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willofmaine

Line Lights & Shadows

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Line lights in Custom RenderWorks with "Shadow Mapped Shadows" selected don't seem to cast shadows, even though point lights do. Line lights will cast shadows with "Ray Traced Shadows" selected, but they're don't have the desired "smoothness." (See attached). Any thoughts greatly appreciated! Thanks, Will

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I'm sure this isn't it, but does it matter if you check "Transparent Shadows"?

Does your drawing have multiple line lights? Or are the multiple shadows from bounce off the walls?

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...and while we're on the subject of Custom Renderworks Settings, is there any reason that all those settings couldn't be on a matrix with Texturing, Geometry, Lighting, Final Gather, and Rendering across the top and their settings in columns below them?

It seems like it would fit in the current (fixed size) dialogue box.

That way the user could have an instant picture of all the render settings w/o having to click through each heading.

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Hi,

Thanks for your response. Selecting "Transparent Shadows" doesn't seem to make any difference.

There's a single light fixture with two line lights in it. When I eliminate one of the line lights so that there's only one, there are still multiple shadows (though not as many). Must be bounce off the walls...

I read in another thread your suggestion to use "constant reflectivity" for white surfaces. Funny thing, after some frustration, I found that constant reflectivity was causing an image prop to show as a black silhouette. Oddly enough, this only happened in a viewport. On a design layer, with all the same Custom RenderWorks settings, the image prop showed as expected. When I changed its reflectivity to none, it then worked in the viewport.

The same thing happened when I changed my white walls to have a constant reflectivity. In the design layer they're (very) white, but in the viewport they're black! Very odd...

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It looks like you're trying to do a fluorescent fixture. Sometimes, I find it works better to use an area light.

Attached is a simple example. It's just a nurbs surface w/ the sides curled up. It eliminates the double shadow and makes the shadow edge soft.

I haven't seen constant reflectivity turning black in a viewport. Can you post an example?

hth

michaelk

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Whoops. Sorry. I used shift-command-F without thinking. (which is how I do most things). So that was Final Quality - not custom renderworks.

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Wow, I had no idea that geometry such as extrudes and curved NURBS surfaces could be turned into light objects!

Thanks for the example files. I found that, at least in my situation, a flat area light seems to render faster than one with curved edges, but the results are just as good. It seems the key was to use area lights in lieu of line lights. So, thanks for sending me in that direction!

I haven't been able to replicate the textures with a constant reflectivity turning black in viewports. I have since restarted VectorWorks; maybe VW just needed a break?...

I have found that, in order for area lights to work properly, the Sampling Quality in Custom RenderWorks needs to be set to at least "Medium."

Thanks for all the advice & files; much appreciated!

Will

PS - I like the matrix idea for door and window settings! But if I mention that here I may be accused of getting slightly off topic............

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I've never used an extrude as an area light in a real drawing. I'm always afraid that it will render more slowly than a nurbs surface.

But it is fun to use a concave nurbs surface like a "soft box" for lighting.

michaelk

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