Cinema 4D / BodyPaint 3D Program Documentation Tutorials Light and Shadow Tutorial Lighting Fundamentals Illuminating an Old-Timer
Function available in CINEMA 4D Prime, Visualize, Broadcast, Studio & BodyPaint 3D

Positioning the Main Light

We will begin our lighting setup by positioning the main light source. Generally, this will be the most intense light in the scene and will define the direction in which the shadows are cast. The top part of the image below shows the scene from the point of view of this light. As already mentioned in the Shadows section, the Set Active Object as Camera option (Cameras menu) can be used to temporarily define any object as a camera, thereby letting you view the scene from the point of view of that object.

This makes it possible to position the light more precisely. In our example we are able to position the car exactly in the center of the light’s beam. In addition to Spot lights, this method can be used with Area and Omni lights. Area lights, for example, primarily emit light perpendicular to their defined shape. Furthermore, applying a shadow cone when using soft shadows can dramatically reduce memory requirements and speed up rendering. The bottom half of the image below shows the scene rendered using the main light, which is an Area light with an Intensity value of 100% and an Area Shadow type. With these settings, a very realistic shadow is cast.

The softness of the shadow can be fine-tuned by modifying the Area light’s size in its Details tab. The larger the light is scaled the larger the shadows’ fallof and less hard the shadows’ edges will be.

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