Join George Maestri for an in-depth discussion in this video Using spot lamps, part of Blender Essential Training.
The Spot lamp is probably the next most popular lamp in Blender, and it allows you to confine light to a very specific beam of light. Think about it like a spotlight in the theater where it highlights a certain area. A flashlight or car headlight would be another good example of this type of light. Now we can add these in under the Add menu and go under Lamp > Spot. And when I bring it in, it brings in basically this lamp, and you can see that it has this cone of light that we can work with.
Now if I turn on Texturing in my camera viewport, I can see how this works. So if I move my light up, you will see how we get this kind of pool of light over the cup, and that's because we are confining the light to this cone. Now if I were to move this back and forth along the Y axis, you can see how this pool of light moves with the actual light. So as this cone moves off the cup, the light moves off as well.
But I can also rotate this into position here, and you can see now we have this light on the cup. Now when we go into our Light tab here--it looks like a little spot light-- you'll see that under this we have a lot of the same controls we had for the point light. We have Color, Specular, Diffuse. We also have Falloff. And I am going to go ahead and set my Falloff to Constant. We also have a number of different types of shadows. We actually have what's called a buffer shadow, which we will get to in a little bit, but I am going to turn on Ray Shadows.
Now let's just go ahead and do a quick render of this light. So the render shows that we actually have a cone of light that's illuminating our object. I am going to go ahead and size down this Shadow rollout, and you'll see we have an option here called Spot Shape. The first one is the size of the beam, so is this going to be narrow? In fact, let's just go ahead and see this in solid view here. Is this going to be narrow or is it going to be wide? So if I make it more narrow, if we render that here, we could actually render just part of that cup.
Okay, so I have got this really focused down. Or we can make it a little bit wider. We also have a Blend option, and this controls the sharpness of the edge. So if I bring this out so it's just above the cup here and turn this all the way to 0 and render, you'll see that this pool of light has a very, very hard edge. This Blend option allows you to change that from hard edge to soft edge, so if I bring it way up--you can see how we have this inner value here.
So if I bring this up to say 0.75, you see, when I render it, it goes from a very sharp to a very soft edge. So this is really just the softness of the edge of that cone. Now typically, the default is about 0.15, but we can make it whatever we want. We also have the option of making this a square instead of a circle. So if I were to render this as a square, you can see how this turns from a circular beam of light to a square beam of light.
Think of it as having barn doors on your light. We also have an option here called Show Cone, and this is actually kind of nice because it allows you to see exactly what the light is illuminating, and this is really just for visualization of where the light is falling. So if I would have to render this, it would render pretty much the same as we had here. But if we want to, we can turn on what's called a halo, and that's actually kind of a volumetric render effect.
So if I were to render this with a halo, you can see how you can actually see that beam of light. Now the actual intensity of this halo is controlled here. So if I dial it down, I get less of an effect, or more. So those are some of the basics of Spot lamps, a more controlled lamp that allow you to place light exactly where you want.
- Navigating in 3D space
- Selecting, rotating, and scaling objects
- Using Snap to move objects precisely
- Creating mesh primitives and extrusions
- Subdividing meshes
- Creating a simple creature
- Joining mesh objects and stitching vertices
- Organizing a scene with layers, groups, and hierarchies
- Assigning glossy and reflective materials to objects
- Creating bump maps
- Creating sky and ambient light
- Understanding ambient occlusion
- Adding motion blur and depth of field
- Editing animation in the Graph Editor
- Building and animating a simple character
Skill Level Beginner
Q: This course was updated on 8/12/2014. What changed?
A: We added a single movie on unwrapping objects, a technique that works differently in Blender 2.7. The rest of the instructions in the course work equally well with Blender 2.6 and Blender 2.7.
Q: This course was updated on 06/20/2017. What changed?
A: The following topic was updated: using the Node Editor.
1. The Blender Interface
2. Selecting and Translating Objects
4. Advanced Modeling
5. Staying Organized
6. Applying Materials
7. Adding Textures
8. Working with Light
9. Cameras and Rendering
10. Basic Animation
11. Character Rigging
12. Rendering in Cycles
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