Directional light simulates a light that is an infinite distance away, this light casts a shadow in one direction only. This method is particularly useful for sunlight.
Ambient light is the most simplistic type of lighting, with a fixed colour and a fixed position, this is often used to simple make an object visible.
Point lights are quite similar to an actual light bulb. Light is emitted equally in all directions inside a spherical range.
A spotlight is similar to the point light, only this method emits light in a cone shaped range.
Think of area lighting as a small light sticking through a large sheet of paper, illuminating the sheet of paper from the centre.
Volume light is a way of implying something else through light: Say if you wanted to illuminate through a foggy window, the light would pick up on the fog.
Light Intensity is the way in which a certain light is portrayed. A brighter light will obviously be brighter than a dimmer light.
Light colour can completely transform a model. You can bathe a model in a colour in order to portray a certain tone or evoke an emotion.
Light linking allows you to link a light with a surface and that no other light can effect it.
Cookies(light) can allow you to make a light source to a project, rather than a standard light. Think of it like light being shone through a stencil.
Three point lighting is the aligning of lights to control how the object’s shadow is formed. Fill, key, rim light.
Depth map shadows are positioned shadows so that the creator can move the shadow to exactly where they want it.
Ray traced shadows are similar to depth map shadows, only they can be adjusted so that the colour and texture of the shadow can represent the light.
Maya software renderer is a tool that can make adjustments to the final model while rendering.
Mental Ray Renderer is a quick way to produce highly detailed models with a fast rendering time.
Arnold Renderer is an application that can create detailed and well lit models. This software has been used for films like Gravity and Pacific Rim.
…And now, the moment that none of you have been waiting for, my spaceship in it’s natural habitat.
I am starting to get better on Photoshop, so that this ship doesn’t look so out of place. I used the directional lights and spotlights in Maya to create the impression that the sun in the background image is actually shining down on the spaceship.