Lighting a 3D Scene

Lighting a 3D Scene

Photoshop CS6 Tutorial


How to Add Lights to a 3D Scene in Photoshop



Within Photoshop you can add either Infinite, Spot or Point lights. Infinite lights are similar to the way that the sun illuminates the outdoors. The rays travel in a straight line and create shadows with similar characteristics.

Spot lights illuminate in one direction in a cone pattern. Point lights radiate in all directions from a single point. A Point light is similar to an uncovered light bulb in the middle of the room.

For more information about each light type, see topics, Adding Infinite Lights, Adding Point Lights and Adding Spot Lights.


Step One

In Photoshop open a new blank document (File > New). Set the image size to 1,024 pixels by 1,024 pixels.

Step Two

Add a new layer to the Layers panel by clicking the Create a New Layer icon.

Step Three

Choose 3D > New Mesh from Layer > Mesh Preset > Sphere. The object is added to the blank layer and it becomes a 3D layer.

Step Four

In the 3D panel, click Infinite light to select the light. The light was added to the scene by default.

Step Five

Click and drag the small sphere on the light controller to reposition the light. Watch the light effect on the object and the shadow cast by the object.

Step Six

To soften the shadow you can adjust the Softness slider in the Properties panel.

Step Seven

The light's color is changed by clicking the Color rectangle in the Properties panel.

Step Eight

To change the light's intensity, move the Intensity slider or enter a value in the box.

Step Nine

You can set a specific light angle for an Infinite light by selecting the Coordinates icon in the Properties panel. Values can be entered for light Angle.

Step Ten

To add another light, click the Lights icon in the 3D panel, then click the Add a New Light icon and choose New Spot Light. The light was added based on the current view.

Step Eleven

Spot lights can be repositioned by clicking the light and adjusting the arrow and rotation icons.

Step Twelve

Once you are finished with your adjustments, add a texture to your object and click the Render icon to render your image.

Can't Find the Light

Often times the lights are positioned beyond the document. Repeatedly press Cmd/- (PC - Ctrl/-) to zoom out. To zoom back in press Cmd/= (PC - Ctrl/=).