Attributes of Directional Lights in Maya | Maya Tutorial

Attributes of Directional Lights in Maya | Maya Tutorial

Attributes of Directional Lights in Maya

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

Creating Directional Light in Maya

Go to Create > Lights > Directional Light

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


Attributes of an Directional light

Attributes of directional lights in Maya

Attributes of directional lights in Maya

To open the attribute window press Ctrl + A


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

5) Emit Specular and Diffuse

They are ON by default.


6) Shadows

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

7) Depth map shadows

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

8) 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.

9) Shadow Color

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

10) Shadow Rays

It controls the graininess of the soft shadow.

11) 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 Directional light in Maya.


About Amod Mantri

Amod drinks lots of coffee and writes articles. A student by day , blogger by night. When a team needs a gum to hold itself together , he is there to chew it.

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