Viewport Light Surface Standard is a small tool that patch fixes the viewport light being too dark using Arnold or Surface Standard shaders in Maya 2020. This tool corrects the default 2020 default viewport lighting.



You may have noticed that Arnold shaders appear darker in the viewport in Maya 2020 compared to 2019; it’s an intentional change by Autodesk, so any rendered lights and viewport lights match with viewport lights turned on.

The tool creates a directional light with an intensity of 1.7 in the viewport to correctly match previous Maya versions.



1. Check the current camera is loaded in the tool, click the Arrow Load button to change or update.
2. Check no lights are in the scene; you should use this light setup while modeling.
3. Click the Viewport Light button.

The setup will be created and attached to the current camera.



1. In a new camera window, click the Arrow Load button to set the UI to match the current camera.
2. Click the tools Viewport Light button

The setup will be deleted and recreated on the current camera.



1. Select the folder vp2_light_grp in the Outliner window.
2. Press delete (keyboard hotkey).



Autodesk is looking to switch to the new Surface Standard generic shaders to be the default shaders in future versions. They intend to replace the lambert/blinn/phong default shaders with the new Surface Standard generic shader, this new shader is not to be confused with the Ai Surface Standard, which is limited to Arnold.

Our Viewport Lights SurfaceStandard tool should be temporary; we expect Autodesk to add a setting in the Maya Preferences Window or we expect them to change the default viewport lighting to match the new shaders.