These topics provide
a general introduction to using lights in 3ds Max.
In general, these are
the reasons to use light objects:
- To improve the illumination of a scene.
The default illumination in viewports might
not be bright enough, or it might not illuminate all faces of a
- To enhance a scene's realism through
realistic lighting effects.
for Lighting has suggestions about making
lighting appear realistic.
- To enhance a scene's realism by having
lights cast shadows.
All kinds of lights can cast shadows. Also,
you can selectively control whether an object casts or receives
- To cast projections in a scene.
All kinds of lights can project still or animated
maps. See the Projector Map group in the
- To help model a source of illumination
in the scene, such as a flashlight.
Light objects don't render, so to model a source
of illumination, you also need to create geometry that corresponds
to the light source. Use a
to make the geometry appear as if it's emitting light.
- To create lighting scenes using manufacturers'
You can visualize commercially available lighting
in your model by creating
lights based on manufacturer's photometric
data files. By experimenting with different fixtures, and varying
the light intensity and color temperature, you can design a lighting
system that produces the results you want. See
Lights: Web Distribution.
- Working with Lights
The procedures in this
topic apply to both standard and photometric lights.
- Properties of Light
This topic describes
light in the real world. When you light a scene, it can be helpful
to know how light naturally behaves.
- Lighting in 3ds Max
Lighting in 3ds Max simulates
natural lighting. However, standard lights are simpler than natural
lights with a
solution with your lights provides
a better model of the real world.
- Guidelines for Lighting
The guidelines for lighting
used by photographers, filmmakers, and stage designers can also
help you set up the lighting for scenes in 3ds Max.
- Positioning Light Objects
Once you have placed
lights in your scene, you can use transforms to change a light's
position or orientation.
- Previewing Shadows and
Other Lighting in Viewports
You can preview shadows
in shaded viewports. To do so, you must be using the Direct3D driver
Graphics Driver Setup Dialog)
and your system must have a graphics card that supports the SM (Shader
Model) 2.0 or 3.0 standard.
- Animating Lights
You animate lights by
using transforms or changing creation parameters on different keyframes
Key button is on. During animation, light transforms
and parameter values are interpolated between keyframes.
- Light Include/Exclude Tool
The Light Include/Exclude
tool is a modeless dialog that lets you include or exclude objects
on a light-by-light basis. When excluded, an object is not illuminated
by the selected light and receives no shadows.
- Light Lister
The Light Lister is
a modeless dialog that lets you control a number of features for
each light. You can also make global settings that affect every light
in your scene.