Mike Rankin demonstrates how to create realistic composites of 3D objects and background images by applying lighting. Learn how to use both environment light and sunlight, as well as how to create lighting from a background image using the Match Image feature. He shows the pre-made lights in the Assets panel, and how to use the Properties panel to adjust light properties like rotation, height, intensity, and cloudiness.
- [Instructor] In this movie will continue building our project that we started in the last movie where we added a background image and three objects to our scene and we're off to a good start but in order to make our packages look their best we need to make some changes in the way that they're lit using both environment light and sunlight and we need to make use of the render preview panel to accurately show how our lighting will look in any rendered image. So, here in our exercise file you see the three pouches of Hansel and Petal plant fertilizer and I could use any of the pre-made lights that come with Dimension CC by clicking on lights in the assets panel and then clicking on the light that I want to try like two front panels, soft back light which is this one and here I get these strong highlights at the top left or maybe something like light arches, see? Which gives me big bright highlights at the top simulating strong overhead lighting.
And you can experiment with the various other lights and remember that you can always just use them as a starting point and then change them with the controls in the properties panel. In this case, I want to use the background image as my source of environment light so I'll click on Match Image in the Actions panel. I'll make sure that both environment light and match sunlight are turned on and click OK. Now to adjust the lighting, I'll make sure that I've deselected all objects, so the properties panel displays the properties of the environment instead of the properties of any selected object and I have two kinds of light that are being used right now to light my three pouches of plant food.
So I have environment light and sunlight and I'll close up the scene panel and the actions panel to bring those up a bit. You can see the effect of either kind of light by clicking its checkbox to toggle it off and on. So, for example, if I turn off sunlight you can see that the shadows disappeared and if I turn off environment light the objects are in complete darkness so they're totally black. If I turn sunlight back on they still look black because right now the rotation angle has the sun behind them and you can tell that by the way the shadows are cast and you can also tell the height of the sun is pretty low by the long length of the shadows here.
But watch what happens if I drag the slider to change the rotation angle. It's like the sun was moving across the sky so the lighting changes and now we can see the fronts of the pouches. At an angle of zero, the sun is right in front of the pouches and the shadows are behind so now they're hidden and we have this even lighting hitting the front surface of the pouches with some highlights and some subtle shadows which are created by the curves and wrinkles on the surface of the pouches. Now, for this image, I think I want the sun to be coming from the left to put the shadow on the right like we see in the pot in the background.
So, I'll set the rotation to -90 degrees. Intensity controls the brightness of sunlight so I'll drag that up to see that effect and back down to a value around 2. Changing the height value to something low makes it look like sunrise or sunset with warm highlights and really long shadows. Raising the height puts the sun higher up in the sky so the highlights become brighter and whiter and the shadows grow very short.
I'll leave that somewhere in the middle here. Increasing the cloudiness value will light in the shadows on the ground plane and it's important to remember that when you're dialing in specific values for these light settings you really should be looking at the renter preview panel. So, I'll click to open it. This preview is a much more accurate representation of what your rendered image will look like than the main canvas view. In this example, see how the shadows are much lighter in the render preview? And you can also get a preview of the rendered image at full size by expanding the render preview panel by clicking the full screen preview button.
At first, it will be very grainy but as the program makes several passes refining the image it gets clearer and closer to what the final image would look like. You can still adjust settings while the preview is in full screen mode, although you might find that the fan really cranks up on your computer to high speed at times as it renders this large image. So, to decrease the load on your computer click the button again to toggle to a small render preview or hide it all together. Next, I'm going to choose some lighting values to make the pouches look good to my eyes and you can feel free to tweak the values and make something that looks good to you.
In sunlight, I'll set the intensity to 1.1. I'll tab down twice to select cloudiness and set that to .25, tab twice to height and I'll set that to 50, and press Return or Enter. I'll also turn on environment light and the shadows on the ground plane might be just a little too dark for my taste at this point, so to lighten them I'll go to the ground plane settings and lower shadow opacity to 90.
I'll take another look at my render preview and that looks pretty good. Next I'd like to add some color to two of the pouches by changing the base color applied to the surfaces. So, again, I'll hide the render preview, select the pouch on the left and I'll go to the scene panel, locate this pouch and click on bag material and then click on base color and use the color picker to choose a new color for this pouch surface.
I'll use the HSL color mode and enter in some values. I'll make the hue 95 with 75 saturation and 85 lightness and press Return or Enter to dismiss that dialog and I'll select the pouch on the right, target its bag material, click on base color and again use the color picker and this time I'll make a pink bag by entering values of 320, 71 and 85 and again pressing Return or Enter.
Again, I'll take a peek at the render preview and those look good to me, so I'll hide it. And now what's so cool about working in Dimension CC is that once we've set up all the lights we can still make adjustments to the 3D objects. For example, if I want to rotate all three pouches I can take the select and rotate tool and click and then shift click to select all three items and then click and drag the rotation widget to rotate them on the ground plane and notice as I rotate them the objects even cast shadows on each other.
I might also want to tweak the arrangement of the pouches, so I'll take the select and move tool and move them all forward a little bit. So, in this movie, we looked at the use of lighting in Adobe Dimension CC. We saw how to work with both environment light and sunlight to create different effects and light your 3D objects exactly the way that you want to.