The Dome Light – Into the Snowglobe
Dome lights: how do I use them to create a night time CGI?
You may not know it yet, but a dome light is the answer to creating ever-more realistic lighting setups within your CGIs…
Let’s break it down…
In a day-time scene, we have direct sunlight to illuminate our scenes. Direct light also scatters through the atmosphere and illuminates our environment.
V-Ray considers both direct and indirect illumination as two separate light sources.
To create a night-time scene, we require a technique to remove direct sunlight, whilst being able to create a night-time environment.
To do this, we use something called a Dome Light
A Dome light is a type of V-Ray light that surrounds our entire model, forcing light inwards. Images can be loaded into these light sources, which enables the user to simulate real-world environments by using panoramic HDR images.
Learn more about the benefits of a Dome Light on our Access into V-Ray for SketchUp course
I like to think of a Dome Light as a giant snow globe – with our model in the centre. We can choose what the sky looks like by swapping in different panoramic images.
Now that we know what dome lights are; what does this mean for you?
Select the highlighted tool to add a Dome light into your scene. Putting this into practice is straightforward. Pick out the Dome light tool from your V-Ray toolbar…
Load in your HDRI…
Hit render! Don’t forget to rotate your dome light to adjust the position of the sun
Over the years we have come across many different sources for dome lights…
We would like to recommend just two…
For variety, we highly recommend taking a look at Poliigon. Besides offering free assets; they operate a simple, subscription-type service where, depending on your package, you obtain different amounts of credits every month to spend on HDRIs, textures or models
If you are looking for top-quality HDRIs, look no further than Peter Guthrie’s shop – PG Skies. This in-depth collection of ultra high-quality HDRIs contains skies for all occasions. The handy preview renders show each of these in action, to make picking out your favourite that much easier!
Brought to you by the Archilime Academy