How to use Lights and Environments in a 3D design project

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Adding proper lights and environments to your 3D scene can make a subtle, but significant difference between a decent design or one that really stands out. In Vectary you can easily drag and drop Lights and Environments from the library onto the scene to create beautiful renders the easy way. 

1. Choose an environment that fits your project

Once you have your model on the scene, go to the Object library and pick an environment from the Environments tab. 

An environment - or HDR - sets a mood for your project, changes the background and the overall coloring of your model. In the side panel you can change parameters such as its rotation, intensity or adjust shadows. 

  • If you don’t want shadows under your model, simply choose your background to either keep the one that goes with an Environment, or click Color, and pick the one you like. You can also import an image - for example, a gradient - and place it in the background.
  • If you want to add a shadow, click the 3D Assets tab and type “backdrop” in the search field. Click the one that is best for your project. You can resize and move it if necessary.

2. Drag and drop lights to improve your scene

You can find them in the Object library when clicking the Lights tab. Drag them on the scene and rotate them with the gizmo. You can edit each light in the side panel. 

In Vectary you can use different types of lights:

  • The Sphere light acts like a sun - it shines all around. Its light is cast from one point. 
  • The Spotlight is like a table lamp - the light source comes from one point and it casts a cone-shaped light onto your scene. 
  • The Tube light is projected from a line. You can modify the length of the tube with the gizmo.  
  • The Directional light creates a beam of light with a sharp border.
  • The Rectangle light is casting from the plane, so its shadow is soft on the model. 
  • The Hemisphere light is a smooth double-sided light and both of its sides can be modified separately.

3. Put your finishing touches

Next, you can choose a color, change the intensity and size of the light, and select whether you want the light to cast a shadow or not.

To get a gradient light effect on your scene, it's best to use the Hemisphere light. If you want more advanced control, simply drag and drop two lights on the scene and choose the color and intensity for both. 

Use our template below and edit it any way you want to learn first hand how lights and environments work : 

If you need some more advice on how to use Vectary, make sure you visit our Learn section and join our community on Spectrum