Join Dave Schultze for an in-depth discussion in this video Understanding lighting types and why you only need one, part of Rhino and V-Ray: Rendering.
This next video, I'll do a quick summary for each kind of lighting. Since VRAY is so well integrated with RHINO, we can actually use lights from either and the result will be the same. I'll give a brief description for each type of lighting and we'll save the strategy for later. An important note though. All lights will be added together, to the total lighting solution. And this includes environmental and scene lighting. So by default, the GI skylight will be emitting a soft, even glow from this imaginary sky dome so it can be very easy to over light the scene and blowout your renderings.
Also note, that the skylight will not create any highlights on your materials. To do that, we always need to add lights to the scene. Let's start off our review. At the V-Ray toolbar, and this little button here. We go down to the triangle and we can pop open all the light types. I'm going to leave that kind of open there, for this review. First up is the sun light. This is primarily used for architecture and exteriors, although you can use it for architectural interiors as well. Next light type, is the rectangular light- That's the light you've seen me using throughout this course and is by far my favorite.
In fact, I would probably use this 99 or 100% of the time. What I like about this, is these are fantastic for soft shadows and big highlight, think of a beautiful car rendering, where the highlight goes across the top of the roof and down the hood. Also, there's a brand new feature in this current version of V-ray 2.0, we can actually add texture maps to the light to simulate it being inside of a fixture. Next up, is the point light. So this just creates a dot of zero size.
I'm not a big fan of it, but you can use it if you want to have it hidden away, maybe cast a soft glow from some recess, that's not getting enough light otherwise. The next light's fairly related. It's this sphere light. So, it just gives a larger radius to emit. Therefore, you can start getting some highlights. This might be used, for simulating a bulb or a fixture. This sphere light, is also called all directional and can simulate very large sources. So it's good for multi-directional and softlighting, depending on the size that you adjust it to.
Next up, is the dome light. This actually is a new feature within V-Ray 2.0. I just want to mention that if you use this, it would be superseding the GI Skylight. So it's a replacement. Not a light source by itself. Next up, is the spotlight. This projects a very well defined cone. In my opinion, the shadows are a little bit too sharp, but it's kind of interesting, most people try this first, just because it's a recognizable icon. It is good for some highlights, and it does have some other features I'm going to show you, right now. So I'm going to turn the spot lighting layer. If we go down to the front view port we can see the spotlight. The feature I think is the best, is the control points. We turn those on we can actually move it and change the various radii. Let's go ahead and see how it looks before make any changes. So I'm going to turn off my rectangular lights. And we can focus on this spotlight. So that looks okay. Make sure the view port you want to render is selected, and go to the V-Ray toolbar, hit the R render button. So now the rendering is done, you can see the effects of the spotlight. It's definitely brighter, closer to the light source and you can see some very sharp edges. Let's go ahead and modify those a bit. And minimize the frame buffer. Got the control points still on, so in this view port, I'm just going to drag it out to the side. Hold down alt doesn't snap to anything. So that's a much wider spread. I'm turning control points off with F11. I'm going to select the overall light itself. So here's another cool thing we haven't really talked about, lights can have color, so by default everything's pretty much white. And that's usually because, we're used to it, it looks good and it doesn't affect the materials.
But for this example, I'm going to go ahead and change, the light color to maybe kind of a blue. That looks good. So if you didn't follow that, we picked the light, we go over to the Properties. It's usually showing the object, but you want to go down to Light. So this is where you can turn em off or on. You can change the color and the intensity. So that's another important factor. If the light is coming across as too bright, you definitely want to lower the intensity, and that's where you do it. Most of the other options I pretty much leave at their defaults. So let's highlight this view port again.
So we should have a wider spread and a blue light. Let's take a look. Hit the render button. Okay, the render is complete! And you can see the difference now. You obviously have the blue cast of the light, and you can see the edge of the light is much smoother. And it's not nearly as sharp. So it actually looks okay. This might be a good solution, for a, light figure in your scene, like a street light or something along those lines. Let's go ahead and trim the spotlight back off and continue our tour. So we're at the spotlight. The next light is an IES light. So, this actually looks to an external file, a lot of lighting manufacturers provide these for free and what happens instead of just casting, an even light in all directions, it uses the exact properties of the fixture in the bulb and whatever shade's around it to cast kind of a realistic looking.
Spread of light. Best used, however, for architecture, so we're just going to talk about it briefly here and move on, and the final light is directional. I think the best use for this, is when you want to, have parallel rays, so it might be good to simulate like sunlight, when you're outside, or for whatever purposes you just need the light all going in the same parallel direction. The opposite of that would've been the spotlight where it's kind of spreading from a single point. So that's our tour of the lights, let's close that. I do want to call out some very cool tools on the Rhino render tool bar.
So if you do like using spotlights, there's a couple tools I love here. We can actually, move lights and change their properties. Some of these here are really cool. We can actually, move the camera to a view and then turn that view, into a light. So it's almost like you're moving the light by looking through it. This one over here we just looked at, this will actually place a light depending on where you want the highlight to fall. So if you're going to use those spotlights, definitely look at these Rhino render tools. Alright what I'd like to do now is just go through a sequence of all the lights being turned on one at a time, so we can see the effects of each as we go.
So I'm going to turn off the spotlight that's already off, rectangular light is off. We're going to go. To the V-Ray options panel, and we're going to turn off the environmental light. We talked about this a few times. This is the GI skylight, or the imaginary dome that's casting the even light. So we're going to turn that off. So I don't believe I have any lights, but we'll kind of start from here. So just the Glam view. And start the render. Okay. The render is done. Actually, I cheated a little bit. It looks like one of the birds has left the bathroom light on. Otherwise, this render would be completely black.
I didn't think that would be very exciting. So let's just look at the difference now, as we add different types of lights to the scene. I'm going to turn the skylight back on. And re-render, we'll see the difference. Okay that rendering is complete. Now remember this is, only with the skylight. You'll notice it's very soft, very even. So there's definite limitations to using the skylight. You probably won't be able to do a final rendering with the skylight, you'll always need to add in, additional rectangular lights. Or other kinds to provide the extra pop and highlights. So let's look a those right now. I go over to the layers, turn on my rectangular lights.
Check those out first here on the top view port. So I've got one large rectangular light up in the sky. I've got another light to the side. We can also check the power here if you're curious. I think I've got my top light, at a power of ten. And the side light is a little bit less, usually. So that's a power of four, or intensity, so let's, with that light on, now see what the next step in lighting will look like. Hit the render button, and we'll be right back. Alright, the render's done, and this is a very, very common mistake. I accidentally have been moving things around.
Click on the top view port, so that's what Rhino rendered. So let's click on the view we were interested in, and then hit the render button again. We'll be right back. Render is complete, let's take a look. We've got some nice lighting, providing some illumination underneath objects and behind things. Then we've got the, rectangular lights providing reflections and highlights. You can see those on the penguin's beak, and this little filleted edge. Which is the whole reason you want to do that. It really pops. It's going to, kind of make the form read, the two different planes and the highlight.
That's so critical to making your designs, look three dimensional and real as having different intensities of light on different surfaces. And the highlights are a part of that. All right, I'm going to make one more change. I think this overall render looks pretty solid. It's a little tiny bit on the dark side, so let's kind of explore another option here. This is not a light but it pertains to lighting. We're going to jump over to the Camera, and I'm going to make a quick adjustment. To the physical camera. We'll talk about this in more detail later, but our shutter speed is one 30th of a second. So I want to make that slow down, just a little bit more.
So if I go to a, like a 20th of a second. A 20th of a second is a little bit longer than a 30th of a second. So just think about 100th of a second or a 1000th being very, very quick, even though they are large numbers. For to make that little change, close this. And now re-render, I'll be right back when it's complete. Kay, the rendering is complete, and I definitely think this is the best of the bunch. You notice it's quite a bit brighter, and things are now popping even more from the background, and that's really the key. So when you adjust lighting, it's not always about the lighting. It could also be about the camera exposure. Or even the material's glossiness or reflectivity. Now that we have covered eight different lighting types, you can relax. For the remainder of this course, we'd be using only the rectangular lights. As I mentioned earlier, all lights are in addition to the environmental scene lighting.
So remember to lower the power if adding more than one light.
- Why use V-Ray?
- Installing DR Spawner
- Understanding 3D terminology
- Activating V-Ray
- Adjusting quality settings
- Get quick previews with the material override
- Understanding lighting types
- Exploring materials in the Material Editor
- Creating your own materials
- Texture mapping materials with bitmaps and procedurals
- Saving time with V-Ray presets
- Getting the right size for your render with output settings
- Working with environment lighting
- Strategies for working with cameras and camera settings
- Ensuring accurate color for your scene with color correction
- Rendering tips and tricks