43 votes
Author Name: 
John Swafford

LightRigger is a free Maxscript-based, draft-quality Global Illumination lighting system for the 3ds max Default Scanline Renderer.  It is based on the well known "old-school" principle of a light dome, but LightRigger takes the concept much further.

LightRigger allows you to light objects independently and have multiple light domes working together in the same scene.  With traditional light domes, this would be impossible.  Using combinations of Light Rigs, Shadow Rigs, Master Rigs and Proxy Rigs, you can control and customize a scene's lighting with ease and speed.

LightRigger also removes the limitations that the light dome approach imposes on animation, so any object's position and rotation can be changed or animated without worrying about the limited scope of a single light dome.  Rigs are applied and linked to each object and will follow its movement without being affected by its rotation.  A fast-moving aerial dogfight would not even be a challenge for LightRigger, and would actually require a fairly simple setup.

Here is a summary of LightRigger's capabilities:

  • Roughly approximates 1 bounce of Diffuse Interreflection.
  • Built For Speed: Fast Setup & Fast Rendering
  • Built For Animation: LightRigger is for 3D objects that move.
  • Built For Control: LightRigger is a system....not a loose group of lights.
  • Uses 100% Standard 3ds max Lights, Links, Controllers, etc.
  • No Scripted or SDK Plug-in classes of any kind.
Version Requirement: 
3ds max 3.1, 4.2, 5.1, 6, 7, 8, 9, 2008, 2009 (32 & 64-bit)
Other Software Required: 
LightRigger only works with the 3ds max Default Scanline Renderer.
Video URL: 


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amberija's picture

Finally i got my things on

Finally i got my things on this script. For those who wants to reduce ambients, i found the easiest way. Open:

c:\Documents and Settings\NAME\Local Settings\Application Data\Autodesk\3dsMax\2010 - 32bit\enu\scripts\LightRigger\

and change 3 strings

1957: for i=21 to 40 by 2 do (

780: then (ALM80conRef = (addTrackViewController (trackViewNodes.LightRigger) (bezier_float()) (currALMBN+"80")); ALM80conRef.value = 0.2)

781: else (if ((classOf ALM80conRef)!=bezier_float) do (ALM80conRef = (execute (TvnLRpathStr+currALMBN+"80 = bezier_float()")); ALM80conRef.value = 0.2)) Thus it reduced ambients to 10 and increased ambient light to match the needs.preview

amberija's picture

Agree, i'd recommend 40

i'd recommend 40 ambient lights,
anybody knows how reduce em. I don't know much about script.
In script file, there are too many "80" digits to make it really less, lets say as i said to 40.

Would be nice job to do it.

mackabiemoss's picture

This script is really quite

This script is really quite amazing.

I would also like to use it for the same reasons described above by, noel_d3.

80 lights work fine at this point but it's overkill.

Thank you!

noel_d3's picture

Really good Script. I would

Really good Script.

I would use it to lighting Hair.

For this I need to put less than 80 lights.

I would also like to use an animated map of environment(Rig Map).

I done it by filming a mirror ball or making the animated environment around the object with a camera to 360 degrees.

Best Regards,


Jolen's picture

Well Done.

Well Done.

crazyjayloc2003's picture

this script is

this script is fabulous!

after watching the tutorial, i knew john was on to something with this. im using it right now in a scene and its really making the difference. the shadows are all falling correctly and in my case i bound the light target to the main object and now wherever i move the sunmaster, it creates the correct angle on all objects! this works great for animating solar systems too. not just for global lighting effects.

JohnSwafford's picture

Thank you.

Thank you.

PercyCAD's picture

Nice work!!

Nice work!!

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