Chapter 5

Lighting: The Easiest Thing That’s Tough

Blender’s lighting tools are simple and fall into two categories: directional lighting, which is created by lamp objects, and nondirectional lighting, which is generated with a technique called ambient occlusion. It’s “simple” in that the tools have only a few settings, and all work in the same basic way. In other words, it is not difficult to use them.

The downside of it is that effective, quality lighting is difficult. It’s hard enough to properly and nicely light a scene in real life where the universe itself takes care of a bunch of the things we take for granted: atmospheric scattering, diffuse reflection, filtering, etc. In the land of numbers, triangles, and tricks that is 3D, it becomes ...

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