If you are starting this tutorial here, you will need the result of the previous section.

If using HtoA 0.10, this part of the tutorial will not render correctly due to a core bug. This has been fixed in Arnold and above.

Key Light 

We will not use the Skydome because we want the reflection of the environment to be black to contrast with the lit areas. Studio lighting is about defining the shapes that make up the object to sell the form. The prominent shapes of the corkscrew are cylinders which are best highlighted by long thin area lights. The best choices would be cylinder lights or quad lights. After doing some tests with the Key light it was decided to use a cylinder light. This is because it could also be used to light the curved reflector in order to reflect some more greys back into the metal. This adds some gradients and softer tones around the white direct specular highlight. The cylinder light also produces softer shadows due to its larger surface area.

As this was going to be quite a dark image overall, it was decided to place the key light behind the corkscrew to put the highlight on the back side and throw the shadow to the front.

  • Select the arnold_light1 we created before and change its Light Type from Skydome to Cylinder Light. Increase the Exposure to 12.5, Radius to 5 and Height to 140. 


  • Place the Cylinder light behind the corkscrew as below.


  • Render the scene to see the result of placing the cylinder key light.


Front Light

The details of the left shoulder and bevels along the arm and head are getting a little bit lost. Duplicate the key_cyl_light. As this is effectively a fill light, the brightness should be less than the key light, so drop the Exposure down to 9.


  • Move the light to the front side and bring it down slightly.


  • Render the scene to see the result of placing the cylinder fill light.


Top Light

Now we are going to light the top of the reflector in order to try and add a few gradients along the flat surfaces.

  • Duplicate the fill_cyl_light and rename it top_cyl_light. Drop the Exposure to 6.


  • Move the top light up above the corkscrew, near the top of the reflector.


  • Render the scene to see the rather subtle result of placing the cylinder top light.


You can download the result of this section below.


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