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Basic Lighting. Intro to Maya. Types of Lights. Ambient Light Direction Lights Spot Lights Point Lights Advanced: Area Light Advanced: Volume Lights. Ambient Light. An ever present light `Floods’ the scene No highlights No Shadows Good for Base Lighting. Direction Light.

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basic lighting

Basic Lighting

Intro to Maya

types of lights
Types of Lights
  • Ambient Light
  • Direction Lights
  • Spot Lights
  • Point Lights
  • Advanced: Area Light
  • Advanced: Volume Lights
ambient light
Ambient Light
  • An ever present light
  • `Floods’ the scene
  • No highlights
  • No Shadows
  • Good for Base Lighting
direction light
Direction Light
  • Light from a single direction.
  • Like sun-light.
  • Has shadows
  • Has highlights.
  • A good basic light.
spot light
Spot Light
  • A theatrical spot-light.
  • Has shadows
  • Radiates out in a cone
  • Has fall-off
  • Has penumbra
  • Very powerful.
point light
Point Light
  • A local light
  • Radiates in all directions
  • Great `filler’ light
  • Has shadows
  • Can really punch up a scene.
  • Very dramatic
components of light and shadow
Components of Light and Shadow
  • Light source.
  • Fall-off/decay
  • Shadow
  • Umbra
  • Penumbra
light controls
Light Controls
  • Aim From/Aim At
  • Fall-off Rate
  • Cone Radius
  • Penumbra/Umbra control
  • Non-linear fall-off
  • All In One Control
good ways to use lights
Good ways to use lights
  • Look to photographers for good techniques
  • Think in terms of balance.
  • Avoid the overly dramatic.
  • Look at natural lighting.
  • Avoid saturated lights and hues
  • Normally only need a few lights.
  • Avoid disco colors and effects 

Light Intensity from too

Dark to too bright.


Lit from Left

Lit from behind camera


Subtler Mood


localized light
Localized Light

Light a person from above

The head for more `spiritual’


But you need to be careful

seasons and time of day
Seasons and Time of Day


Blue Tint


Less blue tint

Even colors



Orange Hues

the ray of hope
The Ray of Hope

By placing a subtle localized light source near the left eye the image takes on a more hopeful appearance. This has to do with the local shadows fall on the face.

3 point lighting
3 Point Lighting
  • Most Common lighting scheme
  • Three lights:

Key Light, Fill Light, and Back

3 point lighting31
3 Point Lighting

Key light

The Key light establishes the dimension, form and surface detail of subject matter.

Fill light

The Fill light fills in the shadows created by the horizontal and vertical angles of the key light. The fill light should be placed about 90-degrees away from the key light.

Back light

The function of the Back light is to separate the subject from the background by creating a subtle rim of light around the subject.

3 point lighting tutorial
3 Point Lighting - Tutorial