Join Brian Bradley for an in-depth discussion in this video Adding a spherical fill light, part of V-Ray 2.0 for 3ds Max Essential Training.
So up to this point in our scene, we have been working with a single V-Ray plane light. We've looked at one or two of its basic options and controls. Of course, we need to add some fill light onto our character. We need to make certain that the other side of the face is receiving illumination. We also need to learn how to create V-Ray lights in the scene. That's going to be something important, and there are few other options on the VRayLight that we want to look at, such as its intensity output, and how we would work with color options on the light. So let's go and create a new light for ourselves.
We are going to create fill light, so let's go to the Create tab. And we want to select the VRayLight. Now, of course, we could just simply left-click and drag in the viewport. That would create a V-Ray plane light for us, and then we could change it to spherical after the fact, because we are going to want to work with this Sphere light here--just so we get a nice throw of light-- which is a good thing to get from our field. But what we can do is just come and set the Sphere option initially. And if I just Alt+W to get a full view, and if I just middle mouse pan and then zoom in, we are just going to place our light roughly around about out here.
We don't want it quite as close as our fill light. We want to drop down its intensity level a little bit. And, of course, we want it around this side of our character's face because that's really where we want the fill light to be working for us. And if we just left-mouse click in the viewport and drag, we create the light and set its initial radius with that single operation. So I am just going to set that and then release my left mouse button, right-click to end creation. Now we can come across to the Modifier tab and just make a few tweaks to its settings. So the first thing I am just going to want to change is its size. So I am just going to set a Radius value here of about 2.5.
Now by default, the VRayLight size will affect its intensity, its output in the scene. So we are not just setting the size so that it is non-intrusive in the scene, in terms of its icon size, we are actually affecting the intensity of its output here. So that's something that we need to be aware of. Of course, we haven't correctly positioned our light in the scene, so let's select the Move tool. We just want to come to our front viewport. I am just going to middle-mouse wheel zoom out, and we are just going to pull this light up a little bit. And I'm just going to roughly position its level with the top of our podium here.
This just means that our sphere of light will just throw some light upwards, just give it some interesting shadow play on our character. Now I am just going to position it in-between these two up-rights. It just gives us a nice central point from which to work. And then if we want to make any tweaks and changes, we can move our light accordingly. Now at this point in time, if we were to take a Render, we would find that really all we were doing was getting some confusing information back for ourselves because, of course, our key light is still enabled in the scene. So before we take a render we are going to want to come up to Tools menu and open up our V-Ray Light Lister. And let's just turn off the key light for ourselves and take a render, so that we can clearly see just exactly what our fill light is contributing to the scene.
So, of course, if I just right-mouse click and select the rendering camera--and we want to pull our RAM player back up with that current setup. And this is the resulting render we would get. Now as you can see, the character's face is illuminated, rather nice. We've got some nice fill light in there. It's not overpowering, so it's not going to compete with our key light, but it's enough so that we can see the character's features. The problem is, we are also lighting our environment. This light would be added to our key light's illumination, which may not be desirable. We are also getting a second shadow over here--or would be a second shadow if we still have our key light turned on. And oftentimes, conflicting shadow information in a scene is not a desirable end result.
It's often very confusing to the viewer. Typically we only want our key light to be a shadow-casting light source. Now, of course, we could turn off shadows. We could disable them for our fill light. The problem with that particular option--and if we just show you where that is--you see in the Options section, we can turn off Cast shadows. The problem is our VRayLight then would be casting light on the far side of our character's hair, and we would get some very odd results from that. Rather than take that drastic step, what we can do is use some 3ds Max functionality that is still available on our VRayLight types, and that is to use the Exclude/Include dialog. So if we just click the Exclude button, we get the dialog popping up for ourselves.
We just want to select the geometry that we want to affect in this instance with our light. So I am going to select the eyes, hair, and head, and I am just holding down the Ctrl key to multiple select this. So you can see if we just click once, we only get a single selection. If I just hold Ctrl, I can add it to that selection. We want to pass these over to the right-hand side, because this determines which pieces of geometry are affected. In this case we want to include them and not exclude them, and we want to have both Illumination and Shadow Casting set. Now, if we click OK and examine the Render that would result from that, you can see we have isolated our character's face.
Our fill light is doing the job that we need it to do. We are getting some interesting shadow play here, but we're not affecting the rest of our environment. Now to finish off our exercise here, we just want to do a little bit of tweaking to the color of our VRayLight. I want to show you how you can work with color options on the different light types. And, again, I am just going pull up our V-Ray Light Lister so we can first of all enable our key light, and I just want to select that. And we are going to come to this section here where we can literally choose the mode that we were with in terms of how our V-Ray lights will produce color information.
We could work with just a straight- forward color swatch. That is absolutely fine, We can definitely do that. If we want to work, however, in terms of real-world lighting values, if we want to match our V-Ray lights to any kind of real-world light source, we can indeed set this Mode option to Temperature and just work with the Kelvin temperature scale. This is something I found myself doing an awful lot as we, oftentimes, will be working with physical light sources, or mimicking physical light sources. So I am pretty familiar with working with the Temperature scale. To make our key light a little bit warmer, I am just going drop down the values here to around about 4750. That will just warm the light source up.
As you can see, that is reflected in the color swatch. I am going to come across and select our fill light. We can close our Light Lister now. And, again, come to the Mode dropdown, set temperature. And for our fill light I am just going to set a little bit of a cooler color temperature. Oftentimes, when you are looking at natural lighting scenarios, you will find warm and cool colors combining to give you an overall lighting effect. In this instance, I am just going to set my fill light to a value of 7500. And, again, if we look at the resulting Render, this is what we'll get to see, with lots of warm light on this side of our character's face coming from the key light, whereas the fill is just providing some blue lighting in there and some cooler lighting and giving us some interesting shadow effects in terms of the eye section here.
Now, of course, it's not only color information that we are interested in, in terms of our V-Ray lights. We also want to work with the Intensity values now by default, and that is the name of the default option. We are working with a straight color and multiplier control. In other words, we are not working with any real-world lighting units. In its default mode, as we've said, the size of the VRayLight will affect its output. A bigger light source will give more illumination. Of course, the inverse is true, smaller light source will mean we are getting much less illumination.
We will not stop to working with the default option. Now, if we just open the dropdown, you can see there are a number of options available to us. We could work with the Luminous power option, which gives us the total emitted visible light power as measured in lumens. If we select this option, the size of the light in the scene doesn't affect its intensity. We just are working with a fixed light value there, a fixed light intensity. We can also work with the next option, which is Luminance. This is an output measured in lumens per square meter per steradian.
When this setting is used, we do get a relationship between the size of the light and its intensity. Again, remember bigger light means more illumination in the scene. The Radiant power option is an interesting one. This value gives us the total emitted visible light power measured in watts, naturally enough, but we need to keep in mind that this is not the same value as the electrical power consumed. So for instance, a typical 100-Watt lightbulb only emits between 2 to 3 watts of visible light. So if we wanted our VRayLight source to function in that manner, we should want it to mimic a 100-Watt lightbulb, we would set--Radiant power is the option--we would set a value of 2 or 3 in this Multiplier option, not 100.
Again, this is another fixed value, so there is no relationship between the light size and its intensity output. The final option in our Units list is that of Radiance. This is a value measured in Watts per square meter per steradian. And, again, this is an option where our light size will affect the intensity of its output. So as you have perhaps gathered, the VRayLight has been designed to behave in many ways just like a real-world light source. It can behave in a very physical manner. We can use the Kelvin temperature scale.
We can use real-world lighting units, or we can configure the VRayLight to work in a much more computer graphics manner, in the sense that we can pretty much do anything we want with it. So having used the Plane and Sphere options of the VRayLight's operating modes, let's move on to our next video and have a look at how we can set actual geometry in the scene to function as a direct light source, using--this time--the VRayLight's Mesh option.
- Installing and setting up V-Ray
- Using the DMC Sampler
- Understanding color mapping modes
- Adding a spherical fill light
- Working with the V-Ray Dome Light
- Using irradiance mapping and Light cache
- Creating diffuse color
- Making reflective materials
- Creating translucency
- Ensuring quality with image sampling
- Controlling the V-Ray physical camera
- Creating a motion blur effect
- Compositing V-Ray elements