This chapter explored lighting in Maya, beginning with basic concepts that included the
three-point lighting technique. You then learned about the different lights in Maya, how
they work, and how you can use light linking to better control your scene. Shadows are an
important part of lighting and were covered next in this chapter, followed by a quick
exploration of Global Illumination with mental ray and then lighting effects such as lens
flare and light glows. Finally, you learned how to begin animating lights for use in your
Lighting is truly the linchpin of CG. It can make or break a scene with the flick of a
switch. Lighting goes hand in hand with rendering and shading, and the more you under-
stand about all three functions, the better your scenes will look.
As mentioned, the trick to lighting is understanding how light works in the real world
and how to approximate its effects in Maya. That comes with practice, so don’t be afraid
to experiment with lighting and shading schemes on all your projects.
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