Directional lights cast
parallel light rays in a single direction, as the sun does (for
all practical purposes) at the surface of the earth. Directional
lights are primarily used to simulate sunlight. You can adjust the
color of the light and position and rotate the light in 3D space.
Top: Perspective view
of a free directional light
Bottom: Top view of
the same light
Unlike a targeted directional
light, a Free Direct light has no target object. You can move and
rotate the light object to aim it in any direction.
A Free Direct light is
used when you select a Standard sun in your
Because directional rays
are parallel, directional lights have a beam in the shape of a circular
or rectangular prism instead of a "cone."
Direct lights are
supported in a
only if they are pointed downwards,
outside the boundary box of the scene geometry.
To create a free direct light:
- On the Create panel, click (Lights).
- Choose Standard from the drop-down list.
- On the Object Type rollout, click Free
- Click a viewport.
The light is now part of the scene. It points
away from you in the viewport you clicked.
- Set the creation parameters.
To adjust the light's direction, you can rotate
it as you would any object.
To change a viewport to a Light view:
- Click or right-click the POV viewport
3ds Max Design opens the
View viewport label menu..
- Choose Lights.
The Lights submenu shows the name of each spotlight
or directional light in the scene.
- Choose the name of the light you want.
The viewport now shows the light's point of
view. You can use the
Controls to adjust the light.
The default keyboard shortcut for switching
to a Light viewport is $.
When you create a Free
Direct light, the Targeted parameter is adjustable on the
Parameters rollout. This is a fixed value
for target lights.
When on, 3ds Max Design sets
a point to use as an invisible target about which the Free Direct
light can orbit. The spinner adjusts the distance to the target.
This parameter also affects
the length of the light's cone display.