Area Light

Area Light

Maya 2012 Tutorial


How to Add a Maya Area Light



Area lights can simulate large light sources such as windows or overhead light sources. They can also create stunning shadows.


Step One

Open a scene with multiple objects.

Step Two

Add an Area Light to the scene (Create > Lights > Area Light).

Step Three

Using the Move Tool, re-position the light above the scene and to the side. Press the t key to access the light's Manipulator. Move the Manipulator to the middle of the objects.

Step Four

With the light selected, open the Attribute Editor and select the Shadows tab. Scroll down and check the Use Raytrace Shadows box. Increase the Shadow Rays to 10.

Step Five

Open the Render Settings window and click Maya Software from the Render Using menu. Click the Maya Software tab and set the Quality to Production Quality.

Step Six

Scroll down the Maya Software tab and open the Ray Tracing Quality section. Check the Ray Tracing box. Increase the Shadow Rays to 10.

Step Seven

Render your scene. Adjust the light intensity in the light's Attribute Editor if necessary.

Size Matters

As you increase the size of an area light, a couple of things happen. The light intensity increases and the light's shadows become softer if you are using Ray Trace Shadows.