Professional Lighting techinques for iClone3, Ambient and Impression

Create Warm, Cool, Dim, Night-time or Fantastic custom Lighting Scenarios in iClone

Create Warm, Cool, Dim, Night-time or Fantastic custom Lighting Scenarios in iClone

What’s up iCloners, today’s tip is getting back to the basics a bit. Ask yourself, what really makes for a rich and pleasing scene to the eye of your viewers? Well, let’s see. There are your Actors and Scenes, Props and Accessories, Cameras, Atmospheres, Particles and something else that will either work to enhance all the above or if left alone, will work to take away from it. Today’s tip covers Professional Lighting techniques in iClone. Think about it, your entire life most likely revolves around how much light is available to you on many levels. Not only how much light, but what kind, dim or bright, warm or cold, colored or muted, and on and on. Lighting is arguably the most important thing in your project. Thankfully Reallusion saw fit to re-write the Lighting system in iClone3 and give to the users a wider variety of Light settings and editing options as well as new features like Spotlights, Color and Movement Animation and Key-frame abilities to name a few. But to really get the most from these new additions, you must practice Lighting techniques when creating custom Lighting scenarios. That’s why this tip will focus mainly on Ambient and Impression settings to show you quick and easy ways to create outdoor situations like nighttime scenes, deep shadowed areas, time progression, warm and sunny vs. muted and cool appearances plus more. To begin becoming more familiar with Professional Lighting techniques follow the steps below or watch the high-speed video build provided at the end of this post.

  • Load a Scene or Prop into the scene for the Lighting to react to
  • Click the Stage tab
  • Select the Light button
  • In the Scene Manager click on Light 01
  • Check On the check-box making the light active
  • To create an animated Warm Light situation click the Color Swatch
  • Choose an Light Orange tone
  • Click OK
  • Click the Rotate Tool from the top tool bar
  • Click inside the view port and begin to Rotate the active Directional Light
  • Repeat the Color selection for Light02, Light03 & Light04 with shades of Orange
  • Repeat the Light rotation and positoning for Light02, Light03 & Light04
  • Click the Add button in the Content Manager to save each Light if you like
  • Name your custom lights Warm so you know what scenario they are meant for
  • Move to the End of the project using the Play head
  • Again use the Rotate Tool to move the lights which will create Light Animation
  • Click the Play button to review your light animation *This is a great way to create the illusion of clouds passing in front of direct sunlight
  • Again, click the Add button to save each new Animated Light if you like
  • To create a Night scenario Check Off all 4 Directional lights
  • Scroll down in the Scene Manager and check ON a Point Light
  • Click the Move Tool from the top tool bar and position the Point Light
  • Check ON Decay
  • Use the Range slider to vary the intensity of the Point Light
  • Adjust the Sky in your scene to match the Lighting Scenario
  • Click the Project tab
  • Again click the Add button in the Content Manager
  • Name and Save the Project so that you can save all Lights and settings in 1 Night scene
  • To create a Cool Lighting Scenario select your Point Light and change the color to a Light Blue
  • Check On only 1 Directional Light
  • Edit the color by clicking the Color Swatch and choose a Blue Grey tone
  • Again adjust the Sky in your scene to match the Cool Lighting Scenario
  • Click the Project tab
  • Again click the Add button in the Content Manager
  • Name and Save the Project so that you can save all Lights and settings in 1 Cool or Dim scene

Professional Lighting techniques in iClone will do everything to help make your movies more realistic and appealing to your audience if utilized and not simply left to be effected by the default Light settings only. Take measures such as editing your Sky domes to match your custom Lighting scenarios by adjusting the Brightness, Contrast, Hue and Saturation sliders in the Modify panel, you will find that by working with the Lights and Sky elements in an outdoor scene will prove to be key when creating situations in the light of day or the dark of night. Animated Lights, Colored Lights, Ambient levels and Modified settings in general are all assets in the development of your real-time stage, use them and you will see that these aspects are not to be overlooked. They are to be applied to suit your needs for each and every shot. Sure, there are some differences in indoor and outdoor lighting scenarios but the basic principles are the exact same. Keep that in mind and I promise with a little tweaking your Lighting techniques will soon become a second natured experiment in every project you embark upon before the Export phase is executed. Below is a high-speed video build showing how to create 3 different Professional Lighting scenarios with a demo render showcasing a time progression effect using only these Lighting situations and opacity fades. Enjoy!


4 Responses to “Professional Lighting techinques for iClone3, Ambient and Impression”

  1. November 15, 2008 at 5:21 pm

    Thanks for this – I put some of these tips into practice this morning, and you’re absolutely right – what a difference!

  2. November 15, 2008 at 5:52 pm

    Hello Dulci,

    Rock, that’s awesome. I love to hear that these little ditties get put to good use. Lighting is one of those things that really are all too often overlooked and really never should be. Thanks again for the comment and I hope to help you out again whenever possible.


  3. 3 Dave
    October 22, 2009 at 6:38 pm

    Hey, I’m a new blogger you can find here at this url http://outdoorlightingideas.blogspot.com , and your site is very related to mine; I thought it would be beneficial for both of us to do a blogroll link exchange. Please let me know if you’re interested. davidcllgr@gmail.com

    • October 22, 2009 at 6:55 pm

      Hello Dave,

      Feel free to link back to iClone Certified Training if you like, but this site pertains to the iClone film-making community so for the BlogRoll I only include iClone related links. Thanks for taking an interest in iClone Certified Training however and enjoy the site.

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