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Model Preparation

In order for your model to take full advantage of the lights you place, you will probably have to tessellate the polys around the affected area of each light. This also applies to areas of the mesh that receive shadows. Now, place some lights.

Exercise 24.1 Placing Lights for an Interior Space

Open the file lighttut27.max from the accompanying CD-ROM.

In the Selection floater, you will see seven groups named ls_01-07. Select the groups and hide everything else.

These objects represent the light sources, which illuminate the interior of the room.

Go to the Create tab and create an omni light in the Top view over one of the light sources, as seen in Figure 24.2.

Figure 24.2. In the Top view, you should create an omni light.

If the omni is not still selected, do so and then go to the Modify tab. In the General Parameters rollout, set the omni’s parameters to a color of white with a Multiplier of 1.0.

In the Attenuation Parameters rollout under Decay Type, make the omni inverse square with a start of 6 units.

Under the Shadow Parameters rollout, make sure the light is casting a shadow map by clicking on Object Shadows. Change the shadow color to black if it is not already.

You want this light to serve a purpose. You don’t want it to affect the whole scene, so you use the Include/Exclude button under the General Parameters rollout.

Click the button to open the Include/Exclude floater. Select door01 through 04 and room01 from the Scene Objects list and click the arrow button that would direct the objects to the Include/Exclude list on the right.

In this case, you want to include the objects you just chose to be the only objects in the scene receiving light from this omni.

Now that the basic parameters are set and the light is localized, Instance the light to the other positions, as seen in Figure 24.3.

Figure 24.3. Instance the omni light to the other positions by holding down the Shift key and dragging along one of the XYZ gizmo axes.

Switch to Perspective view and Instance the lights down to the light sources on the floor. Right-click on the View label and change your view to the camera named int_cam.

Go to the Display panel and unhide everything. Then render the view and compare it with Figure 24.4.

Figure 24.4. You should see the corner of the room illuminated by the omni lights you just placed.

It’s time to give some light to the hallway.

In the Front view, create a target spotlight so it shines down to the floor.

In the General Parameters rollout, give the spotlight a color value of RGB 240, 255, 238. In the Spotlight Parameters rollout, change the hotspot and falloff to 9.6 and 41.6, respectively.

This light will not cast shadows, because there are no obstructing objects in its way, so uncheck Cast Shadows if it’s on. Set the Lights Multiplier to 0.8.

Now copy, not Instance, one of the omnis to the other remaining light sources.

The only thing that needs adjusting is the Start field in Decay Type. Change it to 11 max units.

Move the two omnis you just copied so they are floating in the middle of the hallway. (See Figure 24.5.)

Figure 24.5. The two omni lights should be positioned in roughly the same location as shown here.

Change to the int_cam view and render the scene. Compare it with Figure 24.6. The decay set on these lights helps control the light from spilling into areas you don’t want.

Figure 24.6. The hallway should now be receiving some light.

Everything in the camera’s view is lit except the dark area at the end of the hallway.

Clone a copy of the target spot you made earlier and move it to the other end of the hallway. Move the spot along the X-axis 18’0” and the same distance along the Y-axis.

Go to the Display tab and unhide the objects named room01 and object01.

Position the target of the new spot so it’s at the foot of the elevator, as demonstrated in Figure 24.7. Move the target of the light to the foot of the elevator and then move the light near the corner of the room.

Figure 24.7. Create a target spotlight near object 01.

Now select the spot and make a copy of it along the Y-axis 35’0”, and then move its target so it’s roughly above the previous spot’s target. Adjust both lights so their hotspot and falloff are 13.3 and 85.5. See Figure 24.8.

Figure 24.8. Place the second light’s target roughly above the previous spot’s target.

Change the view back to the int_cam and render the scene; and then compare it with Figure 24.9.

Figure 24.9. Now you can see where the hallway ends and the second room begins.

Add one more light for good measure. The area around the first set of doors is pretty dark, so add a fill light to remedy the problem.

Copy an existing omni to the front of the hallway and move it in the Z-axis so it sits roughly in the same elevation as the omnis in the hallway. Change Decay Type to Inverse Square with a start of 09 max units.

Render the scene from the int_cam camera. You should see the area around the doors lighten up quite nicely. The final render should look like something like Figure 24.10.

Figure 24.10. The omni you added should spill a little light onto the doors and floor of the room, giving a better contrast to the image.



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