Beginning Lighting and Rendering with 3ds Max and V-Ray

V-Ray Dome Light and other V-Light types

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This segment focuses on creating a V-Ray dome light and understanding other V-Ray light types.


  • V-Ray dome light
  • V-Ray sphere light
  • V-Ray disc light
  • V-Ray mesh light
  • V-Ray IES light

About this video

Jamie Cardoso
First online
21 December 2018
Online ISBN
Copyright information
© Jamie Cardoso 2019

Video Transcript

[Audio starts]

In this segment, we’ll focus mainly on creating a V-Ray dome light and understanding other V-Ray light types. The first step is to create a V-Ray dome light object; understand a V-Ray sphere light; V-Ray disc light; V-Ray mesh light; and a V-Ray IES light. Let’s start by selecting and copying one of the lights in the scene. Choose the copy option for the clone dialog and rename it as dome light. Open the modify panel. Under the general parameters, change the light type to dome. Note how the shape of the light change in the view port. Also change its color swatch to blue tone, which is consistent with the diffused lighting color. In addition, under the options parameters, disable the affect specular and reflection options. Dome lights shouldn’t affect those two options. There are also other type of lights, which are not being used in the scene, but available within V-Ray. The first one are the sphere lights. To create the V-Ray sphere lights, first, select and copy any of the lights in the scene. As previously done, open the modify panel and change the light type to sphere. Isolate it. V-Ray’s sphere lights emit energy in every direction. Each size can be controlled by decreasing or increasing its radius values. The option parameters are similar to the other lights. You can also choose disc light types instead. These types of lights are mostly used to emulate the round shaped dome lights. You can control the size of the disc with the radius values. The bigger the radius, the softer the shadows and vice versa. There’s also a mesh V-Ray light type. This light type is often used to emulate a light being emitted from objects. To link this light to an object, let’s start by opening the create panel first and expanding the geometry group. Click on a sphere button, followed by clicking and dragging the cursor in a viewport to create it. Next, click on the mesh light. Open the modify panel and expand the mesh light option. Click on a pick mesh button and select the sphere to turn it into a physical item. That’s how a V-Ray mesh light is often created. We can now exit the isolation mode. Another light we can create are the IES lights. To create an IES light, open the correct panel and click on the its light button. On the object type group, click on the V-Ray IES light button. These types of lights are often created either on a front or left view port because the target direction of the light needs to be set. Isolate the scene, then click and drag to create the IES lights. The IES name stands for Illuminating Engineering Society. There are plain text files that contain data of the lights for architectural programs that can simulate lights accurately. The IES light options are similar to the other light types. The enable function allows you just to turn the light or off. You also have to enable view port shading, show distribution, targets in IES file. To load up an IES file, simply click on its toggle. To find more IES file sources, you can go to the manufacturer’s website or simply visit a popular worksite called There you’ll find a huge library of IES profiles ready for download for free. As you can see, each light profile has its own pattern and distribution. In order to save these patterns in your render, the light sources need to be placed next to walls or surface. Back in 3D Max, simply pick your IES light profile. As you can see, once loaded, the IES light distribution shape changed accordingly automatically. If you are sourcing IES files from your local library and want to preview each profile without having to render, simply go to the light group as before, choose the photometric light type from the list and create in the view port. Next, open the modify panel, disable it because it’s for previewing purposes only. Change it onto distribution type to photometric web web and load up the IES light profile to preview it in the view port. You can preview it on a thumbnail seen here, or once loaded, the distribution and light details can easily be previewed here. In summary, you can always have one light turned off for previewing purposes only. If you’re happy with the distribution preview, simply go to V-Ray light and load it there. This segment is now concluded. While the usage of lights are important in a scene, it’s equally essential to understand their functionalities.

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