Free Light (Photometric)
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Create panel (Lights) Photometric Free Light button

Create menu Lights Photometric Lights Free Light.

A free light has no target sub-object. You can aim it by using transforms.

Viewport representations of a Free light with spherical, spotlight, and web distribution


To create a Free light:

  1. On the Create panel, click (Lights).
  2. Choose Photometric from the drop-down list. (This is the default.)
  3. On the Object Type rollout, click Free Light.
  4. Click the viewport location where you want the light to be.

    The light is now part of the scene. Initially it points away from you in the viewport you clicked (down the negative Z-axis of the viewport).

  5. Set the creation parameters.

    You can position the light and adjust its direction with the transform tools or by using a Light viewport. You can also adjust the light's position with the Place Highlights command.

To adjust the light position:

  1. Select the light.
  2. On the main toolbar, turn on (Select And Move) or (Select And Rotate). Drag the selection to adjust the light.

    You can also right-click the light and choose Move or Rotate from the quad menu Transform quadrant.

    TipYou can also adjust the light's position with the Place Highlight command.

To change a viewport to a light view:

NoteThis is available only for lights with Spot distribution.
  1. Click or right-click the Point-Of-View (POV) viewport label.

    3ds Max opens the POV viewport label menu.

  2. Choose Lights.

    3ds Max opens a submenu that shows the name of each light. By default, Free Point lights are named PhotometricLight01, PhotometricLight02, and so on.

  3. Choose the name of the light you want.

    The viewport now shows the light's point of view. You can use the Light Viewport Controls to adjust the light.

    TipThe default keyboard shortcut for Light viewports is $.