View Full Version : Direct Lighting, Final Gather and/or Global Illumination?

08 August 2011, 10:16 AM
Hey guys,

I have been practising with different lighting techniques in Maya recently. So my question is this - Is it better to use direct lighting techniques or to use something like final gather and global illumination? Of course using final gather is much easier but it increases my rendering times quite dramatically.

I am interested to know the approaches that you guys take when working on lighting projects.

Thank you in advance,


08 August 2011, 05:28 PM
Global Illumination techniques (mostly FG) are the norm these days.

You should really know how to use them and use them well.

Lots of direct lights to get a good solution in a complex scene will generally cost you more in work effort and eventually longer to render (lots of lights gets expensive, even more when they are casting shadows) Your dramatic increase in render time should decrease as you get used to using it.

With something like FG, your time savings will be overall and not just in setup.

I generally use FG most often but builtin IBL for integration work (with or without FG)

Rarely use photons or caustics.

Irradiance Particles for complex indoor lighting and indoor lighting solutions where I need a high quality image.

08 August 2011, 08:48 PM
Thanks Bitter...

I am trying to learn all methods and rules about basic lighting principles in 3D. Been reading a lot and really enjoy learning this kind of stuff. I used a few old tutorials that I have from Digital Tutors and Gnomon to help with this. DT mainly talks about how to use GI and FG, whereas Gnomon mainly talks about direct illumination principles.

It is interesting what you said about the use of FG can actually speed up your workflow quicker than direct lighting. I need to look further into this. I have not tried with complex scenes yet though, only basic ones.

A couple of questions: What is IBL? And what are irradiance particles?

08 August 2011, 01:02 AM
Do a quick search in here for Builtin IBL and Irradiance Particles, there are some threads on here that discuss those.

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