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Character lighting using fake image based lighting (fakeibl) script
Character lighting using fake image based lighting (fakeibl) script
sasanraf, updated 2010-12-19 14:45:15 UTC 49,623 views  Rating:
(7 ratings)
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Download the 'fakeibl' script from here.

Open the scene the run the script. A dome (nurb sphere) will be created.

The first step is to select an image as the environment map. The color of the lights on the dome will be changed regarding to the selected image.


If your scene is far from the origin, select an object in your scene a hit "Select Object to align dome" button. The dome will be aligned with the selected object.


Now zoom out to see the dome and rotate the dome considering the image and light direction on your image. If you are not able to see the map on the dome, press '6' then select the 'High Quality Rendering' from renderer menu. Make sure the 'Dome primary visibility' checkbox is enabled.


Set the 'Dome segment' slider on 5. Now we have the skydome with 5 segments and 22 lights. More segment create more light and better quality but higher render time.


Before adjusting the lights, it's recommended to adjust the ambient occlusion layer. In 'Render preview' press 'Render Ambient Occlusion' button. You will see the ambient occlusion layer rendered and the setting window will be automatically opened, so you can adjust the setting. Make sure that Final gather and Global Illumination are not enabled.


Now for adjusting the lights on the dome, I suggest to first adjust the lower lights intensity (bounce lights) then go for adjusting the upper lights. Set the intensity of the upper lights to zero and press 'Render' button on 'Render Preview'. You will see the scene is rendered and ambient occlusion layer will be composited over it.


Now adjust the intensity of the upper lights.


The AO shader window will be automatically opened and by adjusting the 'Out Matte Opacity' option you can adjust the opacity of the ambient occlusion layer.

Notice that the composition of ambient occlusion is only a preview. For final rendering you need to render AO and the other layers and composite them in composting softwares.

The difference between rendering through fakeibl interface and Maya interface is that you will have your scene rendered with ambient occlusion composited over it.


Now you can add key light as your main light source. You can turn off the dome lights using the 'Lights on/off' checkbox so you can adjust the key light correctly. Then turn it on again.




You can also enable the 'Camera exposure on/off' button to connect the 'mia_exposure_simple' lens shader to the active camera and control the exposure.


'Dobby' character has been modeled by Julian Johnson-Mortime ( and rigged by Joel Anderson (
I would like to thank Joel Anderson to let me use 'Dobby' character for this tutorial.

Special thanks to Hafiizh Hamid ( for his great helps and supports.

I appreciate any comments and bug reports...