PP2014 TerraDome 2 Lightning

  • Hi folks,

    I have TerraDome 2 with the lightning and all that jazz, but I'm wondering how to go about getting a really good effect going on with the lightning. I'm hoping to have a scene with a character where the lightning bolt is the only light source, and lights up the scene sufficiently. I tried it a few times yonks ago but don't have a scene now, so I'll be starting again from scratch.

    Also, can anyone recommend an epic rain effect? Something which will work with a large, open scene.

    Cheers! :)

  • @Glen85 the smaller the mesh light the more grainy and longer the render will be. FYI. 0_1485709043913_black body 1.jpg

  • a lightning texture I just made in Photoshop and pasted to the background zone of the default GROUND.0_1485717391666_Lightning test.jpg

  • @ghostship said in PP2014 TerraDome 2 Lightning:

    @Glen85 the smaller the mesh light the more grainy and longer the render will be. FYI.

    Is that so? I did not know that. Nice lightning render BTW, is that only that image providing illumination?

  • @matb yes, only that image is lighting the scene.

  • @ghostship Very effective. And is that a photoshop lightning filter?

  • Free Lightning https://www.daz3d.com/rdna-atmospherics-lightning-vol-1This is a prop. You could make it an emitter.

    Free rain https://www.daz3d.com/rdna-atmospherics-rain-vol-2 I think this only covers a small portion. You'll have to duplicate it.

    some fog https://www.daz3d.com/rdna-atmospherics-fog-vol-1 just in case you need it because this stuff is hard to find over there. And hey, it's free

    http://www.daz3d.com/ride-the-lightning This lightning isn't free but it's made for terradome 2. I don't have this one but it looks to be a prop so you can use it as a light too.

  • @redphantom Oh, thanks for reminding me I have those freebies. I got them at RDNA years ago. ~smile~

  • Poser Ambassadors

    Agreeing with Ghostship that a small intense mesh light as the only (or at least main) illumination will require a lot more mesh light samples (=>15) and probably also more overall scene samples (=>30) to get the render clean, and that means longer render times. But, the effect can be dramatic and beautiful.

    I don't recall having tried to generate rain alphas, but I'm pretty sure I've made a 30-frame looped sequence (animated) of lightning. I'll look.
    Those who have some of my models may already have lightning stills (single JPEGs), AVIs, or even the JPEG sequence. Look in textures\seachnasaigh\weather and in textures\seachnasaigh\glitter.

    You could use math nodes to add the lightning onto the skydome, and use the lightning alphas as masks to drive boosted ambient response.

    Else, you could apply the lightning to billboard props - that would make for simpler materials and you could have the lightning strike wherever you want.

    Ah, here we go. This will do the trick:
    0_1485769522685_Sfly lightning billboard.PNG

    The movie node has JPEG #001 loaded; it will read all thirty JPEGs in sequence as the animation progresses through frames.

    It will take time for me to finish a proof-of-concept demo render, and to package the billboard prop.

  • You know, some of you are talking superfly stuff. The OP said pp2014. That didn't have superfly.

  • Poser Ambassadors

    Oooops! I read the post, but missed the Pro2014 reference right in the thread title!
    I can make the lightning billboards work in Firefly (P9/Pro2012+). Must render with IDL engaged and at pretty high settings for irradiance cache and IDL quality, so expect long render times.

  • Poser Ambassadors

    Here's a P9/Pro2012 Firefly IDL render using the same lightcasting billboard technique - the "Palace Theatre" sign. You can see that it definitely casts light onto the stone wall behind it.
    0_1485786721937_Tink's Cafe' - Superfly test 02 Palace Theatre.jpg

  • Thanks for the replies, folks.

    I have the Ride the Lightning product, but I'm really after a gigantic effect which is blindingly bright. I can't find a really decent example image, so maybe I'm just dreaming of it being a bigger effect than it really could be, I don't know.

  • @seachnasaigh Are you sure that is a Firefly render? The grain is a giveaway.

  • Poser Ambassadors

    Ack! You're right! I did renders with both engines. Firefly, IDL:

    Mods: Please add correction to or delete my post three posts up with the Superfly render of Palace Theatre.

  • Poser Ambassadors

    Animated lightning demo, using sequential JPEGs in the movie node (Superfly animation). I can make this work for P9/Pro2012 and later Firefly, but you'll need to render with IDL engaged and at high irradiance cache and IDL quality settings (=>67% each), so expect long render times.
    lightning animation

    I had to compress the GIF down to 80% dither and 21% lossiness.

    If you want to see it at rendered size (1200x750), I made a 95% compression ShockWaveFlash. It's 8.20MB, though. Superfly lightcasting lightning animation.

    I'll post a still shortly. It will take a while for me to extract the billboard geometry and package the lightning props (in both P9/Pro2012+ Firefly and Superfly versions).

  • Poser Ambassadors

    Frame 001 of that animation...
    0_1485832262150_Lightning enviro Sfly f001.jpg

    render settings...
    0_1485832998741_Lightning enviro Sfly f001 render settings.PNG

    Mistakes I made on render settings because I was in a hurry:

    • "sample all lights direct" I normally have ticked - but no Poser lights in the scene, so probably not harmful

    • Subsurface samples - waste of render time; no SSS materials

    • volume samples - waste of render time; no volumetric materials

    • volume bounces - waste of render time; no volumetric materials

    • diffuse bounces - should have given it 4 bounces to improve the lightcasting

    What's relevant is

    • pixel samples = 30

    • mesh light samples = 30

  • @seachnasaigh Interesting proof opf concept. Projected onto a plane?

  • Poser Ambassadors

    @matb said in PP2014 TerraDome 2 Lightning:

    Projected onto a plane?

    Yes, that's what I mean by "billboard". A simple flat square in this case, with the lightning JPEGs controlling the transparency.
    I used three billboards side by side, with the frame number for each billboard staggered by ten frames.
    So in scene frame 001, billboard A shows JPEG 001, billboard B shows JPEG 011, and billboard C shows JPEG 021.