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Adobe Photoshop CC - Advanced Training

Adding lights & casting shadows using Photoshop 3D

Daniel Walter Scott

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Hi there, this video we're going to look at lights in 3D. There are four kinds of lights. We'll work out how they affect our objects and how they cast shadows. We'll show you how to move them around to get kind of more dramatic effects. That's already dramatic, but you get what I mean. Let's jump in now and work out how they work in Photoshop. 

Working with lights, now by default you're given a light. It's here under 'Environment', it's just a default light. Just to give things shadows so they can be seen. So you've got one light to start with. What we're going to do is look at adding our own kind of purposeful lights. You do it by, on your 3D layer here, down here, this little light bulb, let's look at Infinite Light. Think of the Infinite Light as the Sun. You can't really move it physically, you can change the angle by grabbing this little ball thing at the end here. You can kind of decide where it's going to be cast. You can see the shadows affecting it in the background there. So I'm going to go straight up and try and cut. You can see the shadow being cast on the background. A little hard to see. I'm going to hit 'Render' to give you a quick view. 

You can see here, it's kind of light from the top, it's kind of casting shadows on itself here and on to the background. So Infinite Light is a perfect one, think of it as sunlight. It's just kind of a good fill light, and that may be all you need. What you might find though is - I'm going to hit 'Esc', stop rendering. - is that you've now got two lights. You've got the environmental light, which is kind of like an ambient light, plus you've got the Sun. So they're both working together. Let's say you don't want the environmental light, because you just want this really strong sunlight. So here in 'Environment', just turn this one here, turn IBL 'off'. Now we've only got this Infinite Sun. It makes, I guess a little not clearer, but it's just one directional sunlight. Now when I render, it really looks like we've just got a single bulb. It's not super strong, but in the shadows it's super dark, whereas an ambient light bounces around and kind of fills lots of holes. 

Things you can do to adjust the infinite light, so with it selected down here, you can decide on how soft the shadows are, or whether it has shadows at all, you might not want them at all. So we've got shadows, softness is really low, but watch this, if I crank it up it will get more feathered and more feathered rather than being a really kind of harsh strong thick shadow. Click 'Render' as well to show it. You can see now, it is kind of a fluffy shadow. 'Esc', you can also play around with the intensity. How bright this thing is, and how, maybe not bright it is. Easy one. Color just means it's going to tint the color. Say you want a kind of a weird yellow tint not a weird yellow tint, but you know what I mean. 

You just want kind of daylight flavor to it, or you can go something a bit more indoorsy. More like fluorescent lighting, kind of some sort of blue. Let's look at some of the other lighting types. You got two other ones, Spot and Point do a very similar thing. Infinite Light's like the Sun. Point Light, let's turn that one 'on'. I'm going to turn 'off' the Infinite Sun. Think of a Point Light as carrying around a bulb, physically carrying it around, and moving around the room, whereas Infinite Light just comes from everywhere in one direction. The bulb is actually something you can find. So with it selected we can actually move it around. Now for me, I can see it, it's down here. You might have to zoom out. You should be able to see it, and what we can do now is-- it's a little hard to move this thing around. 

What you might do is look at it from the top. Maybe we can go up to our 'Views', 'Current View', and go to 'Top'. This might be the easier way to look at it. So I've got my Point Light selected and I want to move it. Use 'Move', click the red one. Get this closer, you can see I'm actually right in front of the text now. So now if we go back to 'Current View', and actually go down, actually there's an easier way, you can click on 'Rad Option 2' there. Can you see, I've moved this bulb, really close to the artwork. So it's kind of like carrying a little lamp around. And it's going out all directions. Pretty cool, kind of moody, spooky. Z moves it away, and close. And you've got your X and Y to kind of move it up and down. I'm going to zoom a little bit. To zoom out go to your Top View and see if you can make it happen. So that's a Point Light. 

A Spotlight's kind of similar, except it's directional. Does the same sort of thing. It's like you physically carrying a spotlight around. I'll hit 'Esc'. That's pretty cool. I'm going to turn that one off. We have no lights. I'm going to add the last one, which is a Spotlight. This is even harder to use if you've never used 3D. I'm going to zoom out. I click on 'Current View', I'm going to click on this first option, and I'm going to see if I can find-- there he is there. If I click on my 'Spotlight', you can see, it's casting this way, it's only just getting a bit of this. And it can be fun to you. 

Let's again get it into a kind of a spot where we know what's happening with it. So we're going to go to 'Current View', let's go to 'Top' to see where it is. Zoom out. There's my little light there. I'm going to grab my 'Move' option. I'm going to click on my 'Spotlight'. It's shining kind of through and past my object, which is cool. What I want to do is I want to try and move it, move it this way. I need to rotate it around so I'm going to use the 'Rotation' option. I'm going to move it so it's facing there. Closer. Bit further away. So that's looking at it from the top, where you know, it's kind of at least from the top down, we can see it pointing at my object. Go back to 'Current View' and let's use the-- let's look at it from the right hand side. 

So it's kind of coming down and towards it, and that's fine. Spotlight. I might bring it down this way. Closer in, and say I want to rotate it. Make sure you've got the rotation, and click and drag it. It's a little bit hard, left and right, not up and down. So I've got a spotlight pointing at my text and my background. Let's have a little look. Let's go back to my 'Rad Option 2'. Click on my 'Spotlight'. You can see mine here, it's actually pointing kind of just up in to the left. So I could play a fun game of trying to rotate it, and clicking, dragging, and rotating it around. I'm going to use the 'Rotate 3D Object', and try and drag it around to point it at my graphic. And it's kind of working. 

So it's very directional. And we have to do a lot of switching between different views to try and work it out. The other thing you can do is you've got the Hotspot and the Cone of Light. So basically how focused this is. Oops, wrong option. It's these two little dots here, so I can expand this out. So what's happening is, inside the circle is full brightness from this light. You can adjust the intensity of that center chunk, then you've got the fall-off, which is anywhere between this hotspot and the outside of the cone. So there's no light outside of this, watch this, if I took you in very narrow, and then this in very narrow, you can see, the light is only affecting within that little range there, so I'm going to expand it out. 

Again this will depend on what you want to do. If you want a really narrow kind of searchlight, you can adjust the hotspot end cone over here. It's a little hard to work now on the graphic. Hit 'Render'. You can see there, had a kind of a weird square going on. Was just temporarily while it was, just working. In my case I want the cone to be a lot bigger. I want the shadows to have a bit more softness. I'm going to play around with the rotation of it, so 'Spotlight' selected, the 'Orbit' option, and just going to kind of wiggle it around until I get it how I want. Hit 'Render'. So that is a half render, but that is the difference between a spotlight. You point it around and it's super fun, and not difficult, yes, it's difficult. It's hard to get in pointing in the right direction. 

Point Light is quite easy. Just got to make sure you zoom out and actually find it on the map. You might have to play around with the different views. Just to figure out where it is in the world, and I can see mine there. It's my little Point Light, move it to where I want it to be. Up, down, left, right. I can adjust how bright it is, how fluffy the shadows are, or whether it had shadows at all. Or you can use the Infinite Light, which is more like, you just play around with the directions hitting things. All cast from the same angle. I'll go to my 'Rad Option 2', zoom in. Just a nice simple light. Or you might turn that off and use just the Environment Light. Or it's just kind of a generic fill, things refract and bounce around, and fill things. There's a bit of contrast, and there's shadow's cast, but it's a bit more like real life. Or you can turn them all on. Have them all battling for supremacy, and all kind of over saturating each other. If we render that, wow, that's bright. All lights working together as one. 

So that's going to be it for lights. Let's get into the last video where we look at rendering for our final production.