The Tri-Lighting addon allows us to place three lights in the scene like that is used as a standard setup to light a scene in photography and other visual media. The Tri-Lighting addon is build in Blender and we can find it in the Lighting Category.
This addon is a light-weight addon but can come in handy if you have no other solutions to setup up light in Blender (Later more about other solutions). More can find more information about Three point lighting in this Wiki Article. As you might already realize, light is as important as geometrie, as important as shading, camera settings, render-settings and compositing. Lighting can make an break the final result. Just to give a reminder not to neglect it.
How the Tri-Lighting addon works
First prepare your scene if not done already. Go to the viewport Shading and if you are in LookDev Mode, turn on the Scene Lights and Turn off the Scene World. Position also your camera first. Then select an Object first that needs to be lighted. Then Press Shift + A, H, L. An operator pops up on the left bottom and there you have the following settings as in the screenshot. Interesting to see is that the rotation of the three lights relative to the object depends on the position of the camera. In other words, the back light is always at the back.
Here an overview of what these settings do.
- Height. Height of the lights in Z. Probably set it around 1.3 to 2.0.
- Distance. Distance of the three lights on X-Y-Plane from the object. You might want to set it around 2.
- Base Energy. This setting is a bit low by default. Bump it up to 135 maybe.
- Contrast. Variation in strength of lights.
- Left Angle. Best to look through camera and change the Angle of the Key Light. (X-Y-Plane)
- Right Angle. Change the angle of the Fill Light (X-Y-plane).
- Back Angle. Change the angle of the Back Light (X-Y-Plane).
- Key Light Type. Choose: Point, Sun, Spot or Area. Avoid Sunlight in EEVEE.
- Fill + Back Type. Choose: Point, Sun, Spot or Area. Avoid Sunlight in EEVEE.
Where to Download the Tri-Lighting addon?
The Tri-Lighting addon is already in Blender 2.8. So no need to download it. You can find it under Edit > Preferences > Addons. Type in: Light, and activate the Tri-Lighting addon. Save preferences, refresh and you’re done.
A more advanced solution lighting the Scene
There is a paid addon (my own addon) called EV Express. Initially this was an addon for EEVEE to quickly setup a scene. This because it’s quite some work to find the best settings for screenspace, indirect light, setting up probes, setting shadows etc. That time lights had another strenght in EEVEE then in Cycles, but later the Blender Developer unified the strenght of lights for EEVEE and Cycles and so the EV Express addon is also suitable for Cycles. (Though some features won’t work for cycles of course like setting up probes).
In the EV-Express add-on you can find loads of features setting up lights, backdrops, smoke, compositing nodes, and there is even a global Shader (think of color palettes). So if you are reading this post because you are interested in lighting setup, you might find the EV – Express interesting. Check EV Express on Blender Market or this article.