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Lighting is a key aspect of 3d imaging. You can create lighting using the traditional lamps to make a basic light scene. The addition of the Cycles rendering engine added more lighting choices and more customization to make your render look more realistic.

The first way to light a scene in Cycles is mesh lighting. Basically, you can take any shape and turn it into a light emitter. This makes lighting so much easier. You can model the shape of a light bulb, and then make it emit light. The result is a realistic light bulb emitting light on the scene.

Another way to light a scene with Cycles is environment lighting. There is a sky texture that you can add to the scene in order to get realistic global lighting based on the time of day, and turbidity in the air.

Another form of environment lighting is an environment map in the form of a high dynamic range (HDR) map.

An HDR map is a picture taken of a mirror ball in an environment. When you import this image into Blender, you get realistic lighting that looks exactly like the area you have the environment map of.

If you are feeling lazy, you can add environment lighting through a solid color. Just set it to white with a low strength, and you have basic environment lighting.

Happy Blending,

Nick Bobryk

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