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A Realistic Lighting Rig

3 June 2003 16,819 views No Comment

A Realistic Lighting Rig

This tutorial will show you how to create a lighting rig that will simulate daytime lighting conditions. Most importantly, it will allow you to easily adjust the rig so you can reuse the rig in many different scenes.

With support for lighting based on HDRI images and radiosity techniques, the need to create this sort of lighting rig is reduced. But it is still a useful trick to pull out of the bag when rendering times need to be reduced.


A much overlooked feature of Lightwave is the ability to create lights based on polygons created in Modeller. This is invaluable as it allows us to create our lighting rig with as many lights as we want.

To start, create a single polygon centered at ( x = 0 , y = 0 , z = 1m ), and make an array (using the radial option) about the y axis by the number of lights you wish to have in your rig (I’ll be using 16 to keep it simple for this tutorial, but you’ll probably want to use a higher number to improve shadow quality).

Luxigon array

This lighting set-up was adequate for my Mitsubishi composite (see the movie gallery), but for more realism, you might want to use the polygons from a tesselated sphere.

Now select all the polygons and use the “Add Luxigons” command (which can usually be found in the Construct>>Additional menu). Don’t worry about the options here, just click on OK.

Now you’ve made your Luxigons (how easy was that huh!), save your object as "Luxigons.lwo" and start up Layout. This object is available for download with the finished rig at the end of this tutorial.

On the next page, I’ll show you how to convert your Luxigons and start building your rig.

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