Lighting a Scene

go to Blackboard- creative solutions- content- volumetric lighting- open in maya.

File is of a room Alec made

Screen Shot 2015-03-09 at 16.35.00 Screen Shot 2015-03-09 at 16.38.37

using render layers means you can have material overrides

change colours in ambient pass could have textures here to if using them

create- light- ambient light attribute editor- light

directory- working project- images- ambient folder

copy ambient layer- name

direct- light

master layer- area light

layers should have at this point

  • occlusion
  • ambient
  • direct light
  • master layer

create- directional light- fit over whole of window turns shadows on in settings (test it out)

Arnold by default has global illumination which will bounce the light around but mental ray by default doesn’t have it on so you need to play around with settings.

area lights attribute- use light shape- should remove some graininess may need to turn up finer gathering.

testing a batch render

properly applying ambient occlusion

occlusion- multiply ambient over the top- bring into photoshop layer mask image- can change a colour or mask out an original object. Can also change light/darkness which is what we are doing with occlusion.

assign material override- direct light pass

turn specular colour to black specular pass needs override on spec colour- layer override

should turn orange- override colour function- create layer override- turns black

override background objects to back as surface shader in specular layer.

copy direct light pass- name reflections

usually good to use an image file for this

select table shader, layer override in colour- turn black reflectivity- layer override- black

Plug sky HDR image

When render you will see difference in light and reflections

anything thats not reflections- turn black- assign material

add to photoshop file

Passes we are using is always how we would start to light a scene, you can then begin to add extras such as specular and reflection.


  • Ambient Pass
  • Direct Light Pass
  • Main Light Pass
  • Occlusion Pass
  • Specular Pass
  • Reflection Pass

Always remember to name your shaders, get into the habit of doing it.

Screen Shot 2015-03-09 at 16.58.36 Screen Shot 2015-03-09 at 16.58.42

Screen Shot 2015-03-09 at 16.59.53 Screen Shot 2015-03-09 at 16.59.59

Screen Shot 2015-03-09 at 17.00.42 Screen Shot 2015-03-09 at 17.00.49

Screen Shot 2015-03-09 at 17.02.08 Screen Shot 2015-03-09 at 17.02.15

Screen Shot 2015-03-09 at 17.03.09 Screen Shot 2015-03-09 at 17.03.17

Screen Shot 2015-03-09 at 17.03.54 Screen Shot 2015-03-09 at 17.04.05


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