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Part: IV Appendixes > Differences in Lighting

Differences in Lighting

Lighting types: Maya includes the same primary light types and shadow modes as max. One added light type that's unique to Maya is called Area light, a light source that enables you to use a rectangle- or square-shaped light source and cast soft light with penumbral shadows. This light type is invaluable for indoor scenes or any place you want soft lighting. Also, Maya's Ambient lights are somewhat like the Ambient control in max's Environment dialog box, in that this light can bring up lighting levels on all surfaces. However, Maya's Ambient lights act like Point lights that include an All Surfaces Lit variable. You can also cast shadows from Ambient lights and have multiple Ambient lights. The Volume light in Maya has nothing to do with volumetrics (dust cones) as you know them in max. Instead, this light type is simply a Point light with falloff that is visible and easy to control with the Scale tool.

Creating lights: Lights are created just like objects, at a fixed size (1 working unit) and place (the origin point) when you choose Create | Lights | Light Type on the menu. You then position the light icon in your scene. You can scale light icons up and down without changing the rendered effect, except for the Area lights. An Area light's size is set by the icon itself, so you can use the Scale tool to stretch and size the Area light's rectangular panel. The Area light's shape affects how much light it emits.


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