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Blender Indirect Lighting Test with Animated Texture


Here's a short tech-demo that I enjoyed watching:

François "CoyHot" Grassard writes:

Just a simple test about using Indirect Lighting feature in Blender 2.54. There's no light in the scene.

It's a real pleasure, since Blender 2.5, to see the animated texture directly in the 3D viewport, too.

About the Author

Avatar image for Bart Veldhuizen
Bart Veldhuizen

I have a LONG history with Blender - I wrote some of the earliest Blender tutorials, worked for Not a Number and helped run the crowdfunding campaign that open sourced Blender (the first one on the internet!). I founded BlenderNation in 2006 and have been editing it every single day since then ;-) I also run the Blender Artists forum and I'm Head of Community at Sketchfab.


  1. Please, it's not "indirect lighting", it's only "lighting with something else than light, ie, lighting with a texture/mesh/..."

    Indirect lighting is when light bounces multiples time on walls. eg., the light under your desk comes from thoses bounce, but not from "direct lighting".

    Here, the floor can see directly the cube faces, so it's direct lighting.

    BTW, really nice video.

  2. Guillaum, that's certainly correct. However, to make Meshemitters work, you have to activate indirect lighting for that.
    And it could easily be that the bounce setting is higher than 0. So there is at least a bit of indirect lighting included.

  3. It's not really indirect lighting ... that would rather be the light bounces from another light source. It's more IMage based / texture based lighting.

    BTW - does IBL create shadows, already?

  4. @Guillaum

    Your explaination is correct, but assumption is wrong! The terms 'indirect' vs 'direct' refer to what initially drives the illumination of a surface that is seen by the camera.

    Direct = A light source (spotlight, directional, point light), hits a surface, illuminates it, hits the eye

    Indirect = ANY source (surface, volume) hits a surface, illuminates it, hits the eye

    Its an important distinction. Multiple bounces can form a large part of indirect illumination, but isn't required; its all about 'lights drive illumination' vs 'all surfaces drive illumination'.

  5. @Matt

    It may be details, but I do not agree with your definitions (and my previous one was a bit false too ;)

    You makes a difference between "blender lights" (point light, direction light, ...) and surface/volume light. But in reallife there is no such thing as spot light, point light, direction light. Every light in real life is a surface (or volume) light.

    But surface light are really difficult to render, and usually computer graphics use approximation of them (like point light), because under some assumptions, the result may be equivalent with less work for the computer (i.e. a point light is like a small surface light seen from far enough)

    In my definition, light is something that really emit light (not something that scatter it), so:

    Direct: you see directly the light, or with only one bounce
    Indirect: you see the light with more than one bounce

    And the video is only showing Direct lighting because you can see the light from the cube (no bounce) or from the floor (one bounce from the cube). But it's still a nice feature to see the possibility to use "surface light" (or "mesh light":more complex in geometry or light repartition than the area light)

    Render branch of blender also support a bit of indirect lighting, but the big issue with indirect lighting may be computation time and noise. And if you don't fear long (really long) render time, you probably want to use a renderer like LuxRender, because thoses renderers can give you more accurate results with indirect lighting. But the blender internal will always give you quicker results (if you know how to use it) than any kind of complex raytraced unbiased indirect renderers.

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