Attributes of Spot Lights in Maya


Attributes of Spot  Lights in Maya

Hello everyone.In this tutorial we will explain the basic attributes of Spot lights in Maya that every beginner should know. After reading this tutorial you will have enough understanding about how to use and control Spot light in the scene.

Creating Spot Light in Maya

Go to Create > Lights > Spot Light

Spot light will be created in the middle of the scene.


Attributes of an Spot light

To open the attribute window press Ctrl + A

Attributes of spot lights in maya


A drop down list which will specify the type of light. Set it to Spot light.

2) Color

It will determine the color of light. Clicking on Color Swatch to select the color or choose Color Picker to choose the desired color.

3) Intensity

It will determine the brightness of light. The light with intensity zero will produce no light. Slider range is 0 to 10 with the default value set to 1.

4) Decay

It determines how quickly the intensity of light decreases with the distance.

- No Decay – Light reaches everything.

-Linear  Decay – Light intensity decreases directly with distance.

-Quadratic Decay – Light intensity decreases proportionally with square of distance

-Cubic Decay – Light intensity decreases proportionally with the cube of distance

5) Cone Angle

It determines the cone angle which decides the size of light beam . Default value is set to 40.

6) Penumbra angle

The angle (in degrees) from the edge of the spot light’s beam over which the intensity of the spot light falls off linearly to zero. The valid range is -179.994 to 179.994. The slider range is -10 to 10. The default value is 0.


7) Drop off

Controls the rate at which light intensity decreases from the center to the edge of the spot light beam. The valid range is 0 to infinity. The slider range is 0 to 255.

8) Illuminate by default

Check that on and it will illuminate every object in the scene. If you turn off it will illuminate the object to which it is linked.

9) Emit Specular and Diffuse

They are ON by default.

10) Shadows

By default it is turned off.  If , turned on objects will cast shadows. Spot light in Maya only supports Ray traced shadows.

11) Depth map shadows

These shadows are used for testing purpose when the quality does not matter much to the user.

12) Resolution

It determines the resolution of shadows. If the resolution is low shadow will appear jagged and pixelated. set the value to 1024 for optimum result.

13) Shadow Color

It determines the color of shadow produced by light. Default color is set to black. Use colored shadow for transparent materials.

14) Shadow Rays

It controls the graininess of the soft shadow.

15) Ray depth limit

It  specifies the no of times a rays is reflected or refracted still causing light to cast shadows.


So , here we have covered all the basic attributes of Spot light in Maya.




Share and Enjoy