Basic Intro to Global Illumination

A while back when I was just starting to get into the 3D scene, and trying to get good looking renders from my application, I had a hard time getting started. I had no idea what I was doing, and rendering was no exception. My preferred application (right now) is Cinema 4D R11.5 from Maxon. Getting images and sequences out of that program was totally a different monster than Compressor or After Effects.

But this isn’t an article on rendering. It is about Global Illumination or for short “GI.” I posted a few weeks ago an article on some good GI presets, but I didn’t go into what GI was or how it is successfully used. Well, this is everything I should have already posted weeks ago.

I can’t even begin to explain what GI is without showing exactly what it does and looks like. To the people close to me, you know how big something is when I call it my “easy button.” and this sure is one of them!

With GI

With GI

Just notice how much better the picture with GI looks than the one without.

No GI

No GI

I call GI my easy button because it basically lights my scenes for me! Now that doesn’t exactly reflect what the feature actually does, but it sure does seem that way most of the time. Lights still have to be placed in the near-right places; the GI just adds the realistic shadows, reflections and the light depth.

Hopefully later I will be able to go deeper into explaining GI. But for now, I’ll just leave this intro article at my simple illustration!

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