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Aaron Black

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Hello Vectorworks Hive!


I'm having a huge struggle with creating a realistic, (or even semi-realistic) version of a recessed led lighting effect.  I've attached a picture of live examples and a drawing of what the actual structure would look like.  I've tried line light, I've tried area light, I've tried placing a billion individual spot lights.  Nothing seems to work or even remotely look close. 


Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated. 



Screen Shot 2019-02-05 at 11.42.37 AM.png



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Probably the best and most efficient way of doing this is to create the 3D geometry in the way that you have shown above and then apply a glow texture to the light source geometry. 


You will get good results this way. You should set your lighting settings to interior 4 bounces as a minimum and for even better results you should add some sort ceiling structure ("out of shot" if necessary) for the bounces to bounce off.


There may be loads of trial and error to get it right but eventually you should find a setting that works well for you.

Edited by markdd
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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

I did something similar once by modeling the LED tape light.  I created a tiny extrude for the LED, gave it a glow texture, and then placed a spot light directly above it.  Turned in into a symbol and made an array of them.  This did result in alot of lights and a slow rendering time, but I thought the effect was worth it.


Something else to play around with is using the exposure setting on the Renderworks camera, especially if you feel that you can't get the LED bright enough.  

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Thanks markdd.  


I've tried the glow option before and the problem with this set up is the light from the glow is never contained within the channel, it goes through the wall and basically lights the entire room, obliterating any other lighting that's been set up, and turning the render into a nuclear reactor.  See the Third image attached, this entire view is lit with no lights, ambient lighting turned off, but settings set to 4 bounces, lit entirely from the glows that are technically behind  the wall and shouldn't be lighting the room. 


Second, with the lighting settings to interior 4 bounces it completely overrides any lighting in the render and the scene becomes overly lit with nothing.  Second image attached is the glow texture set to 25% and the ambient light set to 4 bounces, 


Third image is the lighting settings set to all none, and now everything is just lit by the line lights and glow textures in the monitors. Which looks great, but there's no way to put the light in the channel now.


It's as if there's no way to do this trick without effecting the rest of the render.






Edited by Aaron Black
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  • 2 weeks later...

except it doesn't work.  Here's an image of extruded polygon, with a glow texture, 300%, white.  No ambient lighting, no environmental lighting, 4 bounces, glow object behind another object so the light just goes on the wall, black walls surrounding all 6 sides of the objects.  and Voila - a blown out room.  



Screen Shot 2019-02-25 at 10.19.58 PM.png

Screen Shot 2019-02-25 at 11.03.20 PM.png

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Oh. That is easy enough to fix. If there is no light in a scene, VW automatically adds an ambient light from over the views left shoulder, ostensibly so you can see what you are doing. VW does no recognize a glow texture as a legitimate light source so you have to add a real light to the scene. I usually set a light object way out of the way and set it to 1%. I think you actually set it to 0% but can’t say if I have tried that. Regardless, this will fix your issue. 

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