Create a Maya light source


When you create a light, it is automatically added to the center of a scene. A light’s default options determine how the light affects the scene and whether or not it casts shadows, but you can (and typically do) change most of these options on a per-light basis by adjusting the light’s attributes (see Adjust a light source’s attributes).

You can make a one-time change to the default options of a type of light before you add the light, or you can adjust the options to change the way all subsequent lights you create look and work.

NoteAvoid instancing lights. This is particularly important for shadow depth maps and light fog.

Copy the lights instead of instancing. For light fog, make sure that light fog is duplicated independently of the light because when you duplicate a light, its light fog is not duplicated with it.

To create a light

  1. Do one of the following:
    • From the Create > Lights menu, select the type of light you want to create. The light is automatically added to your scene.
    • In the Hypershade, select Maya > Lights, then select the type of light you want to create.
    • Click the light icon on the Rendering shelf.

To set light options before you create the light

  1. From the Create > Lights menu, click the next to the name of the light for which you want to set options.

    For a description of the light options, see the following for the light you want to create:

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