3 Ways Of Getting DAZ Studio Ambient Light


Render by Dreamlight using Light Dome PRO. Ambient light used to increase overall brightness of the image.

Ambient light is light that goes everywhere in your scene, regardless of the relationship of your objects. In other words, it lights up large open areas, as well as confined space. In Photoshop or any other 2D application, the thing most similar would be the brightness slider, however, with one important distinction. Ambient will light up everything, and show details of the surfaces, while brightness in Photoshop will only add to what’s already there.

So, how do you go by adding Ambient Light to your DAZ Studio scenes? There are 3 ways, and they all differ in various ways:

1. Adding a spread of shadowless Distant Lights around your scene

I’ve developed this technique back in 2005, when I first got my hands on one of the early DAZ Studio beta versions. Basically, you’re placing evenly aligned Distant Lights around you scene, each and one aiming at the center. By keeping a steady 45 degree angles, you can get away with 8 lights in total, 4 from above and 4 from below. The Ambient Light I’ve developed includes as much as 24 lights, which gives a very smooth effect, but 8 lights is more than enough. You can also parent 4 lights directly to the camera, and let them “embrace your scene”. Since they are parented to the camera, 4 lights is enough to always cover what’s in front of it.

The advantage of using Distant Lights, is that it’s fast, while still giving you control over each of the lights color and intensity. This method simply excels and giving you the option of changing only on or two lights, to customize the look and feel.

Distant Lights don’t need position, since they are “infinite” in their way of approaching your scene,  so you only need to think about their rotation. Use Diffuse Only for Illumination and no shadows. Adjust intensity, depending on how many lights you use.

If you own my Studio Light PRO for DAZ Studio, you already have Ambient Light as an instant preset you can load to your scene.

2. Adjusting the ambient channel in the surfaces tab

The second way of achieving ambient light, is simply by selecting the desired object in your scene tab and then heading into the surfaces tab. In the ambient channel section, simply select the desired color and intensity.

What’s cool about this, is that you can easily select an individual setting per surface of each of your objects. You can also easily select all objects, and then adjust all their surfaces in one go. The downside of this technique, is that you can quickly lose track of what ambient level all the various items have, resulting in uneven render results.

Another drawback as opposed to using Distant Lights, is that increasing the ambient channel, may affect Global Illumination. For instance when using Uber Environment, where you can actually get ambient surfaces to cast lighting.  It’s not an issue if you want that extra effect, but if you don’t want it, then don’t alter the surfaces ambient channel in conjunction with Uber Environment.

3. Using Uber Environment

Uber Environment that comes pre-built with DAZ Studio 4,5 Pro, has a function of adding ambient light to your scene. It’s fast and it’s easy to use. You can choose its intensity and color. A drawback is that you cannot control it is the same manner as when using individual lights. It’s either everywhere, or nowhere. With Distant Lights, you can fine tune lighting and intensity per light, therefore giving you the ultimate control.

And that’s it!

3 quick and easy ways of adding DAZ Studio Ambient Light.

Keep tweaking!

– Val Cameron / Dreamlight

P.S. Want to dominate DAZ Studio lighting? Then you want to check THIS out.




7 Responses to “3 Ways Of Getting DAZ Studio Ambient Light”

  1. Aeonic Butterfly May 14, 2013 at 7:02 pm #

    You mention using Light Dome Pro, yet I was interested in it yesterday and did some research, saw it wasn’t compatible with DAZ 4 or 4.5? When do you plan to update this?

    • Val Cameron May 15, 2013 at 9:37 am #

      Light Dome PRO will work in DS 4.5, and so will Studio Light PRO. What doesn’t work in DS 4.5 is Light Dome PRO 2. An upgrade is being made as we speak. 😉

  2. Alicia May 14, 2013 at 8:55 pm #

    very kewl–can’t wait to get my hands on DAZ Studio illuminated!

    • Val Cameron May 15, 2013 at 9:38 am #

      Thanks Alicia, can’t wait my self! 🙂

  3. Christopher West May 15, 2013 at 2:57 am #

    nice one val!

  4. Jason May 15, 2013 at 5:00 pm #

    Can’t wait for Illuminated. Dying to learn DAZ’s lighting system.

    • Val Cameron June 7, 2013 at 8:42 am #

      Awesome Jason, thanks for your comment!

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