Lighting in Poser 6 - Part II and III

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These two tutorials follow the article on Basic Lighting in Poser 6. In these two tutorials, I will try to go step by step using a light probe. The following tutorials assume, however, that you know how to accomplish tasks such as deleting lights.

Lighting a Figure Evenly

1 - Delete all the lights. The sphere and figure will be black

2- Add a white Imaged Based Light centered to shine on the whole body. The light probe that you choose is very important. Also whether you decide to use Ambient Occlusion or not, make sure that the light is pure white (for this exercise) and centered. Notice the -360 and 0 settings. The screen capture on the right shows how the IBL is placed using the settings shown.

3 - The properties for this light were IBL, no shadow or Ambient Occlusions and the rest default.

4 - The following were three images all set up in a similar manner except in the choice of light probe and whether Ambient Occlusion was used or not. You can notice the differences between all the figures. Notice how on the last figure on the right the shadows appear where her neck and collar bone meet. Notice on the first figure how much darker her face is than on the second. In my opinion, the second figure basically is evenly lit.

In order to access IBL and IBL with Ambient Occlusion, under light properties (see above), click on Advanced Material Properties to take you to the Material Room's Advanced Property's tab. If you want Ambient Occlusion, check it even though you can access it once you are in the Material Room and accessing the Advanced Prosperity's tab. Click on IBL which will bring up a screen, and then browse until you come to where your jpg light probe files are stored. Those that are part of Poser 6 can be found by going to: Poser6>Runtime>Textures>Poser6 Textures>LightProbes>LagoonShoreandSky.jpg.

After you have chosen the Light Probe Texture, a screen asking whether to use Ambient Occlusion will pop up. If you do not want to use it, click no. Even if you have not chosen it initially, this screen will pop up.

The last screen shots for this series show the two LightProbes used: LagoonShoreDesaturated.jpg and lagoonShoreandSky.jpg with their respective Material Room Image Maps. LagoonShoreDesaturated.jpg texture map is on the left while LagoonShoreAndSky.jpg texture map is on the right.

Remember, I have only shown you where to begin. The rest is up to you!

Creating Dramatic Lighting

1 - Start out by deleting all the lights as you did in "Lighting a Figure Evenly."

2 - Add an Image Based Light with the LagoonShoreAndSky.jpg Light Probe without Ambient Occlusion as you did in "Lighting a Figure Evenly". Initially, the default intensity of the light is 100%. Leave it at that setting for now.

3 - Position a yellow spot light so it lights half of the face. Set it to Revolve by clicking on the arrow to the left of the light Controls, and when the drop down menu appears, choose Revolve. Then, place the spot pointing at the left eye. If you cannot set it to your satisfaction, the following is a trick that should work. Select from the top menu Object>Point At. Then, select Left Eye.

4 - If it is hard to see the Spot Light, move the icon circled in red back to make the figure smaller. The Spot Light should come into view.

5 - Once Left Eye is selected, make a note of the x, y, z positions - the xTran, yTran, and zTran positions and the angles of the light. Also, make a note of the zTran position of Jessi's body. To do this, select Jessi as the figure and then body. Once you have noted these positions, Select Object>Point at>none.

Also notice that the Angle End was changed from its default to 60%.

6 - Then move the light so it reflects the basic position when it was pointing to the eye. But since you released it, you can move it more freely. Make sure the spot light's zTran position is greater than that of Jessi's body so it will shine more from the front than the side. The Diffuse IBL has been there all the time. It just wasn't selected in the earlier pictures so that emphasis could be on the spot light.

7 - Change the intensity of Light 1 (IBL) to 75%. Keep Light 2 (Spot Light) at 100%.

The above is just a general example of how two lights can be used for a dramatic effect.


  • Part I of this tutorial.
  • As always, I invite you to visit my web site, Perpetual Visions
  • The Paula Sanders Report is a regular Renderosity Front Page featured column, where Paula investigates and comments on graphic software, techniques, and other relevant material through her reviews, tutorials, and general articles.
  • January 16, 2006

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    Member Opinions:
    By: dialyn on 1/16/06
    I personally find lighting to be one of the more difficult aspects of Poser to master. It doesn't matter if you have a great texture, wonderful posing, and a great idea...muddy lighting can destroy it all. I appreciate this useful information, and have been recommending this article to people who have the same problems as I do. Poser 6 has a lot of wonderful but mystifying features. Articles like this are very useful -- especially when one is a techno-idiot like I am.

    By: LindaB on 1/17/06
    I'm learning a lot from these tutorials - thanks for creating them :-)

    By: Pauldg on 1/17/06
    These are wonderful. And as new user, a very helpful tool for me. Thanks,

    By: buckzero on 1/18/06
    Nice tut, I to find lighting to be painful sometimes.

    By: maxgrafix on 1/19/06
    good tutorial, yep lighting is my weakest point too.
    many thanks ;)

    By: novelist999 on 1/19/06
    Thanks. I appreciate these tutorials. I'll have to try them as I'm confused about Poser 6 lighting. :-)

    By: Jean-Luc_Ajrarn on 1/20/06
    Thank you so much! :D

    By: chainedpoet on 1/21/06
    A newbie here as well and I am sure the results will get better now,thank you.Lighting is my weakest point.

    By: genefleeman on 1/22/06
    I find these tutorials to be very informative for a non-technical sort like myself. My heart goes out to you for making something that is so helpful to all of us here......KEEP'EM

    By: Crimmy on 1/22/06
    Thank You Paula! This is very helpful. I would never be able to grasp this lighting setup without your help.

    By: cornelp on 1/23/06
    U are great. One of the most difficult areas in Poser are lights. I could never figure it out. Your tuts are amazing, great and well written. More please, MORE. U are great, great new ideas U given me with these tuts. THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

    By: Paula Sanders on 1/23/06
    Thank you all for your comments. I really appreciate them.


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