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Playing with Light

In this lesson, let’s explore different types of lights and assess the results. We’ll also look at how we can work with bounced light, ramps and ‘digital gels’ in CG.


This lesson is an extract from our Creating Digital Studio Look Development Environments course, tutored by Jahirul Amin. If you are a new or experienced 3D/VFX Artist who wants to create your own look dev setups, make sure to check it out.

…and if you’d like to check out the HDRI lights and have a play with them in the digital realm, you can find them here:

1001. Introduction to Real-World Lights

To kick things off, Jahirul will introduce you to the lights we’ll be playing with.

1002. Elinchrom Rotalux Square Softbox

Here, we will focus our attention on the Elinchrom Rotalux Square Softbox.

1003. Elinchrom Rotalux Octogon Softbox

Sticking with the Elinchrom Rotalux, let’s play with the Octogon.

1004. Elinchrom Indirect Lightmotiv Softbox

…and now we’ll have a look at the Indirect and retangular shaped softbox.

1005. Panel Light, Spot Light and PavoTube

Moving away from the Elinchrome lights now, we’ll see how a panel, spot and pavotube affect our subjects.

1006. Assessing the Reference

With all the photos captured, let’s assess the results.

1007. Testing our Light Maps

In this lesson, the reference has been converted into a series of HDRI light maps which we will now test in Maya.

1008. Bounced Light, Ramps and Gels

And lastly, let’s explore how we can use a variety of techniques to push out lights.

Look Development and Lighting Training

For more information on all things real-time related, you can check out our courses here:

The Connection Programme

If you are a fan of mixing science with art, or maths with creative thinking, then join our Connection Programme, where we’ll be exploring VFX, animation and games from the core fundamentals:


  • HDRI Light Set 1004 – This is a set of 12 HDRIs captured from real-world lights that you can use as textured light sources in your CG scenes. The HDRIs are provided as 32bit ACEScg exr (4096 x 4096) files and should be suitable for all renderers. Just attach them to an area light, a mesh light or to an emissive shader, and hit render.

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