V-Ray lights are designed specifically to work with V-Ray and optimize its features. V-Ray also provides shadow options for standard 3ds Max lights, and utilities to assist in the lighting process.
As with standard 3ds Max lights, you can create these lights using the Lights tab on the Command Panel:
Depending on the scene and the effect you are trying to create with light, you might elect to use only one type of light, or any combination of lights.
Area lights are useful for simulating man-made light sources in an interior environment, such as lamps. An Area light can have any one of many different shapes: plane, disc, sphere, or the shape of a mesh object. A dome light, which creates light within a dome shape to create a traditional global illumination setup, is also considered an Area light. For more information, see VRayLight.
A Sun light is a spherical light source placed at a specific location which simulates the sun in the sky. A Sun light has some unique qualities:
For more information, see VRaySun.
Photometric lights are designed to simulate light sources exactly as they behave in real life by loading and using an IES (Illumination Engineering Society) file with details about the light's behavior, such as how the light passes through lenses and its intensity and falloff. For more information, see VRayIES.
Ambient light permeates a scene and illuminates from all angles equally without providing contrast. For more information, see VRayAmbientLight.
V-Ray also provides shadow types that work with standard 3ds Max lights. These shadow types take into account V-Ray-specific features such as V-Ray Proxies, Displacement, and Fur. For more information, see VRayShadow and VRayShadowMap.
The Light Meter helper shows how a scene is illuminated, which can aid in troubleshooting or in adjusting lights. For more information, see VRayLightMeter.
The following tools are provided by V-Ray to assist with lighting:
The information that is presented by VRayLightMeter does not change or otherwise affect the lighting in the scene in any way; it only reports on it. This helper is intended to provide information so you can make adjustments to the scene's lighting at your own discretion.