Area Lights

You can create light sources simulated as rectangles (planes), discs, spheres (points), and cylinders (tubes).

Area light sources are extremely efficient in Fast mode and can replace the “emissive plane” technique for creating simulated light cards in a scene used to provide more reflections in your geometry, as well as actual emissivity in Fast mode.

You can create lights “on the fly”. A light can be matched to the current camera’s position and direction, or placed with a single click on the model to indicate either the target or source of the light.

To create a light:

  1. Do one of the following:
    • Click Project > Scenes > New Light.
    • In the Palette, on the Scenes tab, click Add > New Light.
    • In the Palette, right-click in the Scenes tree and click New Light.
  2. Select one of the following:
    Pick Target Defines the point on the model where you want the light to shine. Pick a point in the viewport.
    Pick Position Defines the source of the light. The light is placed at the selected location and points in a direction normal to the selected surface. This option is especially useful when adding interior lights. Pick a point in the viewport.
    Match Current Camera Matches the light to the current camera position and direction.
  3. On the General subtab, under Type, select the type of light.
  4. Set other options.
Area light types in Fast mode, from left to right: Tube (cylinder), Disc, Plane (rectangle), and Sphere (Point)
Area lights also work in Fast render mode . These lights, in combination with Fast mode, can dramatically increase render speeds for interior scenes. Accurate mode is not a requirement for interior scenes with these area lights.