Join Henry Santos for an in-depth discussion in this video Environment lighting, part of MODO Essential Training.
- Let's take a closer look at environment lighting. The only difference with this and the previous movie is that this file does not have a light item in there. It's completely lit by the environment, though an environment light can be a light source from an image map or a gradient that is established by MODO. Let's take a look by what I mean with that. You'll notice here if we rotate around and we look up at our scene, a white wash out there and it grays out and down below, it's a darker gray.
So this gradient is set to a virtual environment, which is essentially kind of a sphere that is wrapping around this entire scene. And that environment map is casting the light. It's kind of like that dome light. It's a very even, washed out light, kind of like an overcast day. Let's take a look at where we can access that and change things around for our environment. So underneath the item list, we have our shading tab.
This provides a list of different shading materials, textures. We have lights. We also have environments. Open up that environments folder. We have access to another environment. You can have multiple environments, by the way. And this environment material, if you click on that, it provides all the information that we can modify. We can turn this on or off.
We can enable it or disable it. So now it's disabled, and we can also enable it or disable it by clicking on the eye in our shading list here. And as we looked up to the top of the scene, we noticed that it was white. So this zenith color represents the upper-most color in this gradient, and then the sky color, ground, and the nadir color. At the very bottom, that's the base ground color. So these are four color gradient.
If you click on the four color gradient word there, we have a list of things we can change. We can either make it constant, so that this is consistently white all around. I'm gonna hover over the preview window and show the different angles, so that you can see it is white. So this is like being in a dream or something. Or we can change it to physically-based daylight, that's the last item on that list. I'm going back to the environment-type list.
Now let's take a look at this. If I go to the view window, I see that it's blue sky, hazy horizon, and beige ground. So that is a physically-based daylight. There are no color settings for the different gradients. It's kind of an automatic thing. What we can do then is go to physically-based daylight. If we had a sun or a light source in our scene, we would be able to select it here as our sunlight.
Since there is no actual light source there, we just leave that. So the environment material is essentially a material that is shading our environment and casting the light and providing the light source. Let's look at another way we can add light sources by using images. A quick way we can do that is by going to our 3D view underneath the preview window. The next couple tabs over, you have render preset browser.
Go ahead and click on that. And we can select what we're seeing, so render preset browser. Let's go and look at a studio lighting set up. So if we double click on this three-point beige one represented with a beige light scheme, that's using the image map that's presented here as this spherically-mapped image that is casting light and providing a background to our scene.
Because it's using an image, we can use higher levels of images and get some really nice lighting set ups. What I like to use in this vast list of studio lighting set ups is, scroll down to the bottom, studio one. Double click on that. That now replaces that first lighting set up. And the great thing is that I can go through many different lighting schemes here, and it won't save the previous one.
It'll just replace it, so it makes the file stay efficient and you don't have to go and look for light panels and textures and all that stuff. So very quickly we can set up a lighting scheme here with a background, and use environments to set all of that up. So that was a quick overview of how environments can be used to light your scene.
- Building simple 3D models
- Working with primitive and preset objects
- Using deformation and duplication tools
- Subdivision (SubD) surface modeling
- Understanding replicators
- Creating a fusion model with MeshFusion
- Adding lights
- Shading with materials and UV mapping
- Painting and sculpting
- Animating your scene
- Rendering and exporting renders