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Lighting La Ruelle - Chapter 1: Fog/Mist at Nighttime

By Andrew Finch

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Date Added: 5th March 2013
Software used:
3ds Max, mental ray

Here is an image of the placement of the light (Fig.10).

1679_tid_Fig_10.jpg
Fig.10

The lamplight is quite an expensive light as it has multiple effects applied to it to obtain the foggy effect. I will revisit this in more detail later on in the tutorial. By 'expensive' I mean it took more time to calculate the render. However as this is the centrepiece of the lighting, I feel it is worth the extra time for a more realistic finish.

Here is a render of what we have now (Fig.11).

1679_tid_fig_11.jpg
Fig.11


Looking at the latest render you can see that it still required more work; there was something missing. The image still looks a little flat and uninteresting: what was missing was life. In order to bring life into the image I needed to apply lighting to the windows and doors. I did this in two ways: (i) by using textures to create a self illuminating material giving the illusion of light being cast from inside and (ii) from physically carving out the geometry and forming 'fake' rooms behind the windows and doors and using a real light to illuminate the scene. This technique also gives us the option to add environmental effects such as Volume lighting; further enhancing the lifelike look I was trying to achieve. As I used both techniques in this tutorial, I will outline them both so I can demonstrate the differences.

Let's start with the doors on the left hand side. Firstly, I needed to cut out the door from the geometry and create a 'fake' room behind it. To do this, I created an open end box which surrounds the doorway, making sure all holes are welded and the geometry was solid. This reduced any lighting anomalies that may occur later on in the render. I wanted the light to come from inside the 'fake' room and spill out onto the cobbled stone road. I only wanted this room to emit a small amount of light as I didn't want it to be too overpowering and draw the viewer's eye away from the archway. For this reason, I rotated the door 10 degrees inwards to allow just enough light to escape the 'fake' room.
Here is an image of the new geometry and the rotated door (Fig.12).

1679_tid_fig_12.jpg
Fig.12

I then place a MR-Area Spotlight in the 'fake' room and positioned it so it was pointing out of the door opening.

Here is an image of the positioned light (Fig.13).

1679_tid_fig_13.jpg
Fig.13





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