Let's Learn Advanced Ambient and Spot Lights

2

Comments

  • Scott LivingstonScott Livingston Posts: 4,298
    edited December 1969


    These settings yield a much better result: note the even skin tone, and look at the Magus Jacket too, especially the shoulder area.

    Yes, reducing shading rate in the UE settings has no effect on the surfaces bumps/displacements, at the difference of the same in Global Render Settings.

    This is tactical:

    - if you need unspotted and softer shadows only, better change UE shading rate only.
    - If you have (like here) to render a portrait with best skin granularity, better lower the Global shading rate at the price of having to reduce high bumps/displacements settings on some surfaces, like the costume here, where we get disgracious quasi-artefacts on the shoulder.
    - changing both of them is (Under exceptions) superfectatory and slows down rendering performances at no results.
    Thanks, this is good information. Though, on the renders posted with my quote above, I used the Advanced Ambient Light rather than UberEnvironment2. AAL has a shading rate setting too, so maybe it works basically the same way as UE in that regard.

    I didn't even consider lowering bump and/or displacement on the outfit (mainly because I've been focusing on lighting changes rather than materials, though of course they work hand in hand). I think you're right...it might be a good idea.

  • Yonas AngYonas Ang Posts: 108
    edited November 2013

    So I've just purchased AAL recently, but still has no clue about the detailed setting. To start with, why I always gets extra dark harsh shadow around the face of my figure using hair with trans map.
    Which i don't get with UE. Also I have 2 distance light and 1 spot light acting like 3 point lighting setup all with raytraced shadow. I though it was the primitive light, then I tried to remove them, but still got same issue which turn out to be worse.

    3Delight Render setting :
    8 pixel sampe XY, 16 shadow sample, and 0.1 shading rate

    I was using the AAL setting at below attachment:

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    Post edited by Yonas Ang on
  • Richard HaseltineRichard Haseltine Posts: 64,066
    edited December 1969

    Primitive Hitmode ignores the transparency map when creating shadows. Surfaces that are taking shadows from hair or other transmapped surfaces need to use Shader Hitmode.

  • Yonas AngYonas Ang Posts: 108
    edited November 2013

    Primitive Hitmode ignores the transparency map when creating shadows. Surfaces that are taking shadows from hair or other transmapped surfaces need to use Shader Hitmode.

    Ah forgot to include the flagging, I was also set to flag hair and lashes with alt sampe of 32 and shader hit mode.
    Do I have to set flag for the face surface too ?

    Post edited by Yonas Ang on
  • Richard HaseltineRichard Haseltine Posts: 64,066
    edited December 1969

    You could flag the face to use a higher alt samples and shader hit mode, yes. Hair is generally OK with a lower number of samples as it's varied enough not to show the resultant spottiness, thought other surfaces may work well with Primitive Hit mode but need higher samples.

  • Yonas AngYonas Ang Posts: 108
    edited December 1969

    Just to be sure, I include the SS below. I've increase the sample for skin surface and put higher light intensity toward her face with spotlight shadow softness 90% and bias 0.1.

    Most of the dark area is gone, but still have some. Also tried using other hair with similar hair bangs, produce the same dark area.

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  • Scott LivingstonScott Livingston Posts: 4,298
    edited December 1969

    If you didn't flag her skin surfaces, then they are still set to Primitive Hitmode, and shadows cast upon them by the hair will ignore transmaps. Even if you've flagged the hair itself and set it to Shader Hitmode. It's kinda counterintuitive, but that's how it works...

    That's the same issue I was running into in my last set of renders. The possible solutions, I think, are to simply set the light to Shader Hitmode for everything, OR have separate Advanced Ambient Lights, with one set to illuminate the hair only (Shader Hitmode and 32 samples), one for any surface upon which the hair is casting shadows (Shader Hitmode and 128 samples), and one for all other surfaces (Primitive Hitmode, 128 samples). I'm going to give that a try...

    On the other hand, if you've already set the Skin Face surface to Shader Hitmode then I'm not sure why you're seeing the shadow there.

  • Scott LivingstonScott Livingston Posts: 4,298
    edited November 2013

    Picking up where we left of with the Fiery Genesis scene.

    18. I turned off the extra Advanced Ambient Light and four extra spotlights...now there's just the one Advanced Ambient Light and the four original spotlights. These are set to Shader Hitmode. The flagged surfaces (just the hair at the moment) are set to Alt Samples.

    Here's how it looks (render time: 8 min 53 sec):

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    Post edited by Scott Livingston on
  • Scott LivingstonScott Livingston Posts: 4,298
    edited December 1969

    In response to the question about the eyes, I thought I'd run this test to see the impact of the texture. I switched the skin texture from the Basic Lana texture that comes with Genesis, to the Lana Elite texture for V4. Same general appearance, but higher resolution. I can see a rather dramatic difference on the lips, and some differences in skin detail (particularly the moles on her neck and chest), but the eyes look pretty much identical to me.

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  • Yonas AngYonas Ang Posts: 108
    edited November 2013

    If you didn't flag her skin surfaces, then they are still set to Primitive Hitmode, and shadows cast upon them by the hair will ignore transmaps. Even if you've flagged the hair itself and set it to Shader Hitmode. It's kinda counterintuitive, but that's how it works...

    That's the same issue I was running into in my last set of renders. The possible solutions, I think, are to simply set the light to Shader Hitmode for everything, OR have separate Advanced Ambient Lights, with one set to illuminate the hair only (Shader Hitmode and 32 samples), one for any surface upon which the hair is casting shadows (Shader Hitmode and 128 samples), and one for all other surfaces (Primitive Hitmode, 128 samples). I'm going to give that a try...

    On the other hand, if you've already set the Skin Face surface to Shader Hitmode then I'm not sure why you're seeing the shadow there.

    Ahh, I see, thank you, but wait... 3 AAL ? Aren't they going to increase the render time like 3 times ? Or as long as the ___category are the same they will be grouped as 1 light ?
    Oh, another question, does AAL works with Actual Eyes 2 ? From what I see here, Actual Eyes 2 use custom shader builder not belong to UberSurface or whatsoever.

    Post edited by Yonas Ang on
  • LocusSolusLocusSolus Posts: 59
    edited November 2013

    In response to the question about the eyes, I thought I'd run this test to see the impact of the texture. I switched the skin texture from the Basic Lana texture that comes with Genesis, to the Lana Elite texture for V4. Same general appearance, but higher resolution. I can see a rather dramatic difference on the lips, and some differences in skin detail (particularly the moles on her neck and chest), but the eyes look pretty much identical to me.

    Great Scott ! Is that a fine render! moving the texture was a sharp idea and the change is stuning ! Let me appreciate how the neck comes progressively out of the shade and hangs the face forward in the light. And finally eyes came out from shades to life ! :)
    The render is risky, a little bit more bright and it would have been "washed", a well known disaster which is a source of permanent Frightness for all portraitists, lol.

    Sorry for flooding, but here we stand on a step where lightening and rendering technical questions can no longer be kept free from artistic considerations: The portrait is lovely, at least by itself (I mean: if you forget the original). I LOVE it, but somehow that's no longer Fiery.

    I explain: what is magic in Fiery's "out of the box" render? It is its fairy tales mood, a very sensitive Dungeons-and-dragons atmosphere, that needed leaving to the lion "Darkness" its part. Did you notice how her iris texture is poor? Imho that is a willingfull understatement for coherence with mystery and overlighting by sparkles of the Inferno middle.

    For now, even her expression has changed ! Scott's Fiery 19 gift turns her (at no regrets) to a very lovely dame out of a Jane Austen's novel in a victorian manoir at sunset, and no longer a Queen-of-the-Night welcoming the dead warriors's souls on the Doors of Hell.

    I did what I could with my tiny english, please better compare the pictures themselves. Anyway this render, while something new, is a really enjoyable portrait I can't detach my eyes from. :)

    Post edited by LocusSolus on
  • Age of ArmourAge of Armour Posts: 437
    edited December 1969

    So I've just purchased AAL recently, but still has no clue about the detailed setting. To start with, why I always gets extra dark harsh shadow around the face of my figure using hair with trans map.
    Which i don't get with UE. Also I have 2 distance light and 1 spot light acting like 3 point lighting setup all with raytraced shadow. I though it was the primitive light, then I tried to remove them, but still got same issue which turn out to be worse.

    3Delight Render setting :
    8 pixel sampe XY, 16 shadow sample, and 0.1 shading rate

    I was using the AAL setting at below attachment:

    There is a bug in the Advanced Ambient Light' root "Shader Hitmode" function but an update should be out any day.

    There was a single line of code which I forgot to change in the last update. The bug does not show on surfaces which use the AoA_Subsurface shader and, since most of my test scenes use this shader, I didn't catch it in testing. :red:

    What should happen is that the light, when in Shader Hitmode is that it will calculate proper shadows for all surfaces... Unless told to do use Primitive Hitmode through flagging. Because of the bug the current release of the light is not always using Shader Hitmode on every surface but does properly use Shader Hitmode when told to do so via flagging.

    Until the update is live, a solution is to specifically flag the face and set it to Shader hitmode using the Lighting Control features... Or use the AoA_Subsurface shader ;)

  • Scott LivingstonScott Livingston Posts: 4,298
    edited November 2013

    Thank you for the kind words, LocusSolus! And thank you Age of Armour for that clarification.

    @ang_deedee: I don't expect you'd see a huge increase in render time. If you have three lights, but each is only illuminating a fraction of the scene and ignoring everything else, then I don't think it would take much longer to render than the same scene with just a single light.

    Let's test it, though...
    1. Single AAL (default settings)
    Render time 1 minute 25 seconds

    2. Three AALs, one set to illuminate the hair, one for the skin, and one for the clothing and environment (primitive planes). Otherwise, all of these are default settings.
    Render time 43 seconds

    3. Same setup, but the hair light's samples have been changed to 16, and the clothing-and-environment light is set to Primitive Hitmode.
    Render time 45 seconds

    ...Well, that was unexpected. The render with the single AAL actually took a lot longer than the one with three, each set to illuminate specific items. And the third render, which was supposedly optimized to improve speed, was about the same as the second...

    I actually ran the test twice, just to make sure I didn't make a mistake the first time. The numbers were slightly different the second time, but in both cases #1 took a lot longer than #2 and #3. Interesting...

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    Post edited by Scott Livingston on
  • Yonas AngYonas Ang Posts: 108
    edited November 2013

    Thank you for the kind words, LocusSolus! And thank you Age of Armour for that clarification.

    @ang_deedee: I don't expect you'd see a huge increase in render time. If you have three lights, but each is only illuminating a fraction of the scene and ignoring everything else, then I don't think it would take much longer to render than the same scene with just a single light.

    Let's test it, though...
    1. Single AAL (default settings)
    Render time 1 minute 25 seconds

    2. Three AALs, one set to illuminate the hair, one for the skin, and one for the clothing and environment (primitive planes). Otherwise, all of these are default settings.
    Render time 43 seconds

    3. Same setup, but the hair light's samples have been changed to 16, and the clothing-and-environment light is set to Primitive Hitmode.
    Render time 45 seconds

    ...Well, that was unexpected. The render with the single AAL actually took a lot longer than the one with three, each set to illuminate specific items. And the third render, which was supposedly optimized to improve speed, was about the same as the second...

    I actually ran the test twice, just to make sure I didn't make a mistake the first time. The numbers were slightly different the second time, but in both cases #1 took a lot longer than #2 and #3. Interesting...

    Thank you for confirming it Scott, yeah i've just realize now, that it takes more time with 1 AAL and flagging
    I'll try utilizing more AAL from now on.


    There is a bug in the Advanced Ambient Light' root "Shader Hitmode" function but an update should be out any day.

    There was a single line of code which I forgot to change in the last update. The bug does not show on surfaces which use the AoA_Subsurface shader and, since most of my test scenes use this shader, I didn't catch it in testing. :red:

    What should happen is that the light, when in Shader Hitmode is that it will calculate proper shadows for all surfaces... Unless told to do use Primitive Hitmode through flagging. Because of the bug the current release of the light is not always using Shader Hitmode on every surface but does properly use Shader Hitmode when told to do so via flagging.

    Until the update is live, a solution is to specifically flag the face and set it to Shader hitmode using the Lighting Control features... Or use the AoA_Subsurface shader ;)

    Thank you AoA, glad to know that Advance Light will have update soon.
    Umh, yes I was using SSS with maps from Interjection.

    But know I have new problem with some clothing that have transparency map, tried using flagged shader hitmode on the jeans and skin, but the problem still there.

    edit : used AoA Subsurface shader and all problems are gone on the 2nd picture, it seems the problem was the "hit face" must be set to foward not both, for some clothing

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    Post edited by Yonas Ang on
  • LocusSolusLocusSolus Posts: 59
    edited November 2013

    Ang_deedee : At evidence you have used raytraced shadows ! Except Under specific purpose, don't do that. I suggest you'd better modulate the nevertheless required shadow of the cut pant onto the skin by using AO or/and mapped shadows, much more flexible and easily friendly-looking.

    :) Anyway, transparency maps, so a heck of 3D cheating ! well, for a time, I hope the shorter as possible, we still have to deal with !

    PS: LOL: doesn't the fire Under the pant cast any shadows as well ? :D

    Post edited by LocusSolus on
  • Yonas AngYonas Ang Posts: 108
    edited November 2013

    Ang_deedee : At evidence you have used raytraced shadows ! Except Under specific purpose, don't do that. I suggest you'd better modulate the nevertheless required shadow of the cut pant onto the skin by using AO or/and mapped shadows, much more flexible and easily friendly-looking.

    :) Anyway, transparency maps, so a heck of 3D cheating ! well, for a time, I hope the shorter as possible, we still have to deal with !

    PS: LOL: doesn't the fire Under the pant cast any shadows as well ? :D

    Umh, I don't quite get it, I was using SSS, from what I've learnt I need to use ray traced shadow. Please do correct me if I'm wrong. Since I can't control which part using deep shadow map or raytraced, well I can actually, but that will need many un even lights to the skin. I have 1 spot light there in the picture, if I don't use spot light the skin would looks rather flat.

    PS reply: the fire, umh, yeah, the fire.... now, could it be the fire that cast the shadow.

    Post edited by Yonas Ang on
  • Age of ArmourAge of Armour Posts: 437
    edited December 1969

    [

    Thank you AoA, glad to know that Advance Light will have update soon.
    Umh, yes I was using SSS with maps from Interjection.

    But know I have new problem with some clothing that have transparency map, tried using flagged shader hitmode on the jeans and skin, but the problem still there.

    edit : used AoA Subsurface shader and all problems are gone on the 2nd picture, it seems the problem was the "hit face" must be set to foward not both, for some clothing

    Glad it worked but it sounds like something still isn't quite right. You should be able to use transmaps with Hit Sides Both. I'm thinking the cause is related to the bug I mentioned though. Hopefully the update will eliminate the trouble.

  • KharmaKharma Posts: 2,888
    edited December 1969

    So I've just purchased AAL recently, but still has no clue about the detailed setting. To start with, why I always gets extra dark harsh shadow around the face of my figure using hair with trans map.
    Which i don't get with UE. Also I have 2 distance light and 1 spot light acting like 3 point lighting setup all with raytraced shadow. I though it was the primitive light, then I tried to remove them, but still got same issue which turn out to be worse.

    3Delight Render setting :
    8 pixel sampe XY, 16 shadow sample, and 0.1 shading rate

    I was using the AAL setting at below attachment:

    There is a bug in the Advanced Ambient Light' root "Shader Hitmode" function but an update should be out any day.

    There was a single line of code which I forgot to change in the last update. The bug does not show on surfaces which use the AoA_Subsurface shader and, since most of my test scenes use this shader, I didn't catch it in testing. :red:

    What should happen is that the light, when in Shader Hitmode is that it will calculate proper shadows for all surfaces... Unless told to do use Primitive Hitmode through flagging. Because of the bug the current release of the light is not always using Shader Hitmode on every surface but does properly use Shader Hitmode when told to do so via flagging.

    Until the update is live, a solution is to specifically flag the face and set it to Shader hitmode using the Lighting Control features... Or use the AoA_Subsurface shader ;)


    I don't quite understand this...how do I set the flag to the face?

  • Age of ArmourAge of Armour Posts: 437
    edited December 1969

    Kharma said:

    I don't quite understand this...how do I set the flag to the face?

    To flag the face, select the face material and make either Diffuse Strength, Ambient Strength or Index of Refraction something unique. You can change one of them a lot or or just a tiny bit.

    Ambient Strength is often not used in skin surfaces so it is likely your character either has Ambient Color set to black or the Ambient Strength set to 0%. If the Ambient Color is black then changing the Ambient Strength will cause no difference in the appearance so it is a good candidate for the flagging. Change the ambient strength to something like 1% or 99%. It really doesn't matter just as long as it is unique.

    Now on the light, in the Light Control group, change 'Flag Surface Shaders with' to 'Ambient Strength Of...' Then, right below that change the 'Diffuse, Ambient or IOR Value' slider to match the Ambient Strength you chose on your character's face.

    Finally, in the drop down menu directly below that slider, change 'If Surfaces it Flagged to' 'Use Shader Hitmode'.

  • KharmaKharma Posts: 2,888
    edited December 1969

    Thank you for the help and explanation..that worked perfectly. Will the update for the fix be soon? I am bookmarking this right now so I don't forget how to set the flag

  • Yonas AngYonas Ang Posts: 108
    edited December 1969

    Kharma said:
    Thank you for the help and explanation..that worked perfectly. Will the update for the fix be soon? I am bookmarking this right now so I don't forget how to set the flag

    For more versatile lighting, you could assign some polygon from the polygon selection selection to new surface group, and only lit that area, I found this very interesting, going to try this later.

  • Scott LivingstonScott Livingston Posts: 4,298
    edited December 1969

    Switching back to the Dragon Slayer scene now--I want to incorporate the Advanced Spotlight in with what I'd done previously.

    25. Starting with #24 from the first page in the thread. I turned off AAL3 and AAL4. We'll turn them back on later, at a lower intensity. Added an Advanced Spotlight to the scene. Moved it into the dragon's mouth and pivoted it to point at the hero's face. This resulted in translation values of -42.58, 448.75, -303.83 and rotation values of -48.59, -119.52, 0 (x, y, z). After rendering I noticed that this actually creates a nice rim light on the hero.

    26. Still on the spotlight: changed Intensity to 150% and color to 233 155 22 (yellow-orange).

    27. Changed the color back to white, and loaded the lava gobo that comes with the Advanced Spotlight (Gobo Lava).

    28. Changed falloff rate to Squared. This yields a more physically accurate result, I believe. The manual says that when this is selected, the software will auto-correct the Intensity to compensate for the falloff.

    29. Changed Intensity to 110% and Spread Angle to 45%.

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  • Scott LivingstonScott Livingston Posts: 4,298
    edited December 1969

    30. Added a second Advanced Spotlight to the scene. Copied the settings of the first Advanced Spotlight (AS1) and pasted them to the second Advanced Spotlight (AS2). Then I used the viewport to look through the light, zoomed in a bit, and then under the Parameters pane, had it "Point At" AS1. Final translations were (-28.76, 430.75, -296.01) and rotation values were (66.51, 35.14, 23.46) (x, y, z). Then changed Intensity to 10% and Spread Angle to 90.

    31. On AS2, changed Falloff to Linear. A bit less physically accurate, but in this case I think it works. Also changed Intensity to 20%.

    32. At this point I turned AAL3 and AAL4 back on. Was planning to cut their Intensity at this point, but actually I like how they look at full blast. Now we've got two AAL and two AS in the mouth, all working together to create the fiery breath effect.

    33. Last light we'll add to the scene. One more Advanced Spotlight: AS3. This one will be placed high in the scene, and will shine down primarily on the dragon's head and neck. Take another look at how the head and neck are illuminated in the original lighting that the scene loads with (see page 1 of the thread). That's more or less the look I'll be going for. Translations: -300, 600, -100. Rotations: -100, -25, -50. Set Falloff Rate to Squared.

    34. Set Intensity to 50% and Color to 166 192 255 (sort of a light purplish-blue). Changed Spread Angle to 80 and Shadow Softness to 20%. That's looking pretty good to me, though I think the scene is a bit too bright now. Will tweak intensities and things next time.

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  • KharmaKharma Posts: 2,888
    edited December 1969

    Scott what do you use for render settings for the dragonslayer render? I am still trying to learn how to compliment my render settings with lighting settings.

  • Scott LivingstonScott Livingston Posts: 4,298
    edited December 1969

    Kharma said:
    Scott what do you use for render settings for the dragonslayer render? I am still trying to learn how to compliment my render settings with lighting settings.

    The Dragon Slayer scene comes with its own render settings...so far I've just used those. They're actually lower quality than what I typically use, but the plus side is that the scene renders relatively fast. I recommend you take a look at Adam's Render Profiles if you haven't seen them. Most of the time I use his High Quality settings (or something similar). Note that he has different profiles for when you're using depth of field.
  • Scott LivingstonScott Livingston Posts: 4,298
    edited December 1969

    See the seam that extends from the hero's ear down under his chin? With better render settings (shading rate in particular) that should go away.

  • KharmaKharma Posts: 2,888
    edited December 1969

    thanks for that link, I forgot about those, am getting them now and see how they work

  • SloshSlosh Posts: 2,387
    edited December 1969

    I've had this thread bookmarked in my "Read Later" folder since day one, and I finally had time to sit and read it post to post. I am so glad I did that ;) This is very comprehensive, and Scott, you are really good at giving the details of what you have done and explaining what the results are. Much appreciated.

    And if Jabba reads this post, gotta say I love the accent. Your video helped me as much as this thread did. Thank-you, as well.

  • Scott LivingstonScott Livingston Posts: 4,298
    edited December 1969

    Thanks, Slosh! (Off-topic but thank you for making the M4 to G2M product...it's sitting in my cart along with M6, waiting for funds that should be coming in a few days)

    I know I said I was done adding lights to the Dragon Slayer scene, but I thought of one thing that I hadn't done yet: using the Advanced Spotlight as a point light. Jabba101 shows how in his video on the Advanced Spotlight, and the User Guide covers it also, but the gist is, if you change the spotlight's Spread Angle to 360 degrees, it will function as a point light.

    35. Let's add another Advanced Spotlight to the scene, and use Copy (CTRL-C) and Paste (CTRL-V) to transfer the settings of the first Advanced Spotlight (AS-1) to the new one (AS-4). But then, let's change the Spread Angle to 360 degrees in order to change it to a point light. Then I'd like to move it a bit towards the back of the throat, in order to increase the illumination there. Change the translation values to -35, 430, -300.

    36. Now change the Falloff Rate to Linear (instead of Squared). BIG difference. Even without any change to Intensity, the light seems much less strong at its origin (in the mouth).

    37. Mainly just as a point of comparison, let's try it again with Falloff Rate set to None.

    38. Of these, Squared (#36) was closest to the effect I am looking for, but the Intensity was a bit strong. Let's cut it to 50%. That's better....the mouth looks hot without dominating the scene, and the effect of the light on the sword and on the dragon's claws is pretty cool.

    39. Now that we have the Intensity set, let's play with the color a little. Try 180 190 230 (RGB values). This subtly bluish gray will combine with the gobo color and tone it down just a bit.

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  • Scott LivingstonScott Livingston Posts: 4,298
    edited December 1969

    In this post I show several variations of the lighting setup that we've put together over the previous 39 renders.

    40. Reduced Intensity of AAL-1 to 15%, and AAL-2 to 20%. Turned AAL-3 and AAL-4 off entirely. Hmm. I like the dimmer overall ambient light, but I think I'll turn the two mouth ambient lights back on...

    41. Reduced AAL-1 to 10% Intensity and increased AAL-5 to 40% Intensity. Turned AAL-3 and AAL-4 back on. With this setup, the background fades out and the lighting (and the viewer's attention) is strongly focused on the two combatants. Which sounds like a good thing...but maybe it's a little too focused. Also, the color scheme changes a bit due to the increased Intensity of AAL-5, which is yellow.

    42. Increased Intensity of AAL-2 to 25%. Changed Intensity of AAL-5 to 35% and changed its color to 255 255 192.

    43. Cut AAL-5 Intensity back to 30%, and cut Intensity of AS-3 to 40%. Cut Intensity of AS-1 to 100%. Increased Intensity of AAL-1 to 12%.

    44. Turned off all the dragon's breath lights: AAL-3, AAL-4, AS-1, AS-2, and AS-4. For comparison with the default lighting of the Dragon Slayer scene, which lacks the fiery breath.

    I'll have to think about which of these I like the best. We're pretty much done with lighting this scene. Next time, I would like to cover some related issues, including render settings, volumetric effects, and shaders and surface settings.

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