Basic Lighting Setup in Arnold using the Arnold Sky Shader

In this simple lighting tutorial, aimed at Autodesk Maya beginners, we explain how to achieve a basic lighting setup in Arnold using the Arnold Sky Shader. This is a simple lighting setup, only slightly more sophisticated than the Arnold Physical Sky tutorial - which is as simple as it is possible to achieve in Arnold, and gives good results for an outdoor scene with just a few clicks


Arnold Sky Shader Tutorial

Basic Lighting in Maya

1. Start in the Render menu (top left)

2. Render/Render Settings/Render Using/Arnold
3. File Output: Select JPEG
4. Image size HD 720
5. Now go to Arnold Renderer Tab: Environment/Background Legacy/Create Sky Shader
6. Now do a Test Render. Getting better!
7. Find AI sky in Outliner. Select Transform1
8. In the Attribute Editor, Go into colour and make it blue. 
9. Now do a Test Render. Getting better!
10. Create/lights/directional light. Make it bigger. Rotate it towards the set so it shines from above. 
11. Select the Light, in Attribute Editor shape node; select the Arnold tab, set Exposure to 2. 
12. Now do a Test Render. Getting better! 
13. But…Shadow is hard edged.  Select directional light, go into the Attribute Editor, Shape Node, change “Angle” slider to 2. That will make shadow less hard. 
14. Go into samples in Arnold and take it higher. Less noise. 
15. In Viewport, go to Renderer, Arnold, and you can see the lights in the Viewport.
Lighting at Animation Apprentice
To find more lighting and rendering resources at Animation Apprentice, follow the links below: