Tutorial: Introduction to 3ds Max Standard Lights

Tutorial: Introduction to 3ds Max Standard Lights

All right! We rendered the basic scene
but now let’s focus more on the lighting part of it so far we’ve just put in a
simple light but now I want to explain more about lighting and maybe we can
experiment with some different types of light so if we go here back to our
command panel and go to the create tab the third option over is the lights you
click here you’ll see that there’s a drop down and there’s photometric
and standard lights let’s start with standard make it C target spot target
direct Omni mentalray area Omni free spot free direct skylight mental ray
area spot first we will focus on target spot if we go to the front view and we
just drag from up above down on to our still life and then go to the top view
make sure it’s in the right place you’ll have two surrett select both the target
and the light they will move independent of each other make sure that targets
right on top of our area and then with the light selected go into the modify
panel let’s go into an orthographic view here and let’s get it so that cone that
cone is representing where the light will shine
let’s adjust it so that it only shines right on our scene if we go into the
modify tab and go to spotlight parameters you’ll see us setting for a
hotspot beam and fall-off field Fallowfield is the outer ring which
tells it where the intensity of the light will start falling off and going
to zero and the inner one is controlled by this setting hotspot beam and you’ll
see if we want a hotspot right on or still life and they’ll put the fall-off
about like that we can also go to intensity and color let’s make it
something interesting like green has an example something like that
leave intensity at one one other important setting that we need to make
sure and adjust is under intensity color and attenuation and that is the decay
type decay type set to none means that here and here the intensity of the light
is exactly the same and that’s not physically accurate so only if you’re
trying to trick the computer would you want to do that
if you wanted to be physically accurate which we normally do for going for
realism then we set it to inverse-square which from a physics standpoint that is
what Lights actually do they start falling off in an inverse-square fashion
straight from the light source if you want to fake the fall off you can use
these here you can use near attenuation and say that see these rings here that
means that it’s not to its fullest brightness until 2 foot 3 away from the
light and then far our generation would be this is where the fall-off starts so
at 6 foot 8 it will fall off and then it will end at 16 16 foot a and the light
will be 0 at that point so I’m not going to use those I’m just going to let it
fall off naturally using inverse-square from the light source so that is a
spotlight hits see to go to camera and let’s render real quick okay you can see our other light is
still there let’s take that out so you’re only seeing our spotlight let’s
delete this one render again okay that’s what a spotlight is going to look like
interestingly you can see some very sharp shadows here and that is not
really what happens naturally with these types of standard lights you actually
can’t adjust the sharpness of the shadows so that’s why they’re not very
natural-looking and we’ll have to do some other things to add in more light
to the scene to soften up those shadows and make them less dark as well let’s
experiment with some other types of light target direct or just a free
direct the difference between target and free by the way is just means one has a
target like this here and if it was a free spot it would not have that target
and so it would just be adjusted by the rotation of the light and that would
determine where it points so that’s the only difference there Omni lights are
just little point lights that will put off light in all direction this is not
something you use a lot if you want photo realism because this is not
something that would really exist in nature if I put an omni light right
there and we’ll put that to purple so we can definitely see it so that’s
intensity – – and now render again nothing’s happening let’s see what we
did wrong here it’s outside of our scene so that’s not gonna help let’s set it
right here behind our scene behind our still life and down below the table a
little bit so that that light will just emanate up from below hit C and render okay that’s obviously way too bright but
you can see what that does that Omni light puts things in all directions it
looks like there’s no fall-off going on which is a problem you can see under
intensity and color attenuation there is no decay going on so let’s put that to
inverse-square and render again still way too bright let’s make it real soft
0.4 now it’s looking a little better and you can see that now we’re catching a
little bit of light up here but really that’s not a very good looking scene I
want this much lower and I don’t want it so purple either okay that’s acceptable for now that’s
what the nominal Omni light does it just puts things off in all directions puts
light off in all directions again these standard lights are not great if you’re
trying to get physically accurate results but I’m gonna show you what they
do anyway and then the direct light is like a Sun okay so the direct light if
you put it in here and drag it like this this light will basically shine at the
angle you put it at throughout your entire scene so I’ll show you what I
mean by that it’s like a Sun you can think of it as a Sun s u n if we render
that with that direct light in there you now see that we’re getting light coming
almost from outside the atmosphere Ray’s coming at that angle throughout the
entire scene that’s what the direct light will do and it’s not a cone as you
can see it is a cylinder of light like that and of course you can still adjust
the hot spot in the fall-off so that in the olden days is what we would use for
a Sun but there’s better solutions now we’ll look at those in some of the later
lectures but for now I’m just going to delete this and we’ll leave these other
lights and in the next lecture we’ll look at some more physically accurate
lights that cast nicer shadows and give us more control over the quality of the

9 thoughts on “Tutorial: Introduction to 3ds Max Standard Lights

  1. Thanks for the awesome tutorial man! I'm new to all this, so this was really helpful seeing the way the lights interact with the scene.

  2. HOw do I activate 'selection visible verts' only ? -limit to visible ? Its not working here in max 2019,and forums have zero answers,,, last question was 2/2/2019, odd given how popular max is, that there is NO limit selection to visible !! ?? Thats insane.

  3. This was an amazing tutorial! You brought back so much clarity and with such ease you described everything! I like such tutorial videos…. 🙂 thanks!

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