Light types

Lights are intangible sources of light that can illuminate your scene. Each type of light operates differently; make sure to choose the right light for each situation.


Directional Light

The directional light is a powerful light that can illuminate an entire scene. Typically, it is used to simulate the sun or the moon and is responsible for creating believable shadows in the scene. Only one directional light may be active in a scene at a time.

directional_light_3.png
A directional light, represented by three arrows pointing in the direction the light shines.

Directional lights have the following editable properties, accessed by selecting the directional light and clicking the Properties button that appears:

  • Position - Set the position of the directional light in X, Y and Z coordinates. Regardless of this position, the directional light shines from the sky behind the arrow pointers that represent the system object. This means that the arrows point at the area to be illuminated, not where the light appears to be emitted from.
  • Rotation - Set the rotation of the light. Light is emitted in the direction that the directional light is facing, from the sky behind the system object. While the directional light typically provides illumination for a whole scene, this setting combined with Position can create the effect of the light shining directly on objects in the scene, and allows you to effectively set the time of day.
  • Scale - Has no effect on the light emitted.
  • Color - Set the color light emitted by the directional light. Set precise color values in Red, Green and Blue or click the dropper tool to open the Color panel and choose from a palette.
  • Intensity - Define how bright the directional light shines.  Move the slider or enter precise values in the input field.

Point Light

point_light_2.png
A point light emitting light in all directions, represented by a sphere.

Point lights emit light in all directions at once and can be placed in a scene in more than one location:

  • Position - Sets the location of the point light. Light appears to shine in all directions from this position in the scene.
  • Rotation - Does not have any apparent effect on the light emitted.
  • Scale - Does not have any effect on the light emitted.
  • Color - Set the color of the light emitted by the point light. Set precise color values in Red, Green and Blue or click the dropper tool to open the Color panel and choose from a palette.
  • Intensity - Define how bright the point light shines at its origin. Move the slider or enter precise values in the input field.
  • Range - Set the maximum radius to which illuminating light shines from the point light, regardless of intensity. Move the slider or enter precise values in the input field.

Spot Light

spot_light.png
A spot light, represented by a cone. Light shines toward the wide end of the cone.

Spot lights shine in a specific direction, and can be placed throughout a scene:

  • Position - Sets the location of the spot light. Light appears to shine in one direction from this position in the scene.
  • Rotation - Sets the direction in which the light shines, represented by the wide end of the cone when editing a scene.
  • Scale - Does not have any effect on the light emitted.
  • Color - Set the color light emitted by the spot light. Set precise color values in Red, Green and Blue or click the dropper tool to open the Color panel and choose from a palette.
  • Intensity - Define how bright the spot light shines at its origin. Move the slider or enter precise values in the input field.
  • Range - Set the maximum range at which illuminating light shines from the spot light, regardless of intensity.
  • Angle - Sets the width of the spot light beam, allowing for a narrow, focused area of light or a wide floodlight.
  • AngularFalloff - Adjusts how much the light fades at the edges of the spotlight. Set close to zero to allow the light to shine at full brightness throughout the full arc.
  • NearClip - Sets the near clipping plane of the spot light. This stops the light from shining on anything within the set distance of the spot light.
  • CastsShadows - Set to On to allow the spot light to cast shadows behind objects it shines upon.
Was this article helpful?
3 out of 3 found this helpful
Have more questions? Submit a request

0 Comments

Article is closed for comments.