rather-fishing

Light beams of LED-fixtures

17 posts in this topic

Hello,

When creating live renderings, I often find myself having problems with beams of light. In LED-fixtures the light is really coming from all of the led-cells, but in Vectorworks beams starts from specific point inside the fixture. So, for example in Mac Aura or Clay Paky B-Eye, the beam does not seem to start from the lense, but from the center of it. Is there a way to fix this?

 

Sincere Thanks! 

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Short answer: Renderworks can not handle more than one source for a light emission.  

 

Vision does have some freedom to do multiple sources, but Vision symbols need to be created a very specific way and have additional data files to work, not something the general user will be able to do.  heck, I still have trouble with making them.  I am hoping some day we will be able to make multiple source fixures in Vectorworks that will work in Renderworks.  

 

You could create a multi-circuit light fixture, but those are tricky and don't work correctly half the time, even the ones we have created in VW content are buggy and prone to frustrate more than sooth the problem.

 

Rob.

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Essentially the individual led sources in a fixture create  a single beam. To help give the appearance of light emanating from across the whole LED array, I have started applying a glow texture to a "lens" in my symbols. This is classed separately and can be turned on or off as necessary. I'll try and post an example when I have a bit more time.

 

Contained in the light info record there is a field named "Lens". Currently this unused in all the symbols that I know of but clearly VW has some plan or other for that at some stage. Perhaps @Rob Bookscould enlighten us!

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On 6/9/2017 at 5:35 PM, markdd said:

Essentially the individual led sources in a fixture create  a single beam. To help give the appearance of light emanating from across the whole LED array, I have started applying a glow texture to a "lens" in my symbols. This is classed separately and can be turned on or off as necessary. I'll try and post an example when I have a bit more time.

 

Contained in the light info record there is a field named "Lens". Currently this unused in all the symbols that I know of but clearly VW has some plan or other for that at some stage. Perhaps @Rob Bookscould enlighten us!

This is how we have created all of our in house symbols. Having the lens classed separately allows you to set your Spotlight preferences to allow for the lens to change color based on the color specified for the symbol. 

 

As to the OP, if you are producing still images for proposals you can completely ditch the Spotlight functionality and manually add multiple light sources to the symbol to approximate the desired look. It is critical that your light symbols use a texture for the body and lens that do no cast shadows so that you can place the light source INSIDE the symbol.  Lighting instruments in the Spotlight library use this type of texture. 

 

Currently, Renderworks is EXTREMELY limited in how you can display volumetric "beams of light". There is truly no usable control of this property. The only way to make the beam originate at the size of the aperture from which it is emenating is to either move the light source further back into the light (depending on camera orientation I have actually placed light sources well behind lighting fixtures) or use multiple light sources.  Also note that in it's current state, renderwork's lighting beams only originate from a pinpoint and the width of the beam determines the beam's apparent brightness. In other words, the beam starts off non-existent and then gets brighter as it gets wider which is precisely NOT how light behaves in the real world. 

 

I have been harping on this issue for years as we have lost all of that necessary volumetric control back in 2011 and have not had it since. 

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I thought it might be best to post a set of images to detail the issue posed by eanz.  Attached are 5 figures that give you an idea of what I do as a workaround.  

aryton_fig1.png

aryton_fig2.png

aryton_fig3.png

aryton_fig4.png

aryton_fig5.png

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On 6/9/2017 at 6:35 PM, markdd said:

Essentially the individual led sources in a fixture create  a single beam. To help give the appearance of light emanating from across the whole LED array, I have started applying a glow texture to a "lens" in my symbols. This is classed separately and can be turned on or off as necessary. I'll try and post an example when I have a bit more time.

 

Contained in the light info record there is a field named "Lens". Currently this unused in all the symbols that I know of but clearly VW has some plan or other for that at some stage. Perhaps @Rob Bookscould enlighten us!

A few years ago I began adding geometry and attaching the Parts Record with lens to it, it was hoped that we could internally default to doing lens flare or glow type effects with that but it has not come to pass on the programming side.  It has allowed users to have the geometry there to do it on their own at least.  maybe someday...

 

Rob.

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This is one of the many reasons that I mostly stick to Cinema4D for this type of thing.  Much, much more control over lighting, and the ability to do exactly this.

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Sam,

That is true, however, the real issue is whether or not Maxon will allow the necessary control over light objects. The functionality is there, VW users simply do not have access to it. To exacerbate the issue, that kind of control WAS available seven years ago prior to moving to the current rendering engine. 

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I see 3 issues, here:

 

1)  The need to emulate fixtures that, in-reality, produce multiple light sources, each with potentially different characteristics (Aura, Viper Wash, B.Eye, etc.).

2)  Whether, in-reality, produced by multiple or single sources, the need for light sources' beams to "start" at a size closer to the lens/fixture face size.

3)  The need for Lit Fog beams to mimic the laws of physics in terms of distance & zoom - at least, to get close (see Scott's examples).

 

While addressing all 3 would be VERY welcome, the last 2 have been repeated complaints/concerns/questions for several years and are in dire need of attention.   With all due respect, I find it more than a little odd that users of software otherwise as powerful as VW are being driven to other solutions to get more realistic renderings in this regard - especially, when some of this functionality USED to be there and when potential/probable options are in the same corporate family.

 

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5 hours ago, C. Andrew Dunning said:

I see 3 issues, here:

 

1)  The need to emulate fixtures that, in-reality, produce multiple light sources, each with potentially different characteristics (Aura, Viper Wash, B.Eye, etc.).

2)  Whether, in-reality, produced by multiple or single sources, the need for light sources' beams to "start" at a size closer to the lens/fixture face size.

3)  The need for Lit Fog beams to mimic the laws of physics in terms of distance & zoom - at least, to get close (see Scott's examples).

 

While addressing all 3 would be VERY welcome, the last 2 have been repeated complaints/concerns/questions for several years and are in dire need of attention.   With all due respect, I find it more than a little odd that users of software otherwise as powerful as VW are being driven to other solutions to get more realistic renderings in this regard - especially, when some of this functionality USED to be there and when potential/probable options are in the same corporate family.

 

X 100

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6 minutes ago, markdd said:

X 100

+ a million, as my kids would say.

we've been hamstrung; those of us who've plumped for the C4D-as-a-render-solution are spending thousands of dollars and countless hours to improve our product with a tool which USED TO BE BETTER.

 

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I have been considering Cinema 4D with the Octane rendering engine simply because it will do what I need it to do. This is really disappointing though for the following reasons:

 

- the expense of another major application platform. Of course, this is truly the crux of the biscuit as Maxon would rather us purchase another product than give us what we need in a single product. 

 

- the learning curve

 

- my assumption is that I would create all the geometry in VW then export to C4D and add textures and lighting there. The issue occurs when you need to start revising a project. Then you have to determine how to go back to VW, make changes, then I suppose merge those changes into C4D and then make all the necessary updates to lighting and texturing. Very clunky. 

 

- I believe the upside is that Octane rendering will be faster than renderworks by a huge order of magnitude. Also, the end result will look better. 

 

But this is all extremely frustrating to me. 

 

Edited by scottmoore

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9 hours ago, scottmoore said:

- my assumption is that I would create all the geometry in VW then export to C4D and add textures and lighting there. The issue occurs when you need to start revising a project. Then you have to determine how to go back to VW, make changes, then I suppose merge those changes into C4D and then make all the necessary updates to lighting and texturing. Very clunky. 

 

That works now (VW 2017) very well and lossless.

You can even use different Materials in both packages, C4D will keep its own Materials

once changed there.

 

The only thing that can happen is that C4D will import those special VW Materials again

for all new Geometry you created, although it may be the same Material you already

have overwritten in C4D for previous geometry.

And although you deactivated Material Exchange.

 

But that makes some sense IMHO.

 

 

In practice that works like this :

- Create VW Model

- Export to C4D

- Edit/overwrite Materials, create Lighting, Cameras, Plants, Shilhouettes,... and Render Settings in C4D

 

After Changes or updates happen to your Design :

- Change and update VW Model

- C4D Exchange to refresh the C4D Model

- Check for existing "new" Materials and overwrite these with the newer ones you already

have in C4D or enhance them in C4D if you can need them.

 

 

If you just move things around in VW without creating new elements,

it is just one Exchange and a Re Render.

Edited by zoomer

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11 hours ago, scottmoore said:

I have been considering Cinema 4D with the Octane rendering engine simply because it will do what I need it to do. This is really disappointing though for the following reasons:

 

- the expense of another major application platform. Of course, this is truly the crux of the biscuit as Maxon would rather us purchase another product than give us what we need in a single product. 

 

- the learning curve

 

- my assumption is that I would create all the geometry in VW then export to C4D and add textures and lighting there. The issue occurs when you need to start revising a project. Then you have to determine how to go back to VW, make changes, then I suppose merge those changes into C4D and then make all the necessary updates to lighting and texturing. Very clunky. 

 

- I believe the upside is that Octane rendering will be faster than renderworks by a huge order of magnitude. Also, the end result will look better. 

 

But this is all extremely frustrating to me. 

 

 

Well not to add to your frustration Scott, but the work flow you describe is what I do daily.  I model in VW, move to Cinema and use Octane to render.  Here's the rub - volumetric lights don't work in Octane.  In fact, Octane doesn't even ship with a spotlight - there is a 3rd Party add on (see Brograph.com), but it's not ideal.  You can create an overall fog, but it is very hard to control and very hard to get looking correct.  And - it takes ages to get noise free renders - like stupid long (and I have a very powerful machine).  So I'd look at this workflow more carefully, I gave up on it for light beams.  You might consider Cinema 4D with the STAGE plug in and forgo Octane for this.  To be clear - native Cinema has lighting volumetrics, though very basic, but Octane is a different animal.  I end up doing my volumetrics mostly in Photoshop or After effects using the Optical Flares plug in from Video Copilot, but I do stills, not animation, previz or preprograming.  Examples on my website.  Happy to talk about this more offline - I have spent a fair amount of time studying rendering of light beams for concerts.

 

e.

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You are all Spotlight users ?

I am not sure if C4D Lights will offer all that comfort you are used from Spotlight and or Vision (?)

Or if there is a kind of lossless exchange with Spotlight devices to C4D.

 

As for GPU Rendering, that still has some limits and not all features that CPU rendering provides.

Nevertheless it is better for most standard users.

If you don't already own a copy of Octane, it may be worth to take a look at VRAY4C4D

(If you are on Windows and NVidia because of CUDA) and wait what AMDs GPU solution

will bring in C4D R19.

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On 6/30/2017 at 10:37 AM, EAlexander said:

 

Well not to add to your frustration Scott, but the work flow you describe is what I do daily.  I model in VW, move to Cinema and use Octane to render.  Here's the rub - volumetric lights don't work in Octane.  In fact, Octane doesn't even ship with a spotlight - there is a 3rd Party add on (see Brograph.com), but it's not ideal.  You can create an overall fog, but it is very hard to control and very hard to get looking correct.  And - it takes ages to get noise free renders - like stupid long (and I have a very powerful machine).  So I'd look at this workflow more carefully, I gave up on it for light beams.  You might consider Cinema 4D with the STAGE plug in and forgo Octane for this.  To be clear - native Cinema has lighting volumetrics, though very basic, but Octane is a different animal.  I end up doing my volumetrics mostly in Photoshop or After effects using the Optical Flares plug in from Video Copilot, but I do stills, not animation, previz or preprograming.  Examples on my website.  Happy to talk about this more offline - I have spent a fair amount of time studying rendering of light beams for concerts.

 

e.

Actually, the Brograph team are subcontractors of mine and developed that lighting tool due to a large project we collaborated on in 2014. 

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