, very complete lighting solution. So, whilst we do have a number of options available when it comes to creating a skylight effect in our V-Ray renders, the one I would recommend is the V-Ray dome light. It gives us a number of extremely important options, such as direct light, which means we can create caustic effects with our dome light, if we want to. It gives us important sampling when we're working with high dynamic range images.
Generally speaking, all around, it is a techniqually superior skylight choice, above and beyond our other environment skylight options.
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