This article on lighting & rendering covers describes how to achieve various lighting effects in Softimage. Includes adjusting ambience, animating lights, adding atmospheric effects, use of caustics, and refraction through a medium such as glass.
The Render Tree in Autodesk* Softimage* allows you to create dynamic property assignments by connecting shader nodes, and then bundle them into presets and shader compounds via this visual interface. This article describes how to do this.
This week on the Artist/Animator site, Lucy Burton continues her series on using lights, 3D Lighting in Softimage. No matter what software package you use, her tutorial will get you up to speed on the where and why of many of the light options in your toolbox. Yeah, we want to build a great model, we want the animation to pop - but man, so much of the final look and feel is wrapped up in lighting and rendering! Even if you don't plan on making lighting your specialty - it's good to know your options!