Just a thought here, but in a room lighting situation, generally you don’t use spot lights which are very focused and bright. You usually use a bulb with a translucent shade of some sort. What happens if you assume it’s a ceiling light, place a translucent light shade below it and then see what you get?
Just quoting myself as it was the last post on the previous page and may get overlooked in the coming crap-storm.
Just to reiterate though, how many people really light their rooms with spotlights?!?
Apparently you think that was such an important point that you need to re-iterate it, so I’ll address it.
I could give you a long list of lights used in room lighting situations that act like spotlights. In fact in my living room I use what are called “track lights”, which are a row of small, narrow beam spots mounted in a metal track you can move and adjust. They are used for accent lighting, and in my case that’s all that lights the room.
Also, most lighting fixtures and lamps are set up to focus a bulb so that it acts pretty much like a spotlight. You even gave an example, where a shade is used to focus the light. Because in fact a bare bulb in the room hurts your eyes, so nobody uses it. So really the vast majority of lights used in a room situation are some form of directed light, not a bulb.
Just take a look at the IES profiles of many of the lights provided by manufacturers and you’ll see that in fact there are many, many lights with spot-type profiles, either because of the bulbs themselves or the reflectors they are mounted in.
However I’m not sure what that all has to do with what we’re discussing….
Are you saying that if you use a spotlight in your simulation, which you’re not used to seeing lighting a room in real life, then your results might look weird because you’re not used to seeing it in real life? I dunno, but I don’t think that’s the issue the OP is having. I think it’s more about expectations.
It is about expectations, you’re right. But it’s also the light. Track lighting not-withstanding, most lamp shades are not opaque, which is why I made a point of putting translucent in my post as well. End table lamps usually have a cone shaped paper or fabric covered paper shade which does direct a lot of light down and also up through the bottom of the shade. With most shades I’ve observed, the shades are also allowing light through the sides and at the same time diffusing it.
Ceiling lights are another good example. Many times they’ll have a frosted glass shade or globe around them. The non-globe style does reflect light back to the ceiling and also out the sides depending on how deeply dished it is, but they also let a lot of light through the bottom which will also diffuse it. A globe of course will let light out in all directions, just diffuse it even more than a bare bulb.
All my examples direct light, but also allow for substantial omni-directional light bleed, which spotlights don’t. Maybe your track lights are different and have translucent housings, so you see it differently. I don’t know.
My point is, that Carrara does take the translucency channel into consideration when rendering and in fact I’ve read in the manual that Indirect Lighting is supposed to give the best results for rendering translucency and SSS. If you’re trying to realistically light an interior room why wouldn’t you consider setting the lights up realistically as well. In most cases that wouldn’t be spotlights.
As Holly pointed out, Carrara’s an art program and not a simulator, but real life lighting conditions are also a factor to consider when using a lighting model that is supposed to simulate bounced light. Personally, I avoid using it due to the time hit.