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

Create menu Lights Photometric Lights Target Light.

A target light has a target sub-object that you can use to aim the light.

Viewport representations of Target lights with spherical, spotlight, and web distribution

NoteWhen you add a Target light, 3ds Max Design automatically assigns a Look At controller to it, with the light's target object assigned as the Look At target. You can use the controller settings on the Motion panel to assign any other object in the scene as the Look At target.
NoteWhen you rename a Target Point light, the target is automatically renamed to match. For example, renaming TPhotometricLight01 to Klieg causes TPhotometricLight01.Target to become Klieg.Target. The target's name must have the extension .Target. Renaming the target object does not rename the light object.


To create a Target light:

  1. On the Create panel, click (Lights).
  2. Choose Photometric from the drop-down list. (This is the default.)
  3. In the Object Type rollout, click Target Light.
  4. Drag in a viewport. The initial point of the drag is the location of the light, and the point where you release the mouse is the location of the target.

    The light is now part of the scene.

  5. Set the creation parameters.

    You can use the Move transform to adjust the light’s position and direction.

To select the target:

The target, displayed as a small square, is often in the same area as objects that you want to illuminate. It can be difficult to select it by clicking.

  1. First, select the target point light.
  2. Right-click the light and from the quad menu, choose Select Target.

    You can also choose Lights from the Selection Filters list on the main toolbar, and then click the target. Clicking the line that connects the light and its target selects both objects.

To adjust the light and target position:

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

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

Because the light is always aimed at its target, you can't rotate it about its local X or Y axes. However, you can select and move the target object as well as the light itself. When you move either the light or the target, the light's orientation changes so it always points at the target.

You can use the Place Highlight command to change a light's position.

For target lights with spotlight distributions, you can also adjust the light using a Light viewport.

To change a viewport to a light view:

NoteThe viewport can only be set to a light view when the target light’s distribution is spotlight.
  1. Click or right-click the Point-Of-View viewport label.

    3ds Max Design opens the POV viewport label menu.

  2. Choose Lights.

    3ds Max Design opens a submenu that shows the name of each light. By default, Target lights are named TPhotometricLight01, TPhotometricLight02, 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 $.