Manikin light tutorial

Active light mode in Manikin

Light Mode


With a combination of different lights you can create complex shadow-plays to creatively enhance your scenes and to study how the light interacts with your models. To activate light mode tap the white sun icon down below (or press space on standalone)

When light mode is enabled you move the selected light instead of the camera using the same controls. Just like the camera the light starts by default in orbit mode.


  1. Hold the right mouse button and drag and you’ll see the camera starts orbiting around your selection.
  2. Scroll to zoom


  1. On mobile drag the background with one finger to orbit
  2. Pinch to zoom.
All the options in light mode


When light mode is active you will find this options below to help you further adjust your light.

The first option is global light, which will illuminate the whole scene. Use this setting if you’re creating a large scene or just need to focus on your pose. This option only applies to the scene. All the other options apply to your selected light, we will go over all of them as this tutorial progresses

Orient your lights in Manikin



The direction a light is facing is visualised by the coloured line going from the light to its target. Also on the floor you can see another indicator perpendicular to the floor to give you a better idea where your light is exactly coming from.

Pointing your light

In light mode the center is not controlled by selection but through the target light button. You can retarget your light to a specific focus point by activating this button and selecting a new point in the scene. You’ll notice that the colored line adjusts to your newly chosen target.

Selecting another light in Manikin

The four available lights in Manikin


You have 4 lights

There are 4 lights you can activate and move independently. You can cycle through them by clicking on the colored lightbulb icon. When tapped you will find all the available lights. Each light can be identified by its respective colour:
yellow, blue, red and green. When a light is selected all the gizmos and menu options will use its color.

Active freeload for the yellow light


Just like the camera light mode also has it’s freelook mode allowing you to place the light from a first person perspective. You can enable light freelook mode to by tapping clicking on the freelook icon. This mode works identically to the point of view mode of the camera by which we mean you toggle between freelook and orbit through this button. When activated you’ll notice a color tint which is a reminder of which is your selected light.


  1. Use the arrow keys on your keyboard to pan
  2. Scroll to move forward
  3. Hold the Right mouse button to pivot and look around


  1. Two finger drag  to pan left, right
  2. Pinch to move forward.
  3. Drag the background with one finger to look around.

Icons for radius and strength

Light radius & strength

The sliders below adjust the intensity and the size of the selected light. Notice that the quality of the shadows drop when moving your light farther away from its focus point or when you create a very wide light. So if you are looking for high quality drop-shadows, keep the lights close and the size small.

Toggle the drop-shadows in Manikin

The drop shadow icon. Half filled means drop shadows are enabled.


Manikin also lets you toggle the drop shadows for each light. Because sometimes you just need to illuminate your scene. To toggle a drop-shadow just tap this button on your chosen light. Also it’s important to know that drop shadows lose quality when the light is far away or very wide. We’re looking for a way to improve this, but it’s a inheritant of the software we use.

When drop-shadows are enabled the circle is half filled. When the drop-shadows are disabled the icon is an empty circle.

Shadows loss

Shadow loss

Example of quality loss when light is far away and set very wide. A solution for the is to use lights with drop shadow as close and thin as possible and the others to light the entire scene.