Tutorial Uber Area Lighting: The Basics

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  • SzarkSzark Posts: 10,633
    edited December 1969

    Thanks Mustakettu85, I am glad I could help after all the help you have given me. :)

  • evilded777evilded777 Posts: 2,339
    edited December 1969

    Ok, I've run up against something odd.

    Is there some limit to the NUMBER of area lights in a scene?

    Is it possible to have both area light primitives and surfaces of a larger prop with the light base applied?

    Working on something, setting up my primitives and its going swimmingly. Realize some surfaces would be fine to just apply a light shader to them... wham, all of my lights no longer emit light. This is troubling. Can't figure out why this is happening.

  • SpottedKittySpottedKitty Posts: 7,203
    edited December 1969

    Odd, AFAIK the only limit on the number of lights of any type (unless you're letting your graphics card do the render) is if it sends the total render time sky-high and you decide you can't wait a few weeks for it to finish. If there weren't any actual error messages pop up, does anything weird show up at the end of the log file after you loaded the last set of lights? (Help menu>Troubleshooting>View Log File and scroll to the end.)

  • kyoto kidkyoto kid Posts: 33,976
    edited December 1969

    ...excellent point. For example Jack's Aslan court has something like 40 Uber area lights in it. Not all will be shown by your GPU in OpenGL mode (most can only handle up to eight lights), but they are there.

  • SzarkSzark Posts: 10,633
    edited December 1969

    I can't add much more to what has already been said, thanks Spotty and Kyoto.

    Never come across a limit to be honest.

  • Joe CotterJoe Cotter Posts: 3,234
    edited December 1969

    ...
    Is it possible to have both area light primitives and surfaces of a larger prop with the light base applied?...

    The Armoury scene here uses 3 area lights and a LP light to create the fire effect. I probably did overkill on the area lights but it worked for what I was trying to do, and... I'm still learning also ;)

  • evilded777evilded777 Posts: 2,339
    edited December 1969

    I don't see to have been able to duplicate the issue with a different prop.
    But then my tests were with the Beta, and my working machine was still 4.5

    More testing is called for.

  • evilded777evilded777 Posts: 2,339
    edited December 1969

    Just does not seem to work with this prop. More testing is in order, but I need to finish this first.

    If anyone else wants to test, please feel free I'd love to hear your experiences. I have tried with both uber area light "objects" (tube, etc), primitives with the shader applied.... but all I am getting are the light surfaces from the prop (now, I may have been getting them before but not had the lights attenuated properly to be able to actually see the results in the test render).

  • nakamuram002nakamuram002 Posts: 427
    edited December 1969

    I want to create a source of ambient, omnidirectional light. Is it possible to do this using Area Lights on an invisible sphere or hemisphere?

  • SzarkSzark Posts: 10,633
    edited December 1969

    Ambient as in no AO??

  • nakamuram002nakamuram002 Posts: 427
    edited December 1969

    Thanks Szark!! I will study AdamR's tutorial.

  • kyoto kidkyoto kid Posts: 33,976
    edited December 1969

    ...OK maybe this can be answered here. Set up a scene using Jack's Aslan Court with the provided lights. When I rendered the first time the lights were literally "white hot" in that all the details of the floor were washed out. The intensity settings were 500% for the Ceiling lights 1,400% for the corridor area lights and 250% for the back lights (all uber area lights). I also used one linear point light set ata falloff of 100 intensity 60%) to provide a small amount of fill light on the character's faces.

    To get it to look right I had to adjust the intensities as follows (something like 40 lights).

    Ceiling Lights 120%
    Corridor & Back Lights: 150%

    Now Jack did a test render with the lights "as is" (with the original intensity settings) and it looks fine. Not sure why the light in mine was so blazing hot. It shouldn't have been the linear point light as the outer falloff limit globe didn't even reach the floor.

  • SzarkSzark Posts: 10,633
    edited December 1969

    I can't check as I don't have that product Kyoto sorry but yes strange.

  • kyoto kidkyoto kid Posts: 33,976
    edited May 2013

    ...when I get back home, I'm going to just load the set and lights "as is" and render to show Jack. I'm wondering if there isn't something in my setup of 4.5/4.6 that might be causing this as I've seen this happen before. Strange though that it doesn't occur with Lantios or Cloud9, both of which I use a lot.

    Post edited by kyoto kid on
  • mark128mark128 Posts: 1,027
    edited December 1969

    Kyoto Kid said:
    ...OK maybe this can be answered here. Set up a scene using Jack's Aslan Court with the provided lights. When I rendered the first time the lights were literally "white hot" in that all the details of the floor were washed out. The intensity settings were 500% for the Ceiling lights 1,400% for the corridor area lights and 250% for the back lights (all uber area lights). I also used one linear point light set ata falloff of 100 intensity 60%) to provide a small amount of fill light on the character's faces.

    To get it to look right I had to adjust the intensities as follows (something like 40 lights).

    Ceiling Lights 120%
    Corridor & Back Lights: 150%

    Now Jack did a test render with the lights "as is" (with the original intensity settings) and it looks fine. Not sure why the light in mine was so blazing hot. It shouldn't have been the linear point light as the outer falloff limit globe didn't even reach the floor.

    I have this set. I just tried a small test render with the default light set. It renders fine.

    The view port looks white hot and the details are all washed out. The reason for this is that Jack left all the AreadLight HeadLamp blockers in the scene. There are 33 or so of the headlamp blockers. If you delete all but one of the headlamp blockers the viewport will look more normal.

    Did you do a 3Delight render or one of the preview renders

    test.jpg
    300 x 300 - 77K
  • kyoto kidkyoto kid Posts: 33,976
    edited May 2013

    ...full 3Delight render and the floor came out "white hot" in stage lighting terms.

    This is what I get with the ceiling lights turned down to 120% and the corridor/back lights to 150%.

    In the one below the corridor and back lights are left at their original intensity (the ceiling lights still at 120%) and no linear point light for the facial fill. Notice the "hot spots" on the floor in the corridors.

    sweeties.jpg
    900 x 900 - 668K
    bestest_friends.jpg
    900 x 900 - 605K
    Post edited by kyoto kid on
  • SertorialSertorial Posts: 960
    edited May 2013

    Szark said:
    ...

    If I haven't already said so, a BIG thank you to Szark for this and other helpful tutorials.

    Just a question on one of the parameters in the surfaces tab for UberArea...

    what does "angle" do?

    Post edited by Sertorial on
  • SzarkSzark Posts: 10,633
    edited December 1969

    Thank you Sertorial.

    Angle is the same for any surface whether is is a light shader or just normal maps. Ok but what is it? I don't have an in depth understanding but it is to do with angels on the geometery and how the render engine treats these angles, smoothing in others words. Here is what Neil says about this aspect http://homepage.eircom.net/~neilvpose/ds-settings.htm

    Another newer option to DS3 again quite an advanced option and it is an option that will be more used by model creators. It helps smooth the edges and corners of a model making them look nicer Poser has this built in as well so this was added to help models look as nice in DS as they do in poser before you add textures. Again it is best to leave this alone unless you are having problems with a model looking too or not smooth enough then you just adjust the setting up or down until you get a result you are happy with.
  • SertorialSertorial Posts: 960
    edited December 1969

    Szark said:
    Thank you Sertorial.

    Angle is the same for any surface whether is is a light shader or just normal maps. Ok but what is it? I don't have an in depth understanding but it is to do with angels on the geometery and how the render engine treats these angles, smoothing in others words. Here is what Neil says about this aspect http://homepage.eircom.net/~neilvpose/ds-settings.htm

    Another newer option to DS3 again quite an advanced option and it is an option that will be more used by model creators. It helps smooth the edges and corners of a model making them look nicer Poser has this built in as well so this was added to help models look as nice in DS as they do in poser before you add textures. Again it is best to leave this alone unless you are having problems with a model looking too or not smooth enough then you just adjust the setting up or down until you get a result you are happy with.

    Ok thanks for that.

    One other thing. You said that to get a glass effect the refraction needs to be set to 100% and IOR to 2.5. I just tried testing this by putting a plane primitive between my area light and the camera. I wanted the plane to look like a sheet of glass so I set refraction to 100% and IOR to 2.5 as you said, but still the plane just looks like a black square blocking out all the light. Why isn't it transparent like a piece of glass? is there some other setting you're not telling us about ;)

  • SzarkSzark Posts: 10,633
    edited December 1969

    Turn Multiply Through Opacity OFF and set the opacity down to 5-15% and try that.

    Multiply Through Opacity lets the render engine now that there is a transparent object in the scene, turning it off lets the render engine now that though the object is transparent it has reflections. Leaving it on will make the reflections transperent too. This only works if there isn't a opacity map in the opacity channel.

  • SertorialSertorial Posts: 960
    edited December 1969

    Szark said:
    Turn Multiply Through Opacity OFF and set the opacity down to 5-15% and try that.

    Multiply Through Opacity lets the render engine now that there is a transparent object in the scene, turning it off lets the render engine now that though the object is transparent it has reflections. Leaving it on will make the reflections transperent too. This only works if there isn't a opacity map in the opacity channel.

    right. Thanks

  • kyoto kidkyoto kid Posts: 33,976
    edited December 1969

    ...oy, just getting a handle on this and now they offer SSS. The Daz learning curve has just become a bit steeper.


    ..and I'm still trying to learn Blender.

  • SzarkSzark Posts: 10,633
    edited December 1969

    For anyone who liked this tutorial I am putting the finishing touches to a Point light Basics tutorail. Hopefully it will be finished in the next few days.

  • kyoto kidkyoto kid Posts: 33,976
    edited December 1969

    ...sweet. I really like using Linear Point Lights.

  • JimJim Posts: 728
    edited December 1969

    Thanks, Szark. I've been trying out the uberarea lights a lot lately as I've come to value them a lot from working with other render engines. When I first started out with them I couldn't get anything from them at all and I assumed they were broken. I figured out a cheat using surfaces with high ambience and UberEnv using Bounce Light mode - idea came from the Birn Digital Lighting book.

    The problem was that it was very noisy and needed insanely low shading rates to fix, and thus took a LONG time to do even small images. Of course, thanks to this thread, I found out that my normal were flipped (working with Reality and LuxRender had led me to conclude I was doing it right). But anyway, before I discovered this thread I got to wondering if it would be any better with the UberArea lights, and of course with my normals pointing the wrong way it wasn't. It was actually much worse. When I did discover this thread there was a serious face-palm moment.

    Your writing here also cleared up some other things for me too, such as whey area lights rock so hard in the first place. So with all this cleared up I went on to do loads of highly expensive CPU time experimentation with just about every Omnifreaker product I own and ended up with the below. I used a single area light, an uberspot, a lot of reflection, traytrace level of 5, and uberenvironment bounce with max trace distance set to 750. Final render time was 8h 17mins (for image size 800x600x), and as you can see when you look closely there is still some noise in the shadowed areas, so I didn't over bake the render settings.

    I know this is probably nothing new for experienced DS users, but it was a light bulb moment for me. I also know I could get the same effect with devious use of less expensive lighting methods, but honestly I like to think of all those numbers being crunched.

    Buddy_bot.jpg
    800 x 600 - 182K
  • SzarkSzark Posts: 10,633
    edited December 1969

    Thanks Jim. I was just saying to carola.ottosson in a PM that I like it when folks pop back to let me now this helped. Makes it all worthwhile. :)

    Very cool image Jim, great light and colours. I have never been able to use GI but when I get a new workstation I intend to have a play. 9 hour renders is nothing to me...I laugh at 8 hours mawhahahaha. I have got a Vue project that I have been rendering on and off for 180 hours now and it is just getting to the bottom of the first pass. ;)

    The figure's shadow reminds me of a Borg...resistance is not futile.

  • JimJim Posts: 728
    edited December 1969

    Thanks, I thought it turned out pretty well too. I mostly just like how the blending of colour seems to highlight depth/distances. The textures were a 10 min job in PS using some Rons. I thought a splash of grimy colour would be the order of the day, so I'm glad it worked out. As a Lux user I'm no stranger to long render times, but I tend to be more economical with my 3Delight renders. I wish we could set the number of threads 3Delight renders on. I'd be much more willing to just let it go. There might be a way with the external renderer, but two cores is much too slow for me.

    I also tried out progressive render, which is a strange coincidence seeing as you explicitly say not to use it.I remember it doing bad things in the past but it seems to have improved, maybe as a result of the recent updates to 3Delght? It actually saved me a lot of time here http://jim-zombie.deviantart.com/art/Buddy-bot-1-377871366. This rendered to 78 percent, took 3 hours to get there and was taking a lot longer for every extra percent. Obviously this is a case of seriously over increasing the quality settings, so all that lost time would have been squarely on my own head anyway.

    Maybe because it is only a small scene it was more stable. RAM usage never went above 1.5 gigs and I didn't have any system/DAZ instability. With some more refinements DAZ could use this to work in a nice real-time preview mode.

    I look forward to seeing what you do with your new system. I'm sure you'll put all that extra power to very good use.

    Oh, and as an ocassional tutorial writer myself, I know what it means for people to drop in to say thanks and let you know how they are getting on with the new material.

  • SertorialSertorial Posts: 960
    edited December 1969

    jimzombie said:
    Thanks, Szark. I've been trying out the uberarea lights a lot lately as I've come to value them a lot from working with other render engines. When I first started out with them I couldn't get anything from them at all and I assumed they were broken. I figured out a cheat using surfaces with high ambience and UberEnv using Bounce Light mode - idea came from the Birn Digital Lighting book.

    The problem was that it was very noisy and needed insanely low shading rates to fix, and thus took a LONG time to do even small images. Of course, thanks to this thread, I found out that my normal were flipped (working with Reality and LuxRender had led me to conclude I was doing it right). But anyway, before I discovered this thread I got to wondering if it would be any better with the UberArea lights, and of course with my normals pointing the wrong way it wasn't. It was actually much worse. When I did discover this thread there was a serious face-palm moment.

    Your writing here also cleared up some other things for me too, such as whey area lights rock so hard in the first place. So with all this cleared up I went on to do loads of highly expensive CPU time experimentation with just about every Omnifreaker product I own and ended up with the below. I used a single area light, an uberspot, a lot of reflection, traytrace level of 5, and uberenvironment bounce with max trace distance set to 750. Final render time was 8h 17mins (for image size 800x600x), and as you can see when you look closely there is still some noise in the shadowed areas, so I didn't over bake the render settings.

    I know this is probably nothing new for experienced DS users, but it was a light bulb moment for me. I also know I could get the same effect with devious use of less expensive lighting methods, but honestly I like to think of all those numbers being crunched.

    this is a great looking render. I use UE2 a fair bit for fill lighting, but whenever I select Bounce (GI) (whatever that is) I find the render times approach the age of the universe, so I always end up aborting and going back to IDL or AO. I am presuming Bounce is better than AO and IDL as it comes further down the menu options! (but I have no idea what it does or what it actually is, despite reading the thread on UE2)

  • JimJim Posts: 728
    edited December 1969

    Thanks that is kind of you to say. Personally I think the indirect lighting was set too high - only just realised what was bugging me about it. The render can be huge compared to other UE2 settings. I certainly wouldn't use it if you're using IBL. As far as I can tell it bounces and blends light/colour in ways that aren't possible with DS otherwise. Omnifreaker has terrible documentation for it, but one thing he does say is that it is meant to bring more omphf to traditionally lit scenes - ones that use spot/distant/area/point. You will really get killed for having higher raytrace, more lights, and increasing the trace distance.

    I know that before the render gets started proper there is a period where the render process will sit at 0% and have a good ponder (time varies a lot based on light complexity), but once you're past that it tends to go quicker.

  • kyoto kidkyoto kid Posts: 33,976
    edited December 1969

    jimzombie said:
    Thanks, Szark. I've been trying out the uberarea lights a lot lately as I've come to value them a lot from working with other render engines. When I first started out with them I couldn't get anything from them at all and I assumed they were broken. I figured out a cheat using surfaces with high ambience and UberEnv using Bounce Light mode - idea came from the Birn Digital Lighting book.

    The problem was that it was very noisy and needed insanely low shading rates to fix, and thus took a LONG time to do even small images. Of course, thanks to this thread, I found out that my normal were flipped (working with Reality and LuxRender had led me to conclude I was doing it right). But anyway, before I discovered this thread I got to wondering if it would be any better with the UberArea lights, and of course with my normals pointing the wrong way it wasn't. It was actually much worse. When I did discover this thread there was a serious face-palm moment.

    Your writing here also cleared up some other things for me too, such as whey area lights rock so hard in the first place. So with all this cleared up I went on to do loads of highly expensive CPU time experimentation with just about every Omnifreaker product I own and ended up with the below. I used a single area light, an uberspot, a lot of reflection, traytrace level of 5, and uberenvironment bounce with max trace distance set to 750. Final render time was 8h 17mins (for image size 800x600x), and as you can see when you look closely there is still some noise in the shadowed areas, so I didn't over bake the render settings.

    I know this is probably nothing new for experienced DS users, but it was a light bulb moment for me. I also know I could get the same effect with devious use of less expensive lighting methods, but honestly I like to think of all those numbers being crunched.


    ...I sued to struggle a lot with them until I was referred to this tutorial thread. Now they've almost become second nature to me.
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