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Lewis
03-30-2012, 04:50 AM
Hi !

It would be very cool if we could get "Spline" light. somethign like linear light but with any shape made out of spline. We could make all kind of neon signs/tubes and cool shapes with that.

cheers



P.S. I know about DP custom light but it's not working nice in many cases so I'm not using it unless i must.

erikals
03-30-2012, 05:13 AM
true, but why not just use a luminous object.. ?

Lewis
03-30-2012, 05:50 AM
1. 'coz i'ts not working properly (makes splotches all over the place if you have lot of chrome and reflective + glass objects)
2. you cant' adjust reach/falloff like for real lights.
3. When you want more than 100% it changes color of "light" very much so colored lights aren't really doable properly 'coz if you want BLUE with 500% you are screwed 'coz it goes more and more to white or washed out blue with luminosity 500%.
4. fact that LW cant' use luminous geometry without radiosity.
5. enough of half usable workarounds :).
6.......

erikals
03-30-2012, 06:07 AM
1. > hm, yeah, i guess it could cause some flicker...

tricky to solve too... even in post...

sometimes a spotlight with an animated texture could solve it, still, it's limited,...

a solution can be to parent lights to the vertices of an animated object,
takes time to set up the first time, but after that, just use "load from scene"

 

Lewis
03-30-2012, 06:17 AM
I have so many weird snake shaped ceiling insets where clients want lights and in walls, fountains, floors that my current situation (making small linear lights follow shape as close as possible with manual editing one by one to conform to some wacky shape) is real PITA and in real life they just use neon/fluo tube light bent in desired shape so it's single light while i have 30 just for a circled shape or 5 for ore complicated snake shapes :(. So spline light would be great solution and possibly maybe even editable in layout would be like charm :).

So no there is no workaround for this (I exhausted all of them through years) 'coz each new hotel interior needs differently shaped neons :) ;).

OFF
03-30-2012, 06:17 AM
DP Custom Light:
-DP Custom is a Light plugin which turns an object geometry into an Area Light.

-Select an object in the list, if you don't select an object in the scene ("none")
you can select a filename which will only be scanned for this Custom Light,
but not kept in the scene (outer object is not screamernet compatible).

hrgiger
03-30-2012, 06:27 AM
Good request Lewis. I second this.

Would also be nice if they revisited how luminous objects cast light into the scene.

Lewis
03-30-2012, 06:27 AM
DP Custom Light:
-DP Custom is a Light plugin which turns an object geometry into an Area Light.

-Select an object in the list, if you don't select an object in the scene ("none")
you can select a filename which will only be scanned for this Custom Light,
but not kept in the scene (outer object is not screamernet compatible).

As i said YES i know about it but it's not working great and creates splotches and you have to use a LOT of polygons (subdivide mesh several times) to make shading/samples work fine. If you have big polygon it'll have less samples comparing to smaller neighbor poly so lighting looks different and not uniform like Linear/Area light.

Trust me guys i know what I'm saying /asking. I'm fiddling with lights every day for last 5 years (IES especially) ;).

Check this ceiling hole lit with custom light (attachment), Even in this case when polys are pretty close to uniform quad shape it's still not uniformly lit and looks like some areas are missed with samples or so.

BTW i ended up making circle shape with 30 linear lights barely touching each other to form kind like non-interrupted tube and it worked well but for single hole you then get 20-30 lights and this is "easy" shape when it's full circle (i.e can be arrayed nicely) but when you get snaked shape or other weird shapes you are screwed and need to go with positioning, scaling, rotating one by one :).

erikals
03-30-2012, 06:33 AM
oh, so they are not animated,... why don't you just use luxigons?
ftp://ftp.newtek.com/pub/LightWave/Tutorials/Vidz/

 

Lewis
03-30-2012, 06:42 AM
oh, so they are not animated,... why don't you just use luxigons?

Hows that solving hundreds and hundreds of lights in scene ? And hows that solving need for rotate/scale LINEAR lights (spotlights aren't usable here i need soft shadows)

Also even with luxigons you still need to rotate/scale linear lights "somehow" to match to desired shape-direction and not overlap each other (and 1m default long is way too long for circled shapes). Unless there is "conform to path" which would make Linear lights follow desired spline as i want :)?

P.S. this one attached example it's finished project (ended up in about 400 lights) but now i have another with way more challenging shapes so i'll go around 1000 lights probably which would be aroudn 30 if i had spline light :(.

EDIT: current Lights "stats" attached (and rising).

erikals
03-30-2012, 06:54 AM
"conform to path"
the lights follow the normals of the polygons, see link above (ftp://ftp.newtek.com/pub/LightWave/Tutorials/Vidz/Luxigons.mov), so should be somewhat easy/ok.

the minus though is as you say, you'll need a lot of lights...

 

3DGFXStudios
03-30-2012, 06:54 AM
DP Custom Light:
-DP Custom is a Light plugin which turns an object geometry into an Area Light.

-Select an object in the list, if you don't select an object in the scene ("none")
you can select a filename which will only be scanned for this Custom Light,
but not kept in the scene (outer object is not screamernet compatible).

True! :thumbsup:

dpont
03-30-2012, 07:33 AM
...Check this ceiling hole lit with custom light (attachment), Even in this case when polys are pretty close to uniform quad shape it's still not uniformly lit and looks like some areas are missed with samples or so...

The geometry must be optimized to get good result
with Custom Light, its sampling is basically uniform,
here with inv.squared falloff, there are of course
a lot of useless light samples for a given area,
so I pushed them to 50, in some other contexts
neighboring objects may cause problems.

103064

Samples distribution could be relaxed like for instance distribution
but you know that this is slower and mapping samples
to geometry, especially for heavy 3D shapes is not fast.

So for a spline light, since you would draw entire words
like fake hand scripted neons, samples should be concentrated
around the evaluated spot in the radius sphere of the falloff.

Denis.

erikals
03-30-2012, 07:44 AM
a couple of limitations, but here is a spotlight with a mask... >

http://forums.newtek.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=103065&stc=1&d=1333115032

 

Lewis
03-30-2012, 07:56 AM
I must be squeaking Klingon then when nobody understands me :).

Like i said Spot lights, point lights and other hard shadow lights are NO GO. I need Linear lights (and area sometime and IES many times).

Here is the difference with different shape and screen-grab what you get with Luxigons - it Clearly not follow the path or knows how to rotate light sin my desired position :).

1. Too many lights with luxigons (i need maybe 25-30 and i got 70 'coz there is 70 polys.
2. selecting every other poly would make it not symmetrical to left and right side
3. rotating all linear lights at once can't get you to shape i need i.e. you need to do it manually anyway.

I'm attaching this simple shape so you can play :).

erikals
03-30-2012, 08:01 AM
as far as spotlights, i was just posting an alternative method to your method in post #8
http://forums.newtek.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=103061&d=1333110731

...as i think the post #14 technique was better.
but sure, spline lights are welcome too.

Lewis
03-30-2012, 08:10 AM
so I pushed them to 50, in some other contexts
neighboring objects may cause problems.

Huh so you pushed light samples (previously knows as quality) to 50 samples?

that would surely "kill" my rendertimes even more and they already are outrageous for nigh shoot rendertimes (like 15-20 hours for FullHD night renders with 300-400 IES lights and few areas/linears).




So for a spline light, since you would draw entire words
like fake hand scripted neons, samples should be concentrated
around the evaluated spot in the radius sphere of the falloff.
Denis.

I didn't try yet but i suppose Bezier spline wouldn't work in DPCustom light 'coz Lw don't render splines unless converted to 2-point polys? Which is weird 'coz LWM treats splines as polygons (you select them in polygon mode) and yet layout don't see them as geometry/real spline?

Is there a chance for DP custom Light to see bezier spline as very smoothly shaped linear light :)? it maybe could treat area between each point as next section/area so it would be smooth samples vise as long a spline has enough points ?

hmmm


Erikals - ANY fakes with textures are no go. i need to change light colors, positions, cast light onto other objects, put them into fountains, under the bridges ets etc and sometime animate color (RGB) changes through animation. So although it's noticeable effort (thanks) it's no go in my case :)).

erikals
03-30-2012, 08:17 AM
Erikals - ANY fakes with textures are no go. i need to change light colors, positions, cast light onto other objects, put them into fountains, under the bridges ets etc and sometime animate color (RGB) changes through animation. So although it's noticeable effort (thanks) it's no go in my case :)).

ok, but do note though...
-light color can be changed
-cast light onto other objects can be done
-fountains, > nope, cant be done, here i'd try illuminated polys.
(i know, might flicker)
-under the bridges, no problem
-animate color, sure

not trying to say, "no to Spline lights"
but please do note that several of the limitations you list above are false.

twisting tubes that goes in all directions, XYZ, is impossible when using spotlight masks though.
but flat tubes, XY, YZ, XZ should be fine for spotlights.

anyway, i do see the use for them.
 

Lewis
03-30-2012, 09:01 AM
not trying to say, "no to Spline lights"
but please do note that several of the limitations you list above are false.

 

What about soft shadow ?

erikals
03-30-2012, 09:10 AM
the soft shadow is faked in PS, by using gaussian blur.

Lewis
03-30-2012, 09:15 AM
the soft shadow is faked in PS, by using gaussian blur.

Again thanks for effort but you do realize "faked" is not gonna work in my case with hundreds of lights, reflective objects chairs (restaurant) and all that stuff and then occasionally animated - right ?

erikals
03-30-2012, 09:29 AM
spotlights works fine with reflective objects,

doing this on several hundred objects though would be though.
> but, actually much faster than tweaking several hundred spline lights (!)

spline lights on several hundred objects would be incredibly time consuming,
so i don't get why that is better if you need that many lights.

again, animating the spotlights with color/fade or XY, YZ, ZX works fine,
beyond that it's limited.

it's best to divide this into 2 groups
-tube lights (spline lights or illuminated polys)
-projected lights (spot lights)

it's better to ask NT to make illuminated polys render without flicker.
this would be the fastest by far if you need to go for 100+ lights.
 

Lewis
03-30-2012, 09:49 AM
spotlights works fine with reflective objects,

doing this on several hundred objects though would be though.
> but, actually much faster than tweaking several hundred spline lights (!)

spline lights on several hundred objects would be incredibly time consuming,
so i don't get why that is better if you need that many lights.


Simple, if i would have spline light then i'd need a LOT less of light ,that's the whole point here (i think i made that clear from start ?), check my screen gran, instead 30 small Linear lights id' have single Spline light - simple effective end easily tweakable in scene editor.



it's better to ask NT to make illuminated polys render without flicker.
this would be the fastest by far if you need to go for 100+ lights.

Maybe for you but not in my case i need real lights not faking stuff :).

Also It's not just that, Luminous geometry is much dimmer then real lights and how to solve Light/shadow exclusions in that case if you don't have actual lights ? Hod do you exclude luminous geometry form each other or some objects?

erikals
03-30-2012, 10:09 AM
here's another fake... \:]

probably a better method,
image map on a poly, with mode set to "screen"

this would make it incredibly fast for a huge floor filled with these types of lights.
(though would need a large image, use .gif, and pump up AA)

...it would render in kazzzam...!

(adjust the light spill fast by using the image editor)
again, limited to flat surfaces, like a sealing, wall, floor, etc...

also, since this is an object, it is possible to exclude it from the radiosity, if you want.
(under object properties / render)

http://forums.newtek.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=103074&stc=1&d=1333123704

Lewis
03-30-2012, 10:39 AM
also, since this is an object, it is possible to exclude it from the radiosity, if you want.
(under object properties / render)


Are we back there in debating :)?

as I said many times I need soft shadows, exclusions (shadows also) and all what i named but need it AT once without trade offs (some work with this some whit that and so on button none in all situations :)).

I appreciate your will to help but trust me i exhaused all the options and tricks (ok i admit i didn't think of blurring shadow sin PS that would be nightmare to do on my projects anyway and wouldn't be able to pull of with fast changes I often need to do :)).

On thing i'll never understand in these forums is why do people are so at "ease" with complicated workarounds (this is not workflow it's pure and complicated workarounds with severe limitations in many cases) to compensate lack of features instead making feature requests what would make job so much easier and better :(.

We know NT made new Lights system/plugin in 9.x series and they even added new one in Lw11 (Ngon) so why not adding some more if is going to be helpful. Even if you don't need it doesn't mean nobody else isn't :).

By this system "naaaahh we don't need it we can work around it on many complicated ways" it's never going to happen, sadly you are giving them Excuse/reason" to skip feature request fully by jumping in saying you don't need it and you have workarounds for some cases (which we confirmed don't work in all situations) :(.

I'll post FR to fogbugz and see what will happen in future.

thanks for participating.

Lewis
03-30-2012, 10:52 AM
It's sent to system :)

Case 45410.

Thank you all for participating.

Tobian
03-30-2012, 11:46 AM
I agree Lewis, there should be more advanced light types. a Spline light would be very cool and useful.

Denis' custom light tends to only work in very simple scenarios. I used it to light the inside recesses of my dish array, it made the render times 10x slower, so in the end I just baked out the primary lighting effect and baked that to a luminosity map (which is how I would handle that scenario you had problems with Lewis) But yes real, optimised, customised light types, and true light emitting geometry is something LW SORELY needs! Except in very simplistic scenarios, baking or tricks only can go so far. . It can become hideously complex to do a cheat, and baking is only useful when assets are completed: I.e. every time you move or change an asset, you need to re-bake, which in and of it's self is actually quite a slow tedious process (currently) In LightWave as well.

Ideally I'd like to see some sort of photon mapping, which preprocesses light emitting surfaces hand in hand with traditional radiosity, and lights, to help bring render times down (because you can bring down the primary sample rays needed for radiosity if light emitting surfaces behave more like lights). and it would also bring in optimisation for handling large quantities of lights in a scene, such as Lewis is suffering right now. I tend to go the other way now, and use less lights in a scene, because of the slowness of soft shadow casting lights, in high quantities, and the hideousness of placing them all over luminous surfaces (as illustrated by Lewis above). The downside is I need to go up to insane ray counts to get smoothness and there are always blotchies, no matter what I do! Hopefully it's something the NT team are working on!

dwburman
03-30-2012, 04:40 PM
A spline light sounds like a great idea.

In the mean time I think I figured out a quicker way to get your linear lights into position. :)

http://youtu.be/6jnGkQo0lbg

I made a video, but here are the main points:

Make a 1 poly vertical box.
Add a PowerGon (instead of Luxigon) Changing the default "AddSpotlight" to "AddLinearLight" leaving everything else the same.
Now Rail Clone the box for as many lights you think you need.
In Layout: Items>Add>Cvt Powergons.

You'll still need to scale all your linear lights (sometimes individually), but they should all be in place and oriented correctly. :)

I tried this with luxigons and it failed. I may have to submit a bug report about that.

[edit] This DOES work when using luxigons as well, but you need to have Parent In Place turned off in order for the lights to go where they are supposed to. Parent In Place doesn't seem to effect Powergons.

Also, in the video I show dragging on the scale handles to resize the lights. The problem is that the lights scale in opposite directions if they are on opposite sides of the circle (if they are rotated in opposite directions). It's quicker to just type in the scale or use the minislider in the numeric entry panel in the lower left corner of Layout.

dpont
03-31-2012, 01:56 AM
...Is there a chance for DP custom Light to see bezier spline as very smoothly shaped linear light :)? it maybe could treat area between each point as next section/area so it would be smooth samples vise as long a spline has enough points ?...

Considering the speculations about possible optimizations
in Custom Light, even if I respect that many users would prefer
a native tool, there's no magic way, compare with an instancer
in surface distribution mode with several millions of instances,
that what you need with light samples placed on geometry,
because except spots with opposite normal to light rays,
illumination and shadows evaluations test all samples.

But indeed with a Spline Light, the falloff could be forced
like in an IES light to concentrate samples in the nearest
part of the spline (the falloff sphere),
meaning that we need less samples to achieve both
good illuminations and shadows.

For the this kind of light, I think that evaluating a path
is more practicle than building the curve in Layout,
since fake hand-writed is more easy to do with a Pen tool
in Modeler.

Denis.

Lewis
03-31-2012, 08:12 AM
Thanks for info Denis, interesting read.

Dana yes there is various kinds of tricks and ways/workarounds but still workarounds sadly :). For that shape in my example i didn't actually do one by one 'coz i made it out of 2 circles and just adjusted middle section manually and mirrored other side but i have 3r party array tool for those tasks but yes powergons aren't so bad idea but it's not really a fast or precise either. łto make those lights after powergons neat and not touching each other (so there is no gaps or overlaps but not big holes either) you'll still need to do one by on adjusting :)

geo_n
03-31-2012, 11:53 PM
+1

dwburman
04-05-2012, 07:33 PM
I absolutely agree with you that it's a workaround and workarounds are getting old. :) I suppose they are good exercise for the problem-solving parts of the brain.

Also, with my example, I found that I just had to use the numeric controls/minislider in the bottom left of the UI to properly scale all the lights at once. Since they are evenly spaced, it's quite easy to get the size right with them all selected. Just don't grab the handles in the UI like I did in the video. Since the lights are facing in opposite directions, using the handles causes lights on opposite sides to scale in opposite directions.


Thanks for info Denis, interesting read.

Dana yes there is various kinds of tricks and ways/workarounds but still workarounds sadly :). For that shape in my example i didn't actually do one by one 'coz i made it out of 2 circles and just adjusted middle section manually and mirrored other side but i have 3r party array tool for those tasks but yes powergons aren't so bad idea but it's not really a fast or precise either. łto make those lights after powergons neat and not touching each other (so there is no gaps or overlaps but not big holes either) you'll still need to do one by on adjusting :)