BOOTCAMP: LIGHT KIT PRO 3
A guide to this latest update
Mastering lighting is probably the most important skill a 3D artist can learn, as light creates everything we see. It informs how reflections look, how rough a material should be, and most importantly enables us to create spaces that tell stories.
Creating a lighting setup can be a time-consuming process. Thankfully though, Light Kit Pro 3 from Greyscalegorilla is here to make learning and creating bespoke lighting setups as easy as it can get.
Wisely, Light Kit Pro 3 creates lighting in the same way a photographer does, with a range of light sources that act (and look) like the lighting tools a photographer would use, from softboxes to photographic studio backgrounds. These objects show in the viewport window and can be interactively moved and modified around the scene without needing to dive into the Properties palette, which is a huge timesaver.
One of the main improvements that Light Kit Pro 3 provides is multiple render engine support. As not all render engines handle light and materials the same way, it can be a chore resetting lighting from one render solution to another if the client or other artists you are working with change. Light Kit Pro 3 handles this with aplomb allowing easy dropdown ‘swapability’ between Octane, Arnold, Redshift and Cinema 4D’s Standard and Physical render engines, meaning that a wide range of the render engines used by Cinema 4D artists in production are covered.
If you are in a rush, then Light Kit Pro 3 will have you covered. While the most fun can be had creating a bespoke lighting environment, this plugin comes with a huge range of lighting setups that can be loaded (and swapped out for another one easily) with just a click. Light Kit Pro 3 makes lighting easy and fun.
01 Add A Light
Once Light Kit Pro 3 is installed, adding a light is easy. Simply go to Plugins>light Kit Pro 3>Light Types to choose your light model. Once added, a representation of the light type is shown in the viewport. The light comes with its own target that can be modified and moved around the scene easily, and the geometry of the light adapts on the fly to any changes in position and rotation.
02 use the Light
The Light Kit Pro 3 light object has a plethora of options. From whether the geometry of the light is to be seen by the camera, the colour, intensity as well as reflection intensity – all can be controlled from the comprehensive Properties palette. The developers have used their deep knowledge of Cinema 4D to enable the main controls to be accessed directly on the light model itself, enabling intensity and fall-off to be modified for quick changes on the fly.
03 other Lights And Cycs
Light Kit Pro 3 has some great light options such as ring lights and umbrellas, which can really help with creating realistic lighting environments. Photographic backgrounds (also known as a Cyc) are available too with a wide range of model options, which again can be easily modified in the viewport and can be made to have render-specific materials to get an artist set up quickly with a bespoke lighting solution.
04 Light Kit Browser
If time is pressing, Light Kit Pro 3 comes with a wide range of lighting presets in the Light Kit Browser. These can be used at the beginning of the lighting process and come with their own stock model geometry for a subject. The developers have thought wisely about how to implement the presets, and the default model can be switched off, therefore not replacing anything already in a scene. Also, the preset will default to the chosen render engine.
05 swap presets
One of the problems when it comes to using presets in most plugins is that it can sometimes lead to a messy scene. Thankfully with Light Kit Pro 3 this is not the case. The Light Kit Browser presets can be changed by going back to the browser and choosing a new look. Light Kit Pro 3 then swaps out the preset, keeping everything neat and tidy. This is great for when you want to quickly explore new looks for a scene.
06 Multiple render engines
One of the biggest chores in CGI can be swapping between render engines, as textures and lights work very differently. Light Kit Pro 3 solves the lighting part of this tedious task by having the ability to switch between light setups with a dropdown. Make sure to use a preset from the Light Kit Browser or have your light objects in a Light Kit Studio object to enable this amazing feature, which is a huge timesaver. •