Blender Lighting

About Lights

Light sources are arguably the most important part of a scene. At the most basic level the interaction of the light sources and the shaders make 3D data appear to the eye as 3D. In a raytracing system like Blender the light is emited from the camera. This may seem counterintuitive at first but it is actually more efficient. The camera determines what pixels will be seen then it sends our a ray into the mesh. The mesh tells the ray how light impacting it will be rendered. The ray then goes to the light and "asks" it how intense the light hits the mesh. The reason this is more efficient is that it limits the computations to only those pixels that will be present in the scene. Because of the central role of lamps in this process using a light source is one of the most important aspects of learning 3D. Using light sources is one of the aspects of 3D animation that takes the most practice. Positioning, intensity and type are all important factors when considering light sources. There are a variety of different light sources that one can use. Each type of source emits light in a slightly different manner.

  • Lamps lights emit light in all directions they are the most commmon type of lights in a scene. Artists use Lamp lights to give soft light to object in a scene.
  • Sun lights emit light in a uniform direction and do not have a range. In some programs these types of lights are known as directional lights.
  • A spot light is a focused beam of light. It only lights the are that it intersects with.
  • A Hemi Light only lights the side of an object which it is facing. It does not matter if these lights are aligned with an object or not.
  • A area lamp is a lamp that evenly lights an defined area in a defined direction.


You can add a light by pressing spacebar=>add=>lamp. It is then possible to choose between the different types of lamps. In the shader panel there will be options for intensity and color of the light. Many lamps can be scaled. All lamps can be rotated and grabbed.

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