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Lighting Elevation Viewports - Tip

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Some time ago I was looking for a dependable way to light elevation views that would be easy to embed in my template file and use from project to project.

The system that I came up with has served me quite well for a long time.


If you have a primary light or even a primary and secondary light in your model, you'll find that elevation views will look great on the side the lights are oriented to.  I'll arbitrarily call that the "front."  The sides will look OK, but not great and the back will be almost entirely in shade.


My strategy is to create pairs of lights.  Each pair contains one that casts shadows and one fill light that does not.  I then class each of the light pairs into: Lights-bottom, Lights-top, Lights-left and Lights-right.

By using page orientation rather than compass direction, I find it's easier to remember which one to use relative to the plan when assigning them to viewports.  I place all of the light pairs on a "Lights" design layer.

That allows me to turn them all on or off together or individually.


This strategy isn't true to solar orientation, but rather is designed to help the drawings read better. 


Here's a view of the lights and some elevations that use this technique.







Screen Shot 2016-11-09 at 10.43.13 AM.png

Screen Shot 2016-11-09 at 11.06.26 AM.png

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@Taprootthanks for sharing, interesting workflow. Can you explain what you mean by light that cast shadow and light that do not. Also, do you manage lights in each viewport by organizing them on separate layers, classes?

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If you select a light object and look at the OIP, you'll see the "cast shadows" setting.  I have this 'on' for one light and 'off' for the second light in the pair.


As mentioned above, I place all of my light pairs on one layer "lights" and each pair on a different class.  For example, I have the lights themselves in the "none" class.  Then, I group them into pairs and change the class of the group to class>"lights-bottom" (top, left, right...). 


That way, I can turn all of the lights off (by hiding the layer).  This is useful when I'm working on the model and I just want the generic VW lighting to illuminate the model.  Then, when setting up the viewports for presentation, I turn on the lighting layer and only the light class appropriate to the orientation that is being displayed.  If you have multiple lighting pairs (classes) on in a viewport, it will overexpose the rendering and give it a washed out appearance.  It might look good as 'Pop-Art', but it will be hard to read.


Here's a screen shot for reference.



Screen Shot 2016-11-21 at 11.51.28 AM.png

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