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Basic Maya Lighting Tutorial

| Your Rating:
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(Score 2.83 out of 5 after 6 Votes)
| Comments 2
Date Added: 9th December 2009
Software used:

This image below looks a little more natrual to me. If it doesn't seem like enough rimlight on the head yet, just keep in mind we're still adding light. We still have to mimic the lighting coming from the windows, which will add to the back light.(Fig.13)

Fig. 13

One thing I don't like at this point is the Key light color. It feels a little bright too, like it's not light from this background scene. I'm going to change it to a color that has tones more like the image and turn down the intensity just a little.  Right now it's a pure white light, so I'm going to add just a slight bit of brown, like the walls, since there doesn't really seem to be any pure white sources of light here.  Rarely is light pure light and has some sort of slight color tint. (Fig.14)

Fig. 14

This color feels a little more natural to me. Now I'll go onto the next lights that I feel pretty happy with the ones I already have.  I have covered the basics or bare bones of the 3 point lighting. (Fig.15)

Fig. 15

So below here you can see the lights in my scene that I've added. I added a couple for the light coming through the windows and then added a few for the bounce light off the floors coming from the windows (since there's no geometry there to bounce light off of, we have to put lights in to do that) None of the lights in back are too high in intensity, since the more lights we add the brighter things get. Light is additive. The more you add in the more it gets towards white. There's a little fudging in that theory with light color or negative light intensity, but in general, try to keep that in mind.(Fig.16)

Fig. 16

Here's the render I end up with after a bit of tweaking of those lights.(Fig.17)

Fig. 17

Now what I don't like about this render is the model. It's too soft, and the edges can't catch highlights. So I'm going to go bevel everything on the pedestal. Select all the edges that you want to bevel on any particular object all at once, and then bevel them. I do a some what small bevel. You can hardly see them here. But later, they will really add to being able to catch highlights on the model from the Also, later if we smooth this stuff, it'll all keep there shape. Anywhere where there was a hard edge, I beveled it. I don't recommend being lazy and beveling the whole model if you plan to smooth it later, unless you want it to not be round and keep those straight edges that it has.  And yes, this seems like a modeling step, but it's a modeling step that's taken for the sake of lighting, which is why I've included it in here.
Here is my model after being beveled (Fig.18):

Fig. 18

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Readers Comments (Newest on Top)
Steven Snell on Mon, 14 March 2016 3:42pm
Hey! We shared your tutorial on our most recent blog post: Thanks for the great tutorial.
Lol on Mon, 21 May 2012 5:43am
You can write textbook for these stuffs. Love your writing style :)
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