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Mirror Ball??

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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

Hey Scott,


I'm assuming you're referring to pre-vizing a mirror ball in Vision. If I'm mistaken, feel free to ignore me. Currently there's no way to actually simulate a mirror ball in Vision. Light in Vision doesn't "bounce" the way it does in the real world, mostly because that's very calculation heavy. Basically, it would turn your frame rate from frames per second, to minutes per frame. Over the years, I've tried to figure out a way to fake it, but I've never found anything that looks good.

The one thing that you could try is basically placing fixtures inside a textured ball facing out, and using a gobo to cast light. You can also hide the geometry of the fixture so it's not sticking out of your mirror ball, and use xforms to move the ball. The real issue with this method is that visions light emitters are always flat. That's not the best way to say it but, basically there's no way to make the light emitter follow the surface of a sphere. So if you look directly at the ball, it's obviously wrong. I've thrown together a quick demo file in case seeing it, makes it easier to understand.


I've also included a video of what it looks like. I've just used some Source4 90degs, with a random dot gobo. Then I've got the xform in the parent layer so I can spin it. If you kind of squint and never look directly at the ball, I guess it sort of doesn't look terrible. As I said, this was the best idea I could come up with, and I've never actually been happy with it. Maybe this will give you an idea for a better solution.






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