Using Cameras To Place Lights
When you’re starting out, you may not know, or forget, that you can select a view other than perspective/top/ whatever- and that you can actually choose the LIGHT’s view. In other words, what your light it pointing at, you see your scene like you ARE the light. Now let’s get one thing clear though (and this messed brilliant me up BIG time) ....
TIP: Get a perspective VIEW where you want your first light. Because you can choose to locate it there!
Seriously, it’s the EASIESTway to place lights.
1. Use Perspective view and get the view you’d have if you were your first spotlight. Pretend you are the light. What do you want to shine on?
2. Be sure you’re in the Lights And Camera mode- and shut OFF that lightbulb which is the default light. It will go black.
3. Go up to the left corner and click CREATE- and select Spotlight.
4. In the popup, select “Apply Active Viewport Transforms-Perspective View”
5 Voila, you now have a spotlight shining on what you’re looking at. Painless, wasn’t it? But you’ll need to fine tune it.
6. In your Scene tab, ensure Spotlight 1 is selected (it will be at the bottom of your list, click on it.) This means that when we go to Parameters (next step) we are viewing sliders for that spotlight. Also go out and change your view (click the Perspective view and a dropdown will appear) to Spotlight 1. You are now looking at the scene from your spotlight camera- again, like YOU are the light. What you are seeing (the view) is what the spotlight is shining on.
7. Go to Parameters. Trust me now- Click on LIGHT and make it a bright GLOWING PINK. Turn up the intensity to 150% or higher. Look and see what you are lighting in the scene. Narrow your Spread Angle (under Light) to 50-60%. You can spread it back out later.
8. Move your light USING THE PARAMETERS TAB sliders. Use the XYZ translation and rotation sliders, play with them. Be sure and check from the top view and side view (again, out in the viewport, where it says Perspective, you can click and the drop down will give you different options on looking at your scene. Remember you are in Spotlight 1 mode, seeing the scene like you are the spotlight.) You might think you have your spotlight lined up but a different angle will surprise you.
9. In Parameters, go to Shadows and set it to raytracing, I start with a softness of 25% to 35% and work up from there. Also go in the Light and now pick your color (use bluish white for moonlight, colder surfaces- and peach, pale yellow, warm colors for sunsets, outdoors with sun, etc.) I keep spotlight one very light.
10. Fine tune your Spread Angle (under Light) and the intensity. SPOT RENDER. Take things out of the scene that you aren’t lighting (close the eye in Scene Tab of those items) to speed up your RENDER. Test your light.
In my scene, Spotlight one is coming from Aiko’s right, behind her slightly. All light will be forward of the Bog Flea.
And remember, when spot rendered/ rendered, your scene will NOT look the same. Mine are usually darker.
Here’s a few images to help you along (it’s 9am and I HAVE to get some sleep, but I’ll show you later what it looked like to add lights 2 and 3. Then I’ll fine tune the scene this weekend and take you through it.)
EDIT: It is very, very important for you new folks to know that what you see in the viewport will NOT be what you get when rendered. Scroll back and forth between just these two photos. Look at her boots and the other lit surfaces that you would assume are NOT lit just based on your viewport.
IMAGE ONE: Spotlight 1 from behind Aiko. Focus is the face and NOT to get Aiko in it. I want this to be a soft impression, not the main light source. Used a very faint bluish white.
IMAGE TWO: RENDERED. Only spotlight 1.
Click thumbnail to see full-size image