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Creating chandeliers with bulbs

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How do you create the light bulbs in a chandelier that actually put out light when the scene is rendered?  I want to design a chandelier based off of images and measurements taken in a hotel ballroom.  I would like to be able to have them glow as if they are turned on as it would be in the normal environment.  How do I create the actual bulbs that would be put in place?

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  • For the bulb geometry, I'd probably draw the profile of it in front view and then use Model > Sweep to revolve it into a 3D shape.
    • Make sure the Sweep's "Segment" angle isn't too small - increase to maybe 20 or 30° (as high as you can while retaining a good look).
  • Make a Renderworks Texture for the bulb.
    • For the color shader, set it to a warm white.
    • For the Reflectivity shader, set it to Glow, then click Edit and set Brightness to perhaps 150% (you can change later if need be).
    • Apply the texture to the bulb object.
  • Create a Symbol from the bulb geometry before duplicating it to other parts of the chandelier.
  • In order to see the emitted light, you need to render with Indirect Lighting.
    • If you're using Fast RW or Final Quality RW, then this can be set under View > Set Lighting Options.
    • If you're using your own RW Style (recommended), then turn on Indirect Lighting in the Lighting tab.
    • 3 bounces is typically fine unless it's a dark scene.
  • If you need more light from your chandelier, you can also add a Light object. This could be one for the entire chandelier, or one Light inside each bulb (depends on the design of the chandelier and how many bulbs there are).
    • If you add Lights, you may have to edit the textures assigned to the bulbs/chandelier and uncheck "Cast Shadows."


Let us know if this gets you there, or feel free to post a screenshot for additional guidance.




Edited by Andy Broomell
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1 hour ago, Benson Shaw said:

any comment on OGL, maybe for testing?


OpenGL doesn't display any type of Reflectivity shaders, so the texture's Glow effect won't show up. For OpenGL you'd have to rely solely on the Light objects, but bear in mind a max of 8 (at random) will cast light in openGL.


Any of the Lights inside bulb geometry also won't show up because unfortunately the "cast shadows" checkbox in the texture settings doesn't affect OpenGL either.


I always place all my Light objects on a separate class (or classes) so that when working in OpenGL I can set those classes to Invisible and get the "Default Light" back. That makes it easier to continue working on my scene when I'm not thinking about rendering.


If I'm doing OpenGL fly-throughs, I may drop in a single point light or two purely for OpenGL, separate from the lights that exist for rendering purposes.



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Thank you for the help.  I normally draw AV layouts and need to start rendering them for my clients.  Most of the room lighting will actually come from the theatrical lighting that my LD adds to the project.  I just want to add in some more detail to make the renderings closer to reality.  I will try this out and let you know how it turns out.

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I always have to go through the pain barrier of test rendering using a final render especially when using a texture with a glow/emit light setting......it wastes time but give me the confidence of then upping the dpi settings for my final final renders. OGL never gives me that unfortunately 

Edited by Phil hunt
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Correct, OpenGL should never be used to gauge anything related to lighting or rendering.


To save time with test renders, there are three things you can do:

  • Use your own render styles (rather than Fast or Final Quality Renderworks). I have two or three for different quality levels, all better than FRW but faster than FQRW.
  • Use the Render Bitmap tool on the Design Layer to render only the area you're working on.
  • With a sheet layer viewport, lower the DPI for test renders. Sometimes I work as low as 30 dpi (depends on size of viewport, I use 16" x 9" VPs)
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