In the sixth in our series of Blender 3D Basics classes, Ethan Davis shows you how to light objects in Blender.
From background to key lighting, from spot lights to strip boxes and even scrims turned into light sources in their own right, this class shows you everything you need to know. You’ll even learn how to create gradients.
Throughout, Ethan prioritises optimisation, highlighting techniques to help you minimise the processing strain on your computer.
You may also find it useful to refer to the Emission entry in our 3D CGI Terminology A-Z.


  1. It´d be really cool to see your take on gobos! E.g how to add the feeling of sunrays coming through leaves etc.

      1. HI Karl. I know that it´s covered in the photography classes, but not in the 3D class?.. I´d think it´d be in this 3D lightning class. Ethan here comes with good tips and tricks on how to light in this tutorial, without increasing your render time. Adding a 3D plant with a lot of vortexes is of course an option, but what I ment was. It´d be interesting with Ethan´s tips & tricks on gobos.

  2. Lightplanning

    Hi Ethan, Awesome course, thank you for this tutorial. I stuck at this lighting section in the past few days. The lipstick appears grey on the render screen, and only visible in the others.
    I added light and it’s still invisible both in case of the shading version or adding one on the layout page. I tried to change the filter settings and the clip start/end as well, but nothing.
    Could you please help me out?

  3. Hello Ethan, love you course! But i have trouble when adding Sky Texture, it said ” Nishihta no… in Eevee” what does it mean? and what can i do to make it possible to use? Thankyou Ethan 🙂

    1. Hi Evelyn,
      Sorry to hear you are having trouble. In this set of courses Ethan is using the “Cycles” render engine rather than Eevee, so that would be my first recommendation to try and sort this issue. To do this, go to the Render Properties tab on the right hand side of the screen (icon is the back of a camera) and under the first “Scene” drop down menu, change your render engine to Cycles, and oonce you have done this, if you have a fairly capable graphics card, choose GPU compute rather than CPU in the Device menu.

      Hope that helps,

  4. Thomas Habermann

    Ethan, well done. This is where photography knowledge makes a real difference compared to someone who never picked up a camera before diving into CGI.

    One question, can you suggest a lighting plugin such as HDR Light Studio, and how taxing is it compared to your experience when working with “handmade” scrims.

    Thanks again.

    1. EthanDavis

      Hi Thomas, I haven’t experienced HDR Light Studio myself, however it does look interesting. I think for product stuff it isn’t necessary as a scrim light is so easy to manipulate to get the desired result. With the HDR light studio it looks very slow and locked compared to normal lighting. That being said, it could be good with other render engines as the lighting may not be as easy as Blender Cycles. On the other hand, for interior scenes and shots you would benefit from using actual light modifiers such a parabolic light sources, it would definitely be effective. I may give this ago and see how it compares, thanks!

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