Chapter 6. Lighting Models

In the real world, you can’t see objects without light; an object either reflects a light source or emits light itself. In computer rendering, you simulate the interaction of light to add nuance and interest to your 3D objects. But the interplay of light is an extremely complex process that you can’t replicate at interactive frame rates (at least, not yet). Therefore, you use approximations, or models, of how light interacts with 3D objects to add more detail to your scenes. This chapter introduces some of these basic lighting models.

Ambient Lighting

Ambient light is the seemingly ubiquitous “glow” that exists in a lit environment. Look under your desk, for example, and you’ll still be able to see into the farthest ...

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