When it comes to digital 3D modeling, lighting is an essential element. Without lighting, there would be no three-dimension, because lighting is needed for us to perceive the depth of an object in the sense of height, width, and length. Especially when that object is projected on a two-dimensional surface like a digital screen.
In this step-by-step guide, we’re going to show you how to adjust the lighting in Magic Poser so that you can create convincing 3D scenes.
Step 1: Find the Light Source
First, download the app. For this tutorial, we are using the iOS version of Magic Poser.
Download: Magic Poser for Android | iOS (Free, in-app purchases available)
To adjust the lighting, you first need to find the source of light. When you begin a project in Magic Poser, the light source is already added to the scene. The default light source is Directional light in the shape of four yellow arrows, and it can be found directly to the right of your model.
If you have never used Magic Poser before, check out our article that tells you everything you need to know about this 3D posing app.
Step 2: Change the Type of Light
Magic Poser offers three light options: Directional light, Point light, and Spot light. If you want to change the default light, you will first have to remove the light that is already there:
- On your device, tap the four yellow arrows so that they are highlighted.
- Next, tap the trashcan icon above Remove.
You should notice that the light disappears from the scene.
Once you have deleted the default light, you can go ahead and add in other lighting (or you can add another light to the scene without removing the default):
- In the bottom right corner, tap the plus sign, and a menu with three options will appear at the bottom of the screen.
- Tap on Lights.
- Choose whether you want Directional, Point, or Spot lighting, then tap on the picture to add it to the scene. We have chosen Point for this guide.
- Once the light is added, tap the X in the right-hand corner of the menu.
Keep in mind that your light source should reflect your environment because the highlights and shadows they create are expressed through your props and models. So using Point lighting as a source of sunlight outdoors would produce an unrealistic effect.
Step 3: Adjust the Direction of Light Flow
The direction of light flow is important for creating realistic-looking scenes. For instance, if you are using a prop in your scene that emits light (such as a lamp), you want the light to appear as if it is coming from that source, otherwise, the scene won’t be convincing. To give you an example, we have added the Japanese Old Lamp prop to the grid.
Moving the Light Along the XYZ Axis
Once you have decided where your source of light comes from, you can move the light to that prop or area:
- Tap the light source so that it is highlighted.
- Then tap the four arrows above Move in the bottom menu.
- Look at the red, green, and blue arrows that appear on the light source to find which way the arrows move, and then select x, y, or z from the Move menu.
- Drag the slider sideways until the light reaches your desired position.
The light source can also be moved by dragging it to position with your finger or smart-pen, but this way is less accurate. Also, note that Directional light is not affected by moving the light source, so your highlights and shadows will stay the same as before even when the light is in a new area on the grid.
If you’re unfamiliar with posing models, have a look at the various ways you can pose a model in Magic Poser.
Rotating the Light
Rotating the light is a necessary step because it determines in which direction the light flows:
- Select the light source by tapping on it.
- Tap Rotate in the bottom menu, and you will see three circles appear around the light source.
- Rotate the light by sliding the x, y, and z in the menu bar, or drag the circles in whichever direction you need.
You should notice that the direction of light changes, highlighting new areas and creating new shadows. If you are using Point light, however, then Rotate will have no effect since the light flow is radial.
Scaling the Light Source
When your light source is in the correct position on the grid, you can go ahead and scale it up or down. Note that scaling the light does not actually affect the flow of light at all, but it can be helpful if you want to make the light source near invisible, or if you need it larger so that it’s easier to find.
To scale the light source:
- Tap the light so that it is highlighted.
- Tap the diagonal arrows icon underneath Scale in the menu bar.
- Select x, y, or z and drag the slider to scale the light. You can also select all three axes at once to scale it simultaneously.
Step 4: Adjust the Brightness and Color
When you’re finally happy with the placement, size, and direction of light flow, you can adjust the brightness and color.
The brightness settings differ slightly depending on which light type you choose. For the Point light we’ve used in this guide, the Brightness tool has two parts: the first is Brightness, which adjusts the amount of light emitted from the light source, and the second is Radius, which determines the circumference of light. You can adjust both of these settings:
- Select the light source by tapping on it so that it is highlighted.
- Tap Brightness.
- Slide the Brightness bar and the Radius bar until you’re satisfied with the result.
The color of light can also be changed, so instead of the default white light, you could choose a warmer tone like orange, or even an atypical light color such as green:
- Tap Color in the bottom menu once the light is highlighted.
- Scroll through the Basic Colors menu, or you can tap Skin Colors to find atypical options.
- Select a color by tapping on it.
- You can then fine-tune the color by selecting RGB and gliding the circles along the R, G, and B sliders until you reach the exact hue you want.
Other Ways You Can Adjust the Light
Magic Poser also has the option to adjust the time of day and strength of light, which affects the background lighting:
- In the top left corner, tap on the icon with the four dots, and a menu will appear underneath.
- Tap the box next to Views, and a side menu on the right-hand side will pop up.
- Scroll down to Environment and slide the circle underneath Environmental light strength and Time of day until you are satisfied.
This feature is particularly handy if your scene takes place outdoors, because it can create the illusion of sunsets and sunrises, as well as subtly adjust the saturation.
There really is so much you can do with 3D modeling: just have a look at the different ways 3D modeling is changing our world.
Light It Up in Magic Poser
Whatever you decide to create in Magic Poser, lighting can really take you that extra step further. The way the lighting interacts with your models and props has a profound effect on the mood, tone, and authenticity of your creation, so make sure to light the way, and you’re guaranteed to create the perfect scene.
Read the full article here