6.3 Lighting effects

Let’s look at a couple of effects that can be used to make your lighting look more convincing: caustics and volumetrics.

Caustics is the effect of light being focused by either reflective or refractive surfaces, thereby creating bright spots on other surfaces struck when the light bounces around the scene. Water and glass materials are common situations for which you might want to have caustics to add a sense of realism to the rendered image.

Generating caustics can be a time-consuming process, both in the adjustment of the effect and in the actual rendering time, so make sure it is a necessary effect to be adding value to your presentation. As you’ll see in the upcoming exercises, there are many variables in calculating ...

Get Rendering with mental ray and 3ds Max, 2nd Edition now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.