Turning Lights On and Off

Turning Lights On and Off

Maya 2012 Tutorial


How to Turn Lights On and Off in Maya



Lights can be turned on and off a couple of ways in Maya. The first method is to use the Channel Box and the second way is to click the Illuminates by Default checkbox in the Attribute Editor.


Step One

Add a polygon plane to the scene by choosing Create > Polygon Primitives > Plane.

Step Two

Add a point light by choosing Create > Lights > Point Light.

Step Three

Use the Move tool (w key) to position the light above the plane. By pressing the 5 key, then the 7 key, your plane should be illuminated.

Step Four

Select the light and open the Channel Box.

Step Five

Setting the Visibility to on or off turns your light on and off. You can change the Visibility setting to off by entering a 0 or off. Enter a1or on to turn the Visibility on.

Step Six

With the light selected, open the Attribute Editor.

Step Seven

By selecting and deselecting the Illuminates by Default checkbox, the light turns on and off. To see the effect of this method, you will need to render the scene by clicking the Render Current Frame icon.

Which One to Use

The most common way is to use the Visibility setting in the Channel Box since it can be easily keyed for animation.

Turning Off the Default Light

Whenever you add your first light to the scene, the default light is disabled. There are times when you need to turn the default light off without adding any lights (i.e., Image Based Lighting, Global Illumination or Final Gathering). To turn the default light off, open the Render Settings panel and click the Common tab. Open the Render Options section and deselect the Enable Default Light checkbox.

Illuminates by Default and Light Linking

If you are using Light Linking (see topic, Limiting Lights to Specific Objects), the Illuminates by Default checkbox in Step Seven has no effect. Once a light is linked the Illuminates by Default setting is ignored for that light.

Setting the Intensity to Zero

If you set the light's Intensity value to zero, the light is also turned off.