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Photometric Lights

Choosing the Photometric subcategory limits the number of different lights you can create. However, unlike the lights in the Standard subcategory, lights in the Photometric subcategory behave like real-world lighting solutions.

The photometric lights have settings that relate directly to real-world light measurement values, such as Intensity and Temperature. These values are often easiest to understand if you’re used to a bit of DIY or just general real-world lighting, although using them can take a little more time to set up correctly than using the standard lighting options. However, 3ds Max comes with a number of templates that can help you out, and they make it as easy as choosing 40W Bulb for a 40-watt bulb. Nice!

These are the options in the Photometric subcategory:

  • Target Light—You can aim a target light at a specified target, using the target sub-object provided with this light.
  • Free Light—You can aim these lights by using the Move and Rotate tools.
  • mr Sky Portal—Once again, this is a Mental Ray–specific lighting option, and I advise you to leave it alone for now as it’s a little too complex for your 3ds Max experience.

Figure 10.4 shows the few options you have available in the Photometric subcategory.


FIGURE 10.4 You have only three options available when you use the Photometric subcategory, but they allow you to use real-world lighting measurements.

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