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Reflecting light

From: MODO 501 Essential Training

Video: Reflecting light

In this previous scene, we set up a three-point lighting set up with a directional light, an area light for a little bit of a backlight, and then another area light for a little bit of fill; but there is something you can do in modo using Global Illumination which I really like, and that's setting up reflective light. So what I'm going to do is delete this Fill light altogether; just right-click on it hit Delete. Let's turn off--this is Directional Light; we won't actually remove it just yet. And that's where we're left with, just that one backlight. Well, what we can do is create a flat plane and reflect that into the object.

Reflecting light

In this previous scene, we set up a three-point lighting set up with a directional light, an area light for a little bit of a backlight, and then another area light for a little bit of fill; but there is something you can do in modo using Global Illumination which I really like, and that's setting up reflective light. So what I'm going to do is delete this Fill light altogether; just right-click on it hit Delete. Let's turn off--this is Directional Light; we won't actually remove it just yet. And that's where we're left with, just that one backlight. Well, what we can do is create a flat plane and reflect that into the object.

I'll hold the Shift key, and I'll click the Plane icon--adds a flat plane to the item list--and we'll click on that and name this Lightbox. And now I'm going to press the Y key for my Transform tool, I'm going to move it up, and I'm going to rotate it down. Remember, polygons are one-sided, so you have only seen the back side. That's why you're scene through it. I am going to put it off to the side here, just out of camera range, and I'll work it around so you can see what this is. It's just a white panel. That's all it is.

So if you've ever worked in a studio, you get a big soft box-- that's what we're creating. Why would we do that instead of an area light? On the books it doesn't necessarily matter, but let's say we have something like a bottle. And I'm just going to click this plastic bottle to add it to the scene, and then we'll go back to Model. And notice that that purple now is actually affecting the scene too from the bottle itself. Turn off the books for a moment, and then let's take this bottle-- I'll press the Y command--and I'm going to move this over. And I'm going to press the R key for scale and make this a little bit bigger, just so we don't have to worry about moving it around too much out of our light source.

Now we can still put our books in and use them if we want. So I'll click the eyeball to turn those back on and with a book selected, I'm going to press Y again, and we're just going to move those back, and let's give them a little bit of an angle. We'll just kind of set up a little scene here, just move these objects. And notice I'm not moving anything on the Y axis because I want these to all sit on the ground. The last thing is I'll take the camera and Shift+A to fit it to view, and with the Y command selected, I'll just click and rotate it up a bit.

What I'm doing now is setting up this lightbox to reflect. So not only will it act as a light source; it will act as a reflection source-- because normally a light doesn't actually show up on the object. You might get a hotspot from the light source, but you cannot reflect the light itself, and that's what this lightbox will allow us to do. So first let's set a material for it by pressing M, making sure that the Lightbox is selected in the Items list, call this Lightbox. And notice as soon as I do that, the scene changes a little bit.

We'll hit the Shader tree, open up the Lightbox Material > Material Reference, and I'm going to make this just a nice bright white, but then I want it to be luminous, meaning it's self-bright. And the way I'm going to do that is with the Transmissive category, so you go to Material Trans--and we'll close up these panels so you can see everything--and down at the bottom is Luminosity. And I'm just going to click this up just a little bit, so we can get a very bright white surface. I don't even need that much. And look what happens. See how white it becomes? But look what happens in your scene.

Not only does it act as a light source; it creates a beautiful reflection in that bottle. Let's bring up the Intensity a little bit more, probably to about 2 or so. And why does it work this way? Well, don't forget, if you go to Render and you go to Global Illumination, that the Indirect Illumination is turned on. If that's not turned on, you will still get your reflection, but that light itself, the Lightbox, is not actually lighting the scene. And because it's self- bright, it's actually casting a light into the scene. So let's press F9, do a Frame Render, and you'll see how this reflective light looks.

I've seen people light entire scenes this way. Typically I don't really like to use Indirect Illumination as an entire light source, because in the real world it doesn't work like that. Generally, you have some sort of light, whether it's a desk lamp, a computer screen, sunlight coming through a window, and then that light bounces around. That bouncing light is your indirect illumination. So just kind of keep that in mind; use it as a fill. Now this render will take a lot longer, as you can see, simply because it's calculating all this new data. At the same time, it just creates such a pretty render you kind of have to go with it.

And if you're not animating the scene and you're doing just a high-res still that you're going to put in an ad, or you're going to put it in Photoshop, or something like that, it's not a big deal to take time and let it render. You can see how just putting this lightbox into the scene not only adds light, but it also creates a beautiful reflection, and it's a really terrific way to work. The indirect illumination is what really creates all of this for us, but we still have our area light mixed in with it, which is creating this nice soft highlight on the top, a little bit of a shadow back here, a little bit of brightness back here to help pull the object off the backdrop.

So consider using lightboxes and indirect illumination, as well as traditional lights, to create any kind of scene you want.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for MODO 501 Essential Training
MODO 501 Essential Training

80 video lessons · 4569 viewers

Dan Ablan
Author

 
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  1. 2m 21s
    1. Welcome
      55s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 26s
  2. 42m 37s
    1. Understanding the interface
      4m 30s
    2. Understanding the workplane
      5m 7s
    3. Understanding Action Centers
      4m 12s
    4. Working with the modeling tools
      5m 10s
    5. Understanding surfaces
      7m 12s
    6. Selecting elements
      7m 33s
    7. Understanding the elements of a 3D model
      4m 3s
    8. Understanding symmetry
      4m 50s
  3. 1h 2m
    1. Building a model
      8m 56s
    2. Editing geometry
      10m 39s
    3. Controlling geometry
      10m 31s
    4. Bending geometry
      6m 42s
    5. Adding detail with edges
      5m 37s
    6. Editing polygons
      10m 27s
    7. Extending polygons
      9m 34s
  4. 42m 53s
    1. Understanding subdivisions
      3m 49s
    2. Understanding Pixar-based subdivisions
      2m 48s
    3. Creating a basic model
      7m 51s
    4. Beveling with subdivisions
      6m 6s
    5. Adding detail to models
      8m 54s
    6. Deforming and shaping objects
      7m 48s
    7. Cloning
      5m 37s
  5. 49m 32s
    1. Creating with Radial Sweep
      4m 44s
    2. Working with text
      8m 40s
    3. Understanding replicators
      7m 22s
    4. Instancing objects
      7m 0s
    5. Working with Curve Clone
      4m 36s
    6. Working with Curve Extrude
      2m 25s
    7. Modeling with Array
      8m 50s
    8. Understanding Mesh Paint
      5m 55s
  6. 1h 4m
    1. Introducing the Shader Tree
      4m 32s
    2. Exploring layer-based shading
      4m 29s
    3. Creating surfaces for polygons
      7m 41s
    4. Editing surfaces
      7m 4s
    5. Applying procedural textures
      7m 38s
    6. Applying image-mapped textures
      6m 2s
    7. Working with transparent images
      5m 48s
    8. Adding bump maps for realism
      8m 49s
    9. Enhancing surfaces with specularity and glossiness maps
      3m 25s
    10. Creating a reflective surface
      3m 27s
    11. Working in glass
      5m 28s
  7. 39m 9s
    1. Building 3D scenes
      2m 49s
    2. Working with different light types
      8m 26s
    3. Lighting a 3D scene
      12m 51s
    4. Reflecting light
      5m 23s
    5. Lighting environments for realism
      4m 18s
    6. Blending light sources
      5m 22s
  8. 21m 1s
    1. Understanding the MODO 501 camera
      5m 39s
    2. Setting up a camera
      5m 42s
    3. Placing multiple cameras
      7m 11s
    4. Animating cameras
      2m 29s
  9. 29m 58s
    1. Understanding the timeline
      7m 16s
    2. Adding and controlling keyframes
      3m 22s
    3. Fine-tuning keyframes in the Graph Editor
      6m 17s
    4. Animating nontraditional elements
      4m 31s
    5. Animating colors
      4m 39s
    6. Animating displacement maps
      3m 53s
  10. 13m 57s
    1. Working with Hair Guides
      3m 18s
    2. Creating human hair
      4m 7s
    3. Creating the hair's surface
      1m 30s
    4. Generating animal hair
      1m 48s
    5. Building enhanced hair textures
      3m 14s
  11. 26m 21s
    1. Working with the painting tools
      6m 14s
    2. Painting on multiple layers
      9m 37s
    3. Sculpting models
      5m 45s
    4. Tweaking and finishing with the sculpting tools
      4m 45s
  12. 25m 56s
    1. Working with the Schematic interface
      1m 20s
    2. Understanding channels
      4m 9s
    3. Building a channel-based animation
      5m 51s
    4. Creating a schematic network
      6m 26s
    5. Setting up inverse kinematics
      4m 29s
    6. Adding the finishing touches on schematic rigs
      3m 41s
  13. 26m 47s
    1. Understanding resolutions and rendering
      12m 43s
    2. Setting up a render project
      4m 51s
    3. Rendering to movie files vs. image sequences
      9m 13s
  14. 3m 23s
    1. Exporting an object
      1m 2s
    2. Exporting a full scene for backup
      2m 21s
  15. 2m 2s
    1. Next steps
      2m 2s

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