A Spotlight offers a lot of control over how it shines and is the most sculptural of the Light Types. We have one Spotlight in our scene. We immediately see two things. First, in the World Views the Icon for a Spotlight looks like a theatrical light. Second, we see an arrow sticking out of it, so that means it has a source and a direction so you can position it and point it. Let's open its Info Window and click on Properties. And I'll change our Shade Mode. Look at these three fields on the right: Factor, Outer Cone, and Inner Cone. These fields describe the shape of the light. As we can see in our Camera Window, the light shines out in a triangle shape, or actually a cone shape. The cone's edge is soft. The amount of softness is set by the Factor field. The Size of the softness is set by the two Cone fields. Inner Cone, the brightest part of the illumination spreading out to the Outer Cone. These are the default values. But let's change Inner Cone to 10. Now our spread is very large and it's effect is to soften the light so much that it looks like a smooth medium across the surface it's hitting instead of even illumination. Let's change the Inner Cone's value to 40. Now our Spot's edge looks crisper and the overall effect is that our illumination is brighter and more defined. Let's set the Inner Cone back to 30 and take a look at Factor. First we'll render a Snapshot. Let's set that aside, now we'll change the Factor from a default value of 1 to 2 Ð render a Snapshot Ð now let's change the Factor value to 0.5 and render another Snapshot. Let's take a look at these three images. The Factor values determine the slope of the falloff between the Inner Cone and the Outer Cone. The larger the Factor value the more pronounced or sharper the falloff appears. In other words, it darks more quickly. The smaller the Factor value the more gradual the falloff, but the shape of the illumination appears less feathered because it applies more light to the spread. Think of Factor as a hill's edge. The larger the Factor value the more of a cliff the edge is; the smaller the Factor's value the more the edge appears like a wider, gentler slope. We can create a very soft light by adjusting all three fields. Let's set the Factor to 2 and change the Inner Cone to 10. We should see a wider spread in the transition and a softer edge Ð Snapshot Ð and we have exactly that. I'm going to change the Camera View's Shade Mode to Wireframe. Now we can see our objects a little more clearly, and show you something really great about aiming your Spotlight. Because a Spot is a directional light, like a Parallel Light, Electric Image lets you look through your light like a camera. Click on this Camera Select button in the Camera View. Beside our Camera we see that we can choose our Spotlight here, and we now see our Inner Cone and Outer Cone as two circles. The angle of our view is determined by the Outer Cone. If I change the Outer Cone's value to 60 then we see more of our scene. This feature is great for aiming our Spotlight just right. The Camera shortcuts all work, like Dolly In, or Track, or Pan Ð just great. You may end up using a variety of lights in your scene with the exception of Ambient. I personally never use it, but Spotlights may become your favorite. You can really highlight your model surface detail and play with areas of light and color and shadows by combining Spotlight's Properties and Dropoff values.
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