TAPESTRY: The Art of Representation and Abstraction

Lighting: Ambient Light

Directionless light

What's it all about?

While some simple rendering algorithms treat the user-defined light sources as the ONLY source of light, so the underside or back side of objects are TOTALLY BLACK, we know that some light rattles around in the space a little and will eventually arrive at the back/under side of a shape. This light is approximated by ambient light a number usually given an intensity level of 5-20% of maximum. This light is simply everywhere, without regard to the placement or orientation of the surface or viewer.

Ambient light only

This image illustrates a scene in which there is ONLY ambient light. In this case the light has been set to 50% of maximum.

Notice how all surfaces of the same "color" are actually rendered the same, so surface definition is almost non-existent.

We need a direction-dependent component to the light!

Last updated: April, 2014

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