Poser 101: Interactive lighting

  • A simple trick to position a spot light "interactively" by attaching it to a camera.
    It might not be worth the setup effort for a single image, as much as it would
    be for an animation with several shots.

  • Poser Ambassadors

    Nice tutorial - when doing portraits a catch light for the eyes is important - I'll be using this technique to set that up in future, thanks!

  • @caisson
    You are welcome caisson!

  • Lights already have camera's attached to them. Each light has a corresponding shadow light camera. They are listed at the bottom of the Camera list.


    Also, the camera's zoom is tied to the spotlight's Angle End parameter.

  • @krios another thing you can try is parenting a torus to the front of the camera around the lens and turning it into a mesh light.

  • @willdial
    Is that cam view supposed to control the light's position? Because it doesn't seem like it's connected to the light ???

    That's a neat trick. Kind of like having a ring light on a macro lens for extreme closeups.

  • @krios The light controls the camera's movement. The camera does not control the light's movement

  • @willdial
    Aha, so they are just extra camera views. I usually just delete them to keep the scene clean.

  • Poser Ambassadors

    @krios said in Poser 101: Interactive lighting:

    Aha, so they are just extra camera views. I usually just delete them to keep the scene clean.

    No they aren't just extra camera views. If you use Depth-mapped shadows in FireFly, these cameras are actually used to generate the depth map, i.e. what these cameras "see" is precisely what the depth map (which is after all just an image) will cover.

    By manipulating the precise composition of these cameras, separate from the position of corresponding light, you have control over the shadow map rendering. This is/was useful when you know that the shadow map is wasting pixels that will not be viewed in the actual render, and you want to concentrate the shadow map on a specific subset of the scene where the light is lighting (or shadowing) something actually visible, and do so with greater precision.

    None of this is helpful unless you care about depth-mapped shadows. But I thought I'd correct the misrepresentation of what these cameras are for and why you'd move them separately from the light.

    A common example is when you have a spotlight on a figure, but you're only rendering a portrait. The shadows of arms and legs are not interesting and you can focus the shadow cam on the face. This would, in turn, get more detail from nostrils and eyelashes, without resorting to enormous (and time-consuming) shadow maps.

  • @bagginsbill
    Thank you for clarifying this Bill. My lights usually have ray traced shadows, so those extra cameras are just an odd thing that tends to procreate on its own like bunny rabbits. After a while some scenes end up with 10-20 of these shadow cams even though there are only about 5 lights in the scene.