Light 3D scenes

Learn how to light your 3D scene using different types of light sources.

Adobe Substance 3D Stager has rich tools to create various lighting effects within a scene. To light your scene, you can use environment lighting, physical lights or emissive materials. 

Image based lighting

Environment lights and light textures

Environment lights (360 panoramic images) provide lighting and reflections through the entire scene. You can add light textures in a layer stack to create custom environment lights. Each layer has its own position, rotation, size, coloring, and more. 

Stager supports both Substance environment lights and light textures. Parametric image-based lighting provides a robust system for creating custom environment lights.

Use the image based lighting layer system to create custom environment lighting by going to properties and light.
Use the image based lighting layer system to create custom environment lighting.

Environment lights don’t have positioning within a scene, which means objects can’t get closer to, further from, or behind the environment light. The result is that light and shadows are even on all objects, regardless of their size or position. Environment lights are easy to setup and are great for most general lighting needs.

See the image based lighting documentation for more details.

Physical lights

Sometimes you may want to create lighting that doesn't affect the whole scene. Physical lights have positioning in the scene, so they can be closer and further from objects. This creates a falloff of lighting across objects in the 3D scene. Physical lights can simulate lamps, street signs, spotlights, windows, and more. 

Use physical lights by going to properties, object, area light.
Use physical lights to create localized lighting effects with natural falloff in the scene based on distance and light intensity.

Create lights from the Assets > Starter assets

You can choose from the following options:

Options

Descriptions

Point Light

Provides omni-directional light outward from a central source 

Spot Light

Emits light from a cone projection

Area Light

Emits light from a rectangular area

Directional Light

Emits light equally through the scene in one direction

For more details, see Physical lighting.

Emissive materials

Emissive materials can turn any object in the scene into a light source. This is useful for practical objects like making buttons on a device glow or making a light bulb. It is also useful for creative uses like luminescent worlds. 

Use the "glow" starter asset to turn an object in a light source.
Emissive materials turn models into light sources.

For more details, see Adobe Standard Material

What's Next?

We've got you covered on how to light your scene by using different types of light sources. Next, you can try to create a render of your 3D scene.

Have a question or an idea?

If you have a question to ask, come and participate in the Substance 3D Stager community. We would love to hear from you. 

You can also share your ideas of new features with us!

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