How do I soften area lights
I have a scene with 4 overhead lights (the bowls are set ambient white and not to cast shadows. In each I had a point light turned down to 7% intensity. This worked quite well and the light was nicely diffuse with no hard shadows. I tried replacing the lights with area lights and although I can get the brightness right ( about 25%) I also get strong shadows from anything directly below the light rather than a light that is diffused.
anomalaus last edited by
@amethystpendant I'm hoping someone else can speak on this with authority, because this appears to me to be contradicting the point of area lights, which cast softer shadows the larger they are. Reducing an area light to replace a point light must cast harder shadows, because you've reduced the angle the light emission will subtend when passing a shadow-casting edge. Small angle = hard contrast over a narrow band.
If your light fittings are not casting shadows, why not have your area light fill the area between the light fittings (assuming a rectangular arrangement). That way you can't fail but get softer shadows.
amethystpendant last edited by amethystpendant
@anomalaus meant to say, I tried increasing the scale of the lights but that brought them out beyond the light fittings, fine in camera but in reflections you can see the large squares not the nice round bowls
anomalaus last edited by anomalaus
@amethystpendant ah! If only area lights could take an image as an emission mask, you could make them any size/shape you want, to match light fittings.
I've just been playing in @jura11 's latest scene, the Modern Kitchen. As with his other scenes, the area lights make believable lighting from certain angles, but if you start turning the camera around, their emissive location doesn't gel perfectly with the geometries of the scene in that direction. Still, I wouldn't dream of complaining with such great freebies to play with :-)
phdubrov last edited by
The bowls in question are reflectors or should be frosted-glass bowls?
If the second, you can try
a. use transparency with roughness on the bowls
b. make meshlights from the bowls (basically, you already did this with ambient) and drop the lights completely.
Both can make rendering slower.
nagra_00_ last edited by
You could use mesh lights as @phdubrov suggested. Advantage of mesh lights is, that you have full control over their visibility by using the LightPath node. Disadvantage is an increase in render time and if the mesh is very small render times may go infinite.
For frosted glass bowls i would go with scaled point lights inside and using refraction with roughness for the bowls. Point lights are by far the most effective lights in SuperFly.
In this render i used a point light inside the lamp and refraction with roughness for the glass.
Thanks all for your invaluable input, I think I will just stick with the point lights :) I might make the glass on the bowls frosted to remove the effective mesh light (I did try upping the ambient to 10 and turned off all lights but it certainly did slow down rendering so not really viable :(
jura11 last edited by
Softer shadows usually with area light size must be larger, larger area light, softer shadow will be
Due this I use in my scenes larger area lights as shadows are much softer and use extra infinite light for shadows, I usually include light and camera setup which you can use if you wish
Unfortunate or disadvantage with Area light is you will see area light in reflection or on specular materials,wish we could turn off light visibility in camera or in reflection or specular objects/materials like in other render engines
Using point light in many ways can be beneficial or necessary but I don't like to use point lights or older lights in SuperFly, in FireFly this depends but still in many ways I rather use infinite lights or other lights
In Corona or Octane and many other you can in light properties untick light visibility in camera, diffuse or specular materials or visible in reflection etc which is great
ISO control or some sort of tone mapping will be awesome to have as well
Hope this helps
nagra_00_ last edited by
Let me add, there are no ’point lights’ in SuperFly, the name is misleading. Those are ball lights and can be resized like area lights.
Small area lights do produce more noise than small ball lights but have other benefits. Best choice depends on the situation.
I agree, options for light visibility (diff, spec and reflection) would come in very handy. Support for IES profiles would be cool too.
joker last edited by
@anomalaus How can I set a picture to an area light? I find no way that works.
noobalien last edited by
There's some methods for using pictures with lights; though I am not sure if those will help you, yet they're worth taking in consideration.
anomalaus last edited by anomalaus
@joker now that I'm free from render hell, I see that @noobalien has posted the appropriate paths to some gems of @bagginsbill wisdom on the matter. When I responded to @amethystpendant , I was not expecting that area lights could actually take an emission mask. I now have experimented and confirmed that suspicion/wishful thinking.
The area light I selected for testing in @jura11 's Modern Kitchen, Light 6, appears as the diagonal line in the bottom right of the plan view above, with the circular emission mask I was pretty sure would not work, applied to the light's material.
In the Raytrace Preview below, the area light itself is invisible, but its reflected emissions are still obviously rectangular and unaffected by the applied mask. It would be nice if that worked, but it doesn't, so one must resort to Gobos in front of the light.
["My eyes! The Gobos! They do nothing!"] ;-)
Scene setup Hires square and 1 area light
Square has reflective material
Change area light material
Actually your setup of
Renders a reflected circle as well!