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Anita

Creating a semi-transparent object lit from inside

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Is it possible to create an object with sides made of a semi-transparent material, so that I can shine a light from inside, TOWARD the side, and have it show from the outside? (Imagine what effect you would get from shining a torch onto a piece of paper and viewing it from the other side.) In reality, it is made of some sort of semi-transparent plastic.

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The solution is pretty straightforward, and it's similar to the last problem (how did that chandelier thing work out anyway?) Create the 3D shape you want, and then copy / paste in place. The trick here is to edit the copy so that it's smaller than the original. Sometimes it may be easier to create two separate shapes from the get-go, and center them 3D. The size difference between the two will be the wall thickness of your fixture. Do a solid subtraction so you're left with a shell. Assign a texture to the shape that has some transparency (it almost doesn't matter what because you're going to go back and tweak the settings anyway or you're going to create your own). Then position a light inside. After placing a default light object in place, with the light object still selected, go to the object info pallette, change it from directional to spot, and adjust the beam spread, intensity, color, etc. I usually use the 2D rotate tool to position the direction of light objects because it's faster for me, but you can control direction from the OIP as well. See how it looks. Chances are there will be a balancing act between setting the fixture texture tranparency and the light object, and you'll have to go back and forth between them untill it looks right. If needed, you can then copy or mirror duplicates of the light object within the fixture. With the multiple light sources, you may need to go back one more time and adjust the light intensity / texture transparency to get it right. Good luck.

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