Flash Photograhy Effect


This short tutorial will show you how to emulate a flash photography effect used to enhance this shocking render of a zombie attack!


  • Create a Quad Area light. Position and rotate it so that it sits in front of the render camera. Group the Area light with the camera. This will ensure that when you move the camera, the light will follow. Increase the Exposure of the light to around 4

Quad light positioned in front of camera



  • We can use Spread in the Quad light to focus the light more on the zombie's face. In this case it has been lowered to 0.2.

Low spread values can be noisier than the default high spread, so be careful when using them. The lower the value, the more light samples will be needed to avoid noise in the shadows.

An alternate method for controlling how the light falls off in a scene is to add a Light Decay filter to the light.

Volume Scattering

We can use Volume Scattering to add a creepy atmosphere to the scene.

  • To add some volume scattering to the scene, first create a Shader in the SHOP. Double click to enter the VEX Builder and Tab-type (Custom > Atmospheric Scattering). Connect the output of the atmosphere node to the atmosphere parameter of the environment output node.

    Volume_scattering node connected to the OUT_environment inside an Arnold Shader Network.


    In the Main tab of a Render Output, connect the required Shaders to the Environment parameter.

  • Increase the Density attribute of the Volume Scattering slightly to around 0.005.

That concludes this short tutorial on how to create a flash photography effect. Have pleasant dreams!

Many thanks to Snaptank for providing the 3D scan.

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