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Building models in modo is one aspect; creating interesting surfaces in the Shader Tree is another aspect; but you often have to just create an entire 3D scene for all of it to come together. So in this video, I just want to show you what a 3D scene is comprised of. Let's just load up a simple object here, like a nice little man, and this little guy, his name is Tom, and Tom is there in his green suit. Well, in order to create a 3D scene, we need more than just an object. You also need a camera and you need some lights.
Well, the camera is there by default, and one light is there by default. You'll always find these in the Items tab. But you can't often see them here. So in order to, press the O key on your keyboard. And for Item Visibility, you can click Show Lights and Show Cameras. And then in the scene, you'll see that we've got a light, a camera, and essentially an actor. These are the elements that make up a scene. The environment in this scene is just this default gray. So if we get to our Render tab and in our Camera view, you can see that there's nothing behind him. And if we press F9 to render a single frame, that's pretty much what we get.
The default outputs that are in the Shader Tree are the Final Color Output and the Alpha Output. If I select the Alpha Output, that's what I get, and the reason I get that is because that background doesn't render, as far as geometry is concerned, meaning, it can't cast a shadow on it. You can't light it. It's just 3D space. If I want a shadow, I need some geometry. So I'm going to open up the Model tab, just like that, a little trick, hold the Shift key, and add a flat plane. And suddenly, when I put that geometry underneath our actor Tom, we can press the R key, and we can expand that, and suddenly he's casting a shadow.
When I press F9 again, well, now we get a nice shadow from that light onto a surface. If we look at the Final Color Output and the Alpha Output, now because there's geometry, that bottom portion is blocked. In this render frame that pops up, you can often go back and look at the previous render, too. modo saves that in a buffer. So without geometry underneath him, it's just him by himself, and this is fine if you're compositing this in Photoshop or After Effects or Motion or in other program. If, however, you're just doing a full render and you want that shadow rendered, make sure you have some geometry there.
If you have geometry, you can cast shadows and you can receive shadows. If there is no geometry there and it's just this blank space, you can't. So a 3D scene is comprised of these elements: objects, cameras, and lights. And that's it. You can do a lot more with it of course. So in this chapter, we're going to talk all about the different types of lighting, and what you can do with them, and how effective they can be to create a more dynamic scene.
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