Selecting Create > New Distant Light allows you to create a new Distant Light in your scene. A Distant Light is a directional light that covers an entire scene, but has no real source position. The closest real-world example would be sunlight.
Distant Lights are the virtual equivalent of the sun. They put out parallel light rays across your entire scene. Thus, their location does not matter - translating a Distant Light will not affect your scene’s lighting. In this image, the light is located between the figure’s feet but still casts uniform illumination. Rotation does affect your scene’s lighting just as the sun’s angle in the sky affects lighting on the ground. The image below shows an example of a Distant Light shining down from the sphere's left side with shadows turned on.
Each Distant Light has the following default parameters, which you can adjust using the Parameters Tab:
- Translate (XYZ): The Translate sliders translate the light along its local X, Y, and Z axes without altering its rotation.
- Rotate (XYZ): The Rotation sliders rotate the light along its local X, Y, and Z axes without altering its location.
- Scale (XYZ): The Scale sliders scale the light along its local X, Y, and Z axes.
- Illumination: The Illumination pull-down menu contains the following options:
- Off: Selecting Off turns the selected light off. If you decide to turn a light to 0% intensity, we suggest shutting it off using this menu to conserve computing resources when rendering.
- Diffuse Only: Selecting Diffuse Only specifies that the light will only cast light in the normal (diffuse) channel without affecting highlights or specularity. This selection only affects the appearance of rendered images. It will appear the same as the On selection in the interactive display.
- Specular Only: Selecting Specular Only specifies that the light will only cast light in the highlight (specular) channel without affecting the diffuse channel. This selection only affects the appearance of rendered images. It will appear the same as the On selection in the interactive display
- On: Selecting On turns the selected light on. It will cast light in both the Diffuse and Specular channels. When a light is on, its brightness is determined by the Intensity slider.
- Cast Shadow: Checking the Cast Shadows checkbox causes DAZ Studio’s rendering engine to calculate shadows cast by objects within the selected light’s area of illumination.
- Shadow Bias: The Shadow Bias parameter specifies how far to shift samples towards the light source to prevent objects casting shadows across themselves (self-shadowing). Increasing the bias value increases the sample shift, and vice-versa.
- Shadow Softness: The Shadow Softness parameter determines how soft the shadow’s edges are. Most shadows in nature have at least a little softness around the edges; almost none have completely sharp edges. Increasing the softness value increases the shadow edge softness and vice-versa.
- Color: The Color indicator displays the light’s current color. Clicking it opens a standard Color Picker, which allows you to select your desired color for the currently selected light.
- Intensity: The Intensity parameter adjusts the light’s brightness from 0% (totally off) to 100% (totally on) up to 200%.
The Distant Light has no additional parameters other than the default light parameters. The image below shows two examples of the intensity of a distant light.