This review is on Dax Pandhi's earlier tutorial Capturing the Brilliance of Light. Dax is the founder of QuadSpinner. If you are a Vue fan, this site is a must. Dax's theme throughout all his tutorials is Realism. This reminds me of Picasso. He was one of the few abstract painters who knew how to accurately paint the human form. When he distorted it, he did it for a reason. If you know how to capture light in Vue so it appears as of the real world, then, if you desire you can distort it. Dax gives you knowledge of the controls, what each one does, how different controls effect your finished scene and how they interacts with each other. Obviously, no control is isolated, but often it is hard to know how they interact - how changing controls on the light tab might mean having to change controls on the Sky, Fog and Haze tab, for example. The interplay of controls is almost staggering, but Dax describes it in such a fashion that it makes sense.
Dax Pandhi demonstrates that for realism in outdoor scenes, one light should be used because that is how the light actually behaves. That light is, of course, the sun. However, he does show on his lighting a cave, how an omni light can add interesting illumination. He further demonstrates that shadow intensity is controlled by the settings of the Atmosphere Editor.
Since I have dual monitors, I can work with his settings on one of my images as I follow the tutorial. He is so clear and concise that this is easy to do. What he does makes sense. He doesn't gloss over small changes so that you don't know how to go from point A to B when on your own. It is incredibly easy to follow what he does and his explanations give you the tools to apply his principles and techniques to your own work.
One of the first points he brings up is scaling and the importance of proper scaling of terrains. He includes aerial perspective in this discussion and how it can be used effectively to create realistic scenes. The next major point he makes is the choice of what light model to use. He shows how Global Radiosity, by taking the light and bouncing it off all objects, adds so much more to the scenes than do other lighting models. He uses this as his base and demonstrates why. All the screen captures are from the training video.
The video is in four parts. Part one shows how to light a daylight scene first without clouds and later adding a few clouds.
Part two is on creating a low-decay sunset.
Part three shows how to light a cave from within as well as from without.
And Part four shows how to create a scene with shafts of light by using the Volumetric setting.
There is so much information in this video that each time I looked at it I picked up more and more. This is another from his video training series that I highly recommend and wish I had known about it when it first was available.