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Lighting instrument color temperature

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Hello everyone,


I'm a VW newbie so forgive me if this is a dumb question.

What I am trying to do is give the color of the light beam of my fixtures a color temperature value.

In the properties of the fixture this is not possible as far as I know.

It is possible in the light properties however (right clicking the instrument and selecting Edit Light...), but when I change the color temperature property nothing happens on the render.

What am I doing wrong? Or is it mabe not possible to do what I want?

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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

Hello @Champiyann,


What you are trying to accomplish can be done in Vectorworks.  When you are in the Edit Light window as you mention make sure that you check the "Use Emitter" box so that you can choose the color temperature of your light.


 If your lighting instrument's beam is too narrow for what you are focusing on the light overpowers your color temperature and you will see white when rendering with some color at the edge of the field.  


Also, if you lower the intensity of the light with the dimmer option in the Edit Light window you will reduce the overpowering white and begin to see the proper color temperature that you selected.  


One final thing is to make sure that you either turn off or reduce ambient lighting in View>Set Lighting Options> Ambient Info.  If your ambient lighting is too high it will overpower your entire rendering and you will have difficulty making out the color temperature differences.  I have attached a few screenshots to show some different settings using the Edit Light window so you can see how dimmer and field angle change the  color temperature intensity.  The smaller diameter beam is a 26º ERS and the larger beam is a 50º ERS. My ambient lighting is off in all of these images.


Hope this helps.


Screen Shot 2017-12-18 at 12.34.56 PM.png

Screen Shot 2017-12-18 at 12.32.22 PM.png

Screen Shot 2017-12-18 at 12.34.01 PM.png

Screen Shot 2017-12-18 at 12.31.46 PM.png

Screen Shot 2017-12-18 at 12.32.49 PM.png

Screen Shot 2017-12-18 at 12.33.38 PM.png

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Justin: everything you mention is correct of course. One thing to consider tho, is that when deploying color filters, one can change/update any number of fixtures globally, while the tediousness of the "Edit Light…" menu choice can become irritating. And, most Color Filter MFrs offer a complete selection of both CTC/CTO. Gets me where I'm goin' faster.

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Ok, my example above created in VW 2017.


I just now quickly tried this procedure out in VW 2018 SP2 on two s-4 14º fixtures and the "Edit Light…" and lo and behold, the "Edit Light…" menu option now seems to affect all selected fixtures. Will test more on this happy result.

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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

Hello mjm,


I completely agree with you about how tedious it is to individually select and edit lights using the "Edit Light" window, I remember how frustrating it was to select each light one by one as I did not want to edit one light and duplicate as I already had my plot laid out.  One of the features that has been added and released in VW2018 SP2 is the ability to use the "Edit Light" window globally just like the OIP.  Now you can select multiple fixtures and use "Edit Light" to make changes and it will apply to all selected fixtures.  It is a timesaver for sure.  


You beat me to the punch on my reply as I was typing when your reply popped up!!  I am sure that you will find this new feature very helpful.

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Thrilled to see this. It means I'll get the the 'render' portion of my render sessions that much faster and my wrists will be so much happier. In other words, I'll be able to capture a whole system and put them all at 35% at once, instead of what is it in VW 2017 and earlier: one R-click for the "Edit Light…" menu choice, scroll to appropriate field, enter data, click ok.

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Thank you all for the replies! I got it to work and it looks like it was helpfull to more people as well.

However, after messing around a bit the parameters, I've got a follow up question (I hope this is allowed..).

As Justin and Mark suggested, it does work in the Edit Light... menu using Renderworks, so I started rendering with Renderworks.

For completness, I looked up the bulbs we use to get the right amount lumen they produce and use that in the menu mentioned above.

But when I do this the brightness blows up and I have to dial the dimmer parameter down to 15% to get something realistic.

Do I interpret the datasheet value wrong? Or is there something happening in VW?

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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee


40 minutes ago, mjm said:

Begs the question: does OGL show Color filter colors (I'd test, but in a gala mtg).



I did a very quick test using a single light and focus point on an extruded floor and in OGL the light was rendering with the chosen Color Filter.  As the rendering was in OGL the Color Filter changes were occurring live once I pressed the tab button to set the color in the OIP.

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