Seeing where a light is aiming from the vantage point of the light?

I was reading a book about CG lighting and it made reference to “interactive light placement”:

This involves moving and positioning from the vantage point of the light. In some software packages, the artist can select the light object and then choose to treat that light as if it were the camera. The artist can tumble, dolly, or zoom the light in the same way the artist would normally work with the camera. This is especially useful whenever a spotlight needs to be in a specific spot, like in a situation when the light needs to shine just past an object or the light’s shadow needs to be shaped in a specific way to frame the scene. By using interactive placement, the artist is able to see through the light and control exactly where the light is illuminating.

It looks like that BLightStudio does this, though there are apparently some issues using it with 2.8: BLightStudio for Blender by Maciek Ptaszynski

What other options are there for doing this sort of thing in 2.8? I’d really like to try working with lights this way.

Every object in blender can be set as the active camera, you can use this to temporarily look through your lights. Just remember to reassign your actual camera later again.

In object mode, from header menus View > Cameras > Set Active Object as Camera.


WOW! Amazing. I had no idea that option existed. That’s exactly what I wanted. Thanks, @Felix_Kutt!

This can also be useful when setting up objects for texture projection.