Another Lighting Tutorial

Alec uploaded a great tutorial to our degree page on Arnold lighting by Arvid Schneider.

Arvid’s tutorials. (YouTube, 2016).

Area light– planar light to generate soft shadows. It is advised that to replicate real life sizing- so the scale is adjusted accordingly (see below).

Screen Shot 2016-12-03 at 22.22.24.png

Again the exposure is used instead of the intensity. The effect below gives a nice soft box effect.

Screen Shot 2016-12-03 at 22.24.54.png

Changing the colour temperature in the lights gives a yellow or blue effect. The higher the scale, the bluer the colour and the lower the value, the more yellow.

Each light also can have a filter known as a light blocker attached

Screen Shot 2016-12-03 at 22.36.31.png

Skydive Lights– these allow light in all directions and are an ambient light in the default presets.


The colour for these can be changed to an HDR image (latlong etc) and the colour can also be show in the ai sky node- I explained this in an earlier post.

Spot lights- advantageous as allow us to add gobo maps, these can be images, put in front of lights to add interesting patterns etc. Solid Angle contains more information on this process.

Using a checker pattern as the filter, and activating the volumetric scattering, the light rays appear to form a checker board.

Screen Shot 2016-12-04 at 19.27.08.png

Mesh Light

Creating a light from a mesh- this is found in the shape node under the arnold tab of the object’s attributes.

Screen Shot 2016-12-04 at 19.29.15.png

Through upping the exposure and turning off normalise the image looks like the one below. By checking light visible the shape will then again become visible too.

Screen Shot 2016-12-04 at 19.37.44.png

Screen Shot 2016-12-04 at 19.39.09.png

Photometric lighting

These lights require IES files to create real life lighting situations. These give way more detail than a typical Maya spotlight.

Screen Shot 2016-12-04 at 19.45.30.png

Arnold Light Portal 

This is a great clean-up light- creating a scene with a skydome and a portal light. Then deleting the portal light – it is easy to see the differences (below).

Screen Shot 2016-12-04 at 19.50.15.png

The rest of the tutorial went through different light set ups for models- some of which I think will be very useful for my showreel renders.


YouTube. (2016). MtoA 118 | Basic Lighting | using Arnold with Maya 2017. [online] Available at: [Accessed 3 Dec. 2016].


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