[Bf-funboard] Fake Area-Lights
public at konrad-haenel.de
Mon Aug 15 17:53:41 CEST 2005
Following a thread in the development-forum I'd like to add a small yet
interesting proposal here:
The thread: http://www.blender.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=6462
Fake area-lights using arrays of shadow-mapped spotlights
preface: Before area-lights became widely available it was a common
technique to cluster an array of shadow-mapped spotlights to simulate
soft-shadows. Though this method has clear limitations it works
surprisingly well in many situations. At the same time it often greatly
reduces rendering-time compared to real raytraced area-lights.
proposal: To improve workflow I propose that a new type of light should
be made available: the fake-area-light. This would merely be a smart
combination of features already available in blender. The idea is to
make the process of creating and setting up a so-called "light-dome" as
simple as creating an area light. The interface would offer direct
access to the properties of such an object (actually spotlights
dupliverted on some object, probably a slightly bent plane) and expose
it as ONE object to the user.
details: The properties of the fake-area-light are pretty much the same
as those of a spotlight, with the addition of the number of lights and
the properties of the base-object on which those lights are mounted.
Additional properties might prove useful, like different shadow-ranges
for different spots of the fake-area-light. But these details may well
be implemented later on.
final thoughts: I think implementing this should be pretty
straightforward as it's mainly combining existing features in a better
interface. In fact, this might even be possible using python-scripting,
however a direct implementation would be more elegant IMHO. Judging from
my personal experience this would be a feature greatly appreciated by
animation-oriented artists for whom rendering-time is still one of the
most crucial aspects of each project. Setting up light-domes is possible
already but it's quite a tedious task and the resulting objects are not
exactly nice in handling.
For nicer pictures,
PS: You can see the soft-shadow results of a light-dome on my
Kneissl-Ski animation on my homepage. I tried real area-lights, too, but
rendering-times were unacceptable.
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