How do I soften area lights

  • @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 :-)

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • @anomalaus, @nagra_00_ , @phdubrov

    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 :(

  • Hi there

    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

    Thanks, Jura

  • 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.

  • @anomalaus How can I set a picture to an area light? I find no way that works.

  • @joker

    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.

  • @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.
    0_1550856492868_Screen Shot 2019-02-23 at 4.09.30 am.png
    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.
    0_1550856831776_Screen Shot 2019-02-23 at 4.33.33 am.png

    ["My eyes! The Gobos! They do nothing!"] ;-)

  • @anomalaus

    Scene setup Hires square and 1 area light


    Square has reflective material


    Change area light material



  • Actually your setup of 0_1550866854221_c21f66c9-738a-4e52-8287-3e07b5276998-image.png

    Renders a reflected circle as well!