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Environmental Radiosity

You’re probably reading the word “environmental” often in this chapter, but it has important meaning to many aspects of LightWave. This next section sheds some light (figuratively) on the uses of environmental lighting. It also will teach you how you can quickly render full animations with Radiosity using LightWave’s Baking feature.

Environmental lighting is another way to light your 3D worlds with real photographs, and the result is photorealistic lighting. Figure 9.12 shows the skyscraper from Chapter 8 rendered with some generic lights and radiosity. It’s nice, and it looks great. The light is hot on the side of the building but the shadows falling in between aren’t too dark. The Radiosity helps create a more even light throughout the image. The lighting in this scene uses an environmental map of a real photograph. Using radiosity, LightWave takes the millions of colors and variations in the image and uses them to light the geometry in the scene.


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