Ok, so in this project I wanted to understand how to to manually light a bit better- as I was going to have to match the lighting on my object to that in the image. Lighting is one of my biggest weaknesses so it was great chance for me to learn.
Ryan Beatty showed me this great Digital Tutors tutorial that introduced lighting in Arnold, showing how to use and the actual use of each light type.
Maya Point/ Directional Light
Point lights are used in this scene to create the lights in the scene- the man made porch light. It expressed that the decay type should be set to quadratic- based on real life values.
It then went on to talk about the shadows, pointing out how harsh they were. This is because the lighting doesn’t accommodate real life space, which is not very realistic.
To fix this- we look at the radius of the light itself. This puts a sphere over the light- the higher the radius, the softer the shadows.
As you can see above the shadows are a lot softer.
The directional light works in the same way- with similar attributes.
Maya Spot Lights
The tutorial introduced some of the attributes specific to spot lights. The cone lights increased, casting light on more of the scene.
The penumbrae angle controls the softness of the light on the scene- blurring out. This can vary in look whether its a positive or negative value.