Dimension is a design tool which provides access to high-quality 3D, built from the ground up, for graphic designers. Lighting in 3D is modeled after real-world physical lighting which is different from creating lighting effects in 2D applications. This article outlines the various lighting types that are supported in Dimension.
Environment lights are panoramic images that are spherically wrapped around a 3D scene. They can be considered to be the environment that the content lives in and provides general ambient lighting, shadows, and reflections. Environment lights are not highly editable and have a limited range of properties to adjust their content, as it is based on the image itself. They are incredibly powerful for providing quick scenes with realistic lighting and reflections.
Where Environment lights provide preset lighting setups that require little adjustment, Directional lights are components you can use to build custom lighting. These lights similarly exist on a 360 sphere around the scene and project light inwards.
Color: The color of the light. Choose from a standard omnipicker, or a temperature picker with input in Kelvin and a range of standard presets.
Intensity: The brightness of the light.
Rotation: The position of the light on the horizontal axis around the scene, controlling whether the light points from the front, side, or back.
Height: The position of the light on the vertical axis around the scene, controlling whether the light is high or low.
Light shape properties: In addition to the above settings which control the position of the light relative to the overall scene, there are specific light shape properties that give you more control of the light itself.
Dimension also includes Sunlight, a special light type which generates an artificial Sun to provide strong directional lighting and shadows. The sunlight is similar to the Directional lights in how it works, but the effect of the light is specific to the shape and realistic behavior of the sun.
Colorize: By default, the sunlight has its own coloring based on natural sunlight. When the height of the sun is high, the sunlight is blue-white. As the height decreases the sun changes to yellow and red, mimicking real-world sun color temperature. The Colorize property overrides the default color of the sun with a user selected color.
Intensity: The Intensity property controls the brightness of the light generated by the sun. The sun is naturally brighter when it's high and dimmer when it's near the horizon.
Height: The Height property controls the vertical rotation of the sun. A higher height provides top-down lighting while a lower height provides strong side-lighting. When Colorize is off, the height slider maps the coloring of the sun to time of day: 90° would be noon with bright white lighting, while 0° would be dusk or dawn with reddish lighting.
Rotation: The Rotation property controls the horizontal rotation of the sun around the scene.
Cloudiness: The Cloudiness property controls how direct the sunlight is. At a low cloudiness value, the sun is directly lighting the scene and produces hard edged, crisp shadows. At a high cloudiness value, the sun is being dispersed through atmospheric elements like clouds or fog and produces soft, faded shadows.
Dimension has a powerful set of features for adding a background image to your 3D scene. For more details, see Match Image.