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Lighting questions


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I am running VW9.5b7 on Win XP, PIII 933, 512MB. I am fairly new to the world of 3D modeling but have spent some time in VW, 3DS Max 4, and Artlantis. I am finding that I thoroughly enjoy creating things and applying textures to them in Vectorworks. (I particularly like the added ability to manipulate shaders in 9). However I am getting continually frustrated with a couple of things. My current project is a tradeshow booth with lots of different images applied to lots of different faces. I find the lighting rather hard to work with. I use mostly spot lights and when I insert them I get the line to aim the light but I get such jerky movements that it renders it mostly useless so I just insert it then adjust the pan and tilt. It is difficult to tell where the light is pointing without rendering the scene. A simple cone showing the beam would be very nice. (see 3ds max)

I try using openGL to get an idea of what my lights are doing but they look completely different in OpenGL, fast renderworks, and final render works. The only way I can see whats really going on is with custom renderworks with a few things turned off. It is very time consuming to render the scene after every little light adjustment. I work in an office where I am the only one doing this so my only sources for support are the manuals and this board. I would be very interested to hear how some of you approach lighting.

The other problem I am having is with mapping textures. Sometimes while mapping the preview window will stop updating automatically and the alignment lines will disappear. I have to move the texture and click preview every time. This makes it virtually impossible to get it right if it is aligned to the wrong plane as it often is.

I do not think this is normal as it does it only on occasion.

I hope I am missing something basic about these two parts of the program.

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