Make Light Source Visible

Make Light Source Visible

Maya 2012 Tutorial


How to Make Light Source Visible in Maya



As you add lights to your scene, the scene's objects become illuminated. You would think that if you pointed a spot light directly at the camera, a big bright circle would appear in your rendered image. In the Maya world we see the effects of the light, but we don't actually see the light.

The lights can be modified so we see the effect of the light and also the light itself.


Step One

Add a spot light to the scene by choosing Create > Lights > Spot Light.

Step Two

Use the Rotate (e key) tool to rotate the light so it is pointing directly at the camera.

Step Three

With the light selected, open the Attribute Editor.

Step Four

Open the Light Effects section and click the checkbox to the right of Light Glow. This adds an Optical FX node to the light's Glow.

Step Five

In the Optical FX panel, open the Optical FX Attributes section and the Glow Attributes section.

Step Six

Adjust the sliders in the two sections to set the number of stars, intensity, spread and noise.

Step Seven

The color can be set by clicking the Color rectangle.

Step Eight

Make your adjustments, then render your image with the Maya Software render setting multiple times as you perfect the light glow.

Adding a Halo to the Light

The section below Glow Attributes gives you access to the light's halo settings. To activate the halo, choose one of the halo options from the Halo Type menu at the top of the panel.

How About Mental Ray?

Unfortunately, the Optical FX node doesn't work with Mental Ray. For Mental Ray you might consider adding your glow effects with a compositing software such as After Effects.


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