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Old 03-06-2003, 04:22 AM   #61
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Okay, let's talk about traditional lighting for a bit. There's e-light script which is pretty cool, dome lights, randomly sticking lights all over the place, the simple three-point lighting setup...what else? What are some non GI lighting setups you all use that give nice, smooth lighting?
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Old 05-06-2003, 11:40 PM   #62
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I think when lighting you need to create a balance between real-world lighting and faking it. After all, there are certain thing that 3D programs won't do (assuming that we're ignoring using GI at the moment) so you need to tweak the lighting setup a bit.

Example, a red ball in a room with white walls. You'd expect to get some scatter from the ball, some pinky tones on the walls. Throw in an omni light, get it the right colour, and twiddle with the fall_off and decay (I almost always use inverse square, I just think it gives much better results) until you've faked the effect.

I would say that the real trick with lighting is (a) study how light works in the real world and if you don't have Jeremy Birn's book than get thee to a book store (or buy it on Amazon) and (b) really get to grips with the lights that your 3D package has, and tweak until it's perfect...

I'm a Max man at heart - although I'm trying now to learn Lightwave in the hopes of getting some kind of paid employment - and the lights that are in ther version I use (4) work fine for everything I need to do with that program.

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Old 06-06-2003, 12:10 AM   #63
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sneaky_d:Which book by Jeremy Birn?

I think the inverse square is close to how light decays in the real world.
Maybe that's gravity that has the inverse^2 decay

As far as lighting setups go I guess it depends on the composition, where you want the focus to be.
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Old 06-06-2003, 07:25 PM   #64
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[digital]Lighting and Rendering by Jeremy Birn. If you don't have this book then you really should, it's an excellent tome on all forms of lighting and rendering CG graphics.

just a quick response as I'm heading home from uni today and need to be off

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Old 06-06-2003, 09:08 PM   #65
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Light, sound, gravity, radiation they all have inverse^2 decay because they expand in a spherical shape.
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Old 13-07-2003, 12:27 AM   #66
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Old 13-07-2003, 04:26 AM   #67
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Boss, this is the wrong place for your question. You should ask this in the "Max, Maya & other software help" forum.
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Old 27-07-2003, 01:33 AM   #68
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Goig! could you post some pics of your lighting setup and maybe a list of the settings for the different rings of lights?
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Old 30-07-2003, 03:36 AM   #69
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Yeah, let's see some examples.
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Old 15-08-2003, 03:33 AM   #70
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There's a guy named Daniel Martinez Lara that does radiosity animations with Messiah:Render . His stuff is at www.pepeland.com but I couldn't get the site to work. There's some animation of his at http://www.projectmessiah.com/x2/theatre.htm
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Old 15-08-2003, 10:09 AM   #71
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That's cool stuff. I noticed a bit of his work was included with max.
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Old 14-09-2003, 11:16 PM   #72
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Here's a shading solution to the GI problem. There is one local light in this scene (casting the shadows), the rest is s light shader I made for trueSpace. The shader basically simulates 3 directional lights, so this look could also be achieved with traditional lighting as well. Of course, this is just for a single object. Simulating light bounce throughout a room or something, that's different. I think the idea of placing lights where bounce occurs works well. It just takes a bit of time and planning to make it look good, and it renders faster (in some circumstances) than GI/radiosity.
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Old 10-10-2003, 10:29 PM   #73
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OK, my turn. Going back to the thought that GI is the lens flare of today, I agree to a point. People rely on it loo much to make an image. I feel it is more the pandoras box. Once it is opened, if you want to do realistic renders, you "almost" always nead to do it. It is one of those things like rust and weathering that was added in that finally took away that all to familiar look of CG. It is just a tool and can be faked in a still image. Once the cameras move and so do the lights the fake then becomes obvious. There is no need for it in an animation due to the main focus , today, should be on the story. Eye candy will only hold your attension so long. I like creative images but there is a limit to how much I can take. I look at it like modern ART. Done well with a good idea it is powerful. Otherwise it looks like a first grader's finger painting. I do remember a lot of photo realistic renders. I think most of us want to work with film. Get something that looks so real you believe it is. I think we all can remember early CG and think about how fake it looks. I would say also, sorry if you disagree, that GI and caustic are the go motion of today. They finally finish the puzzle to why it does not look right.
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Old 18-10-2003, 06:38 AM   #74
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I agree RickStefani. When I first got access to radiosity, I became overwhelmed by how amazingly easy it was to create amazingly realistic lighting and bla bla bla bla. Sure, it's fun to take a box, reverse the normals, put a few smaller boxes inside, add an omni, and then watch the light bounce around, but it doesn't go much farther than that. In any real scene--and I mean <i>scene</i> as in there are lots of objects and light sources and materials and all kinds of things--radiosity quickly becomes a burden. Personal computers are just not fast enough to make radiosity worth it. I mean, am I the only person who noticed that, every time our computers get fast enough to do pretty much everything that our 3d programs have to offer pretty quickly, the software developers come out with a new feature that we end up using and that kills our render times?

My scene is still pretty simple. It started out with no GI and just a few light sources and no objects other than the room. Now it has two glass tables, a chair, and all kinds of complicated multilayered textures. A long time ago, someone suggested I add GI to it. I did. It was amazing. And so I was stuck with it for about a year. Finally, I got sick of the obscene render times. Having to wait eight hours for four frames was just too much.

So, I got rid of the radiosity, messed with the ambient lighting and the decay of the main lighting, and ended up with results without radiosity which were very close to the those with radiosity. Ambient lighting does not light the darker areas a nicely as radiosity, but it still works. Also, radiosity is still a new technology and it can be difficult to get acceptable results. Sometimes objects will be improperly lit on a few faces, or shadows will be a little off where faces of different objects touch, and things like that. These problems still happen with the quality settings at very high and very slow levels. Maybe max 6 will be different, but I'm not about to shell out that kind of money just for a new version of radiosity when I'm very happy with my standard lighting.

The scene without radiosity is a bit darker over all, but that's how I wanted this version. It could have been just as bright, so please don't think that is one of the differences directly caused by not using radiosity. The darkness of the shadows, on the other hand, is a direct result. Although as I'm typing, I realize I could just adjust the shadows so that they are not as dark and basically fake those areas being lightened by bounced light without having to increase the ambient lighting which would throw of the brightness in other areas. Cool! I gotta do that.

In truth, I'm happier with the non-radiosity version. It renders fast and I can use the raytrace material without it throwing the radiosity and render times completely out of whack.

By the way, some of the objects have been moved around a bit and the materials, especially the reflective properties, have been altered. The two images were produced about a month or two apart. Please take that into account when comparing so you don't confuse those kinds of changes as being linked with the lighting changes.

So what do you all think, hmm? It is pretty easy to tell which image uses radiosity and which does not, but only because they are both right there for comparison. Now let me ask you this: If I had only posted the non-radiosity version, but did not label it as such, would you be able to tell for sure if it used radiosity or not? Hmm?

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Old 21-10-2003, 05:13 PM   #75
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Somthing to keep in mind.

Lights should not be done realisticly, they should be done so your scene looks like a movie set. People think that scenes that are lit like movie scenes look more real then realisticly lit scenes for obvious reasons.
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