Chapter 19. Using Lights and Basic Lighting Techniques


  • Lighting basics

  • Understanding Max's light types

  • Creating and positioning light objects

  • Viewing a scene from a light

  • Altering light parameters

  • Using the Sunlight and Daylight systems

  • Using the Volume light effect

  • Using projector maps and raytraced shadows

Lights play an important part in the visual process. Have you ever looked at a blank page and been told it was a picture of a polar bear in a blizzard or looked at a completely black image and been told it was a rendering of a black spider crawling down a chimney covered in soot? The point of these two examples is that with too much or too little light, you really can't see anything.

Light in the 3D world figures into every rendering calculation, and 3D artists often struggle with the same problem of too much or too little light. This chapter covers creating and controlling lights in your scene.

Understanding the Basics of Lighting

Lighting plays a critical part of any Max scene. Understanding the basics of lighting can make a big difference in the overall feeling and mood of your rendered scenes. Most Max scenes typically use one of two types of lighting: natural light or artificial light. Natural light is used for outside scenes and uses the sun and moon for its light source. Artificial light is usually reserved for indoor scenes where light bulbs provide the light. However, when working with lights, you'll sometimes use natural light indoors, such as sunlight streaming ...

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