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Realistic rendering


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Are they turned on in the OIP or in the Visualization Palette?  (The Vis Palette is where you want to turn them on.)


Make sure you are rendering with renderworks, not Open GL.  Open GL only shows a maximum of 8 lighting sources.


Rendering with spotlight fixtures can be tricky.  Post back if you're still having problems.

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Thanks guys. I changed the background to realistic white and it did what was expected. Now my issues are that the striplights (color force 2 72) are showing up as hard edged lekos. also, when exporting to PDF all i get is a full black page. Thanks for your replies.

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Looks like you are making really good progress. What you will find is that renderings are an art form unto themselves. You generally need to treat renderings keeping in mind the speed at which you wish to render, the abilities and limitations of the software and how you want to present your images. Creative usage of textures and ambient light are probably the first place to start. In other words, we often “fake” surfaces and lighting to make the renderings work to our advantage. There are tons of tips and tricks available here and other places. 


As to the striplights, VW Spotlight Instruments currently only have a single lighting source embedded within them (unless this has changed in 2019). As such, any large format fixture or, in this case, linear fixture, will only emit a single beam of light which is a major source of complaint for many. That said, to create a 6’ wide beam of light effectively would require several lighting sources which then become serious resource hogs. Instead of Renderworks computing one beam of light per fixture, it might now have to render 12 times that. Not ideal; especially if you are not using volumetrics. (Haze).


If if I am following this correctly, the circular downlight on the tables should be the output from a linear LED fixture. A simple solution would be to create a gobo that is a soft edge rectangle that is scaled appropriately for the output of your linear fixture. Replace your striplights with an ellipsoidal or automated fixture with the custom gobo, adjust the beam and field in the OIP to taste and that should look like what you want. 


Basically, don’t worry as much about how these things work in a real production environment; just leverage the tools you have to produce renders that appear like you want them to. 



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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

@Jmoberly  The strip lights are most likely producing a round beam and that is why you are seeing the pools of light.  If you change the beam and field angles in the OIP for the symbol you should be able to produce a light beam that is a lot more oval and more representative of a strip light.  Let me know if you have any questions as how to do that or what beam angle and field angle value represents vertical and horizontal in the rendered beam.

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Justin is correct. It also occurred to me that you could install the custom gobo I to the existing strip light symbol. Just because you can’t put a gobo in an LED strip light doesn’t mean you can’t put it in the Spotlight Lighting Instrument. The same is true for any lighting instrument. 

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