Grass to look real when rendered

Raylectron (http://Raylectron.com) is a 3D rendering engine for Trimble Sketchup (http://sketchup.com)
Nick1
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Re: Grass to look real when rendered

Post by Nick1 »

Wow. You have a great way of making me more confused. I know the fact that I should select Emitter from the drop down list. What I can't understand is the exact process of clicking. Alright, I select Emitter first in the Material Editor, then what? Downlight1 is only one downlight as a group. There are three downlights in Downlight2 group. There are 2 downlights in Downlight3 group, and there are 10 downlights in Downlight4 group. Downlight1 group and Downlihght4 group are inside the room and Downlight2 and Downlight3 groups are outside. When I created all the downlights individually, I assigned them all the same yellow color. Each individual downlight was a group by itself. Then I named the first( one downlight) group Downlight1, selected 3 more individual groups and made a combined group and named them Downlight2, then selected 2 individual groups and grouped them again and named them Downlight3 and finally selected the rest of the individual groups(10 downlights individually grouped) and grouped them again and named them Downlight4. So how do I go about this. As I said earlier, after I select Emitter, exactly what do I do as the next step and what after that and so on. The tutorial is really not clear enough, at least for me. I'll go ahead and reverse the faces of the lights so they are point down and try rendering once more. This is just a test for me to see how different combinations of downlights for instance work, and what power amount I should assign to each light in order to render the way I want them, and questions like if I assign wattage amount of 120 to my 10 interior downlights as a group(Downlight4) does the 120 wattage apply to the combined group or to each individual downlight. You can open up Outliner from Windows menu and see the Downlight groups.
I'll attach the model.
Many many thanks Michael and please give my very best to Diana.
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Re: Grass to look real when rendered

Post by Support »

:mrgreen: It's very simple Nick, you'll see...

I just loaded your model, and seen all the pot lights you have. The yellow circle inside is the light bulb right? ok, so now, in the Sketchup material editor, use the color picker tool to select the yellow, or, if you can just select it from the thumbnails, either way. By selecting it (Downlight2) in the Raylectron material editor, it will show Downlight2 in read, meaning that's the material is selected. So click on the drop down and select "Emitter", click on ON to turn it on, click Apply to make the changes, and that's it. Any materials, colors or texture can be an emitter.

Now, the proper way to design a light bulb (that yellow circle in your case) is not to assign any color to its face directly (as you have, and the back face you have a gray texture to it ). You group that circle (you already did) and then apply the color (yellow which set as an emitter in Raylectron now) to the group (you have nothing assigned to the group).

So in short, if you have a light fixture and a light bulb inside, simply make sure to remove front and back colors from the face of the light bulb, then group the light bulb and then assign a color to the group. It's that simple.

So in your office model, double click the yellow bulb until you can select the face directly, then in the Sketchup Entity Info window, remove the front and back color. Then close the group (right click anywhere except on the bulb and select Close Group) Now you can use the Entity Info window to assign the yellow color to the group, or use the paint bucket and paint the group.

But I think your seen will be very yellow, try to keep it almost white, just a little bit yellow. I'll fix your model, make a quick render, and post it here...
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Re: Grass to look real when rendered

Post by Support »

oh, and the 8 interior lights faces are reversed, so that means they will shine up, not down. Use the Raylectron "Fix reverse faces" from the Tools menu and hover your mouse over the lights.
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Re: Grass to look real when rendered

Post by Support »

One more thing, you have all those yellow circles group into one. The should be grouped individually and colored individually, then you can group the lot. Because, if you have 5 faces and group them, it will be 1 light. So if you mean 5 lights, group each face to have 5 lights instead of one.
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Re: Grass to look real when rendered

Post by Nick1 »

I guess I am getting it again bit by bit. So thats why my 10 interior downlights wouldn't render. So even when rendering an exterior scene, the interior faces have to be reversed? Here is a little rendering. Its really bad after almost 8 minutes. I would have to do it again.
Thanks Michael,
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Re: Grass to look real when rendered

Post by Support »

Color_001 was set as a light! and so was Tile_Various_Tan. That makes it really weird looking Nick.
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Re: Grass to look real when rendered

Post by Support »

Here is your model back. I purge all unused components and materials. Remove the light assignment to 2 materials. Re-group your lights as individuals (now it show 14 light in Raylectron), and assigned bumb level 2 for the stones just for the heck of it see how it'll turn out. 1 min render only...
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Re: Grass to look real when rendered

Post by Nick1 »

Really strange. Never assigned those materials to be emitters! That looks so nice. I listened to you and did the face reversing process for the interior lights and even though the color for all exterior faces were white when reversed, when rendered I got a crazy output as if some walls didn't exist. I think this is a problem for regular users. When one wants to reverse the faces for certain things in the interior, just by unintentional movement of the mouse, all the exterior wall faces get reversed also. How do you prevent that? Do you have to be very careful where your mouse is all the time when reversing faces? I tell you Michael and I do apologize in advance, until there is a concise and detailed audio/video tutorial of exactly and precisely how to assign materials, reverse faces, apply emitters and so on, it would be fighting with the software. Now for younger architects who were born with a laptop in their hands and have lots of experience with other more sophisticated softwares, this would feel like a candy, but for me at going 59, its a bit hard.
Also for instance what wattage did you give the lights? Do all the downlights have the same wattage? As you see in this image, it still shows only 2 lights. This is driving me insane. Not to mention trying to save the image and then got this dialog box again. What would possibly cause this dialog? Also aside from bump level 2 to the formed concrete, did you also darken it?
Thanks for putting up with me. I'll look at my modified model and get back to you.
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Re: Grass to look real when rendered

Post by Support »

From what I can see in your render output, you still have those 2 materials set as emitters. You also did not ungroup your lights and did not group them individually.

When you apply settings in the Raylectron material editor, make sure the material name match the one you need to modify. Simply select an object or a face doesn't mean it loads the material for it. You can to select the material first, either from the thumbnails or the color picker. That maybe why your walls and sidewalk became emitters.

As for the reverse faces, what I do is assign Alt+S to it in the Sketchup key shortcuts. Then, I can put my mouse over the area to reverse, press Alt+S and move the mouse a little to reverse the face, then press the space bar to exit the tool.

For the lights, I use power=35 and angle=180
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Re: Grass to look real when rendered

Post by Support »

Nick, the way I think you make a pot light in your model is, you draw a circle on the ceiling and push/pull it right? If so, then click on recessed circle and set both side of it default texture using the Entity Info window, make sure the front is facing the direction you want the light to shine, then make it a group, then apply the light material to the group. That's all there is to it. Do that for each lights.

If you want some light with different power or color, just create a new material for them.
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Re: Grass to look real when rendered

Post by Sergio »

Hey, sorry to interupt, but nice model, I like it. So I rendered it using Raylectron, and saved it as PNG transparent background and put my own background after, and here's how it look like.....
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Re: Grass to look real when rendered

Post by Support »

Nice one Sergio!
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Re: Grass to look real when rendered

Post by Nick1 »

Thanks Michael. I'll try it again. You are quite right. I forgot to delete those two material which for whatever reasons became emitters. But I am pretty sure I grouped each downlight individually. I am sorry that I have a hard time understanding this. So what you mean is that I should select the material first and make that material an emitter. I think I would understand it better if you number the steps for me at least for 1 material to emitter like this:
1- Click...............xxxxx......
2- Select/click..........change to......
3- Click............xxxx......
and so on so I can understand every single step. It could be 3 or more steps as far as assigning emitters to materials, but this poor soul may be able to follow it.
As far as Alt+S, you said
what I do is assign Alt+S to it in the Sketchup key shortcut
. Assign Alt+s to what in Sketchup? Also what does Alt+S do? Do I keep Alt+S pressed while moving the mouse a little to reverses the faces? I'll try to follow your instructions again and see what I can come up with. You also mentioned
If you want some light with different power or color, just create a new material for them.
. So if there are many lights in a building and they all have different powers, one has to create as many materials as number of the lights? I'll work on it this weekend and hopefully surprise you later. I will not give up on this, specially after all you've done.
Thanks as always,

Nice one Sergio is right. Could I possibly borrow some of your brain cells? Apparently mine are slowing down. It was just a doodle I did for testing. I'll make the model a bit better later.

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Re: Grass to look real when rendered

Post by Support »

ok Nick, to make a material an emitter, create or select a material from your Sketchup material list, that material will then be active in the Raylectron material editor as well. You can make sure it is just by looking at the material name in both editor, if they are the same, all is good. So if I crate a yellow material named YellowLight in Sketchup, then the name YellowLight will show written in red in the Raylectron material editor.

Now that the Raylectron material editor is showing the selected material (YellowLight), simply click on the drop down and select emitter, then click Apply to make the change stick. You may first need to click on ON to turn it on, and maybe change the power and angle of coverage.

Now that you have a material selected or created, and that you've set it as an emitter in the Raylectron material editor, you can use it on any object you like, anything can be a light, a floor, a wall, a tv screen, a light bulb, anything. So, all you have to do is select the face of your light, not the whole light fixture, but only the part that will emit light, and remove any material assigned to the front and back. Next, group that face, and apply the YellowLight material to that group. That's all there is to it.

The only other thing you need to know is, the front face is the only face the light will come out from. So if that face is up, light will shine up. If the front face is facing down, it'll shine down. That's why you need to make sure that the front face of your emitter if facing in the direction you want the light to shine.

What I do is, I create a light fixture without a light bulb in it, and I make it a group. Then, I create a light bulb, can be a circle, a square, whatever, and I group it as well, and assign a light material to that light bulb group. Then I select both, the light fixture group and the light bulb group and make that a component. Now I can use that component anywhere in the model.

The reason for the component is that if I change one, they all change. If I make the light bulb red instead of yellow, they all become red. I rarely duplicate groups. If I want to duplicate something, I make it a component so I don't have to modify each one.

So, one more time, to make the most basic light bulb...

1. Draw a circle or a square.
2. Double click it to select it.
3. Group it.
4. Assign a material that is set as an emitter to the group.
5. Copy or move that group to a light fixture, or simply move it where you want a light.
6. Make sure the front face is facing in the direction you want it to shine.

Another example, if you want a TV to shine at night, you more likely already have an image set to the front face of the TV set right? So what you do is, group the face of the image, and set the image material a an emitter, that's all.

Did you load the sample model that comes with Raylectron when you installed it? It has 2 spot lights and a TV, so you can see how it's done.
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Re: Grass to look real when rendered

Post by Support »

About the Alt+S thing.

If you go to the Sketchup Tools menu, you'll see "(Raylectron) fix reversed faces" in there, but to use it, you have to click on it. Pain in the neck. So you assign Alt+S to it so you don't have to use the menu, same as Ctrl+C to copy something and Ctrl+V to paste.

So go to the Windows menu and select Preferences. Select Shortcuts on the left side of the window, and on the right side, select "(Raylectron) fix reversed faces", then in the box that say Add Shortcut, click in it so your cursor is flashing in it. Now press Alt+S and it should show that in the box "Alt+S". Click on the + button next to it and at the bottom, it should show that Alt+S is assigned. Click OK and you're done.

So to reverse faces, press Alt+S once and your model will turn into monochrome view, move the mouse over the faces you want to reverse, then press the Space bar on your keyboard to exit the tool and go back to normal.
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Re: Grass to look real when rendered

Post by Nick1 »

Thank you sir for clarifying it for me. I basically figured it out last night but never got the chance to post back. Now that I read your post it is even more clear now and thank you. Regarding Alt+S, let me see if I understand this correctly, I use the reverse face tool by clicking it from the menu and with a slightest movement of my hand the non-intended faces also get reversed. So do you mean when I press Alt+s, the image turns into a monochrome view and only when I hover over a face, that face gets reversed. Sometimes when I try to drag my mouse over the intended face it has to go through an exterior face and that one gets reversed too. So I guess one must be careful?
In the rendering that I did last night as I mentioned, there seems to be a face which is behind the front window with the "ND ASSOCIATES" title. I don't have anything like that in the model and it doesn't look like a reflection either, what do you think it could be? Attached are both the revised model(just a tiny bit) and a few minutes rendering. Also what setting should i use for a night shot. Do I still use Path Tracing, or do I still make br=-3? So what are the preferred settings for a great night shot view?
Thanks Michael,

Just to make sure that I am not seeing things, I moved up the front glass 20 feet and rendered the scene without the grass to see if that face shows up again and there is nothing there. I know the exposure is too much and I'll lower it later but where is that face coming from? Attached is the moved up front glass rendering. Thanks again M.
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Re: Grass to look real when rendered

Post by Support »

Hi Nick,

As for the Alt+S, instead of using the tools from the menu, you press Alt+S instead (that's if Alt+S is assigned to the tool as I've explained.). So if you don't want to reverse some faces, first, move your mouse cursor over the face you want to reverse, then press Alt+S and you will be in monochrome mode, move the mouse just a bit for that face the reverse, then press the space bar to exit the tool. Repeat for other faces where you have to mouse over those you don't want reversed.

The double pane glass with the writing on it, the one on the inside of the room is reversed. That means the refraction in the glass will be wrong, and that's why you're getting this weird thing.

One more thing. The big round lights, you assigned the light material the the group, perfect. BUT, the faces still has materials assigned to them. AND, you made the whole thing a light, so it shine inside the wall too :mrgreen:

So here's how to fix it...

Double click that big round light to open the group, you should select "Hide rest of model" in the View/Component Edit menu, so that you see only that big round light and nothing else. Now, select each face and set the front and back to default (use the Entity Info window). Delete the back face that's against the wall, it's a non-visible face anyway. Now close the group and do the same with the other lights. Now do the same with the 2x2 lights, they are in the same condition as the round ones.

The cylinder lights are perfect, when you double click it to open the group, all the faces have no material, perfect.

One thing you need to know is, the bigger the light, the brighter as well, even with the same power. So a 2x2 light with power 10 will be much brighter than a 1x1 with power 10. So you may set the light power to 0.1 or something. I'll give it a try after I fix your model and let you know what I used, and I'll upload it too.

Now it should render nicely.
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Re: Grass to look real when rendered

Post by Support »

I've made all your lights power = 1 and it looks good. The only lights that doesn't works well is the tube light, because it has a 360 degree coverage, not flat like the others, these light only work perfect in Photontrace mode. Maybe you should make it flat too? But we could also split it in 4 or 8, but that's more complicated to explain here.

Let me make you a video of everything I've explained, so you'll have a better understanding since you'll be visualizing it. Be right back...
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Re: Grass to look real when rendered

Post by Support »

Here is a video Nick...
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Re: Grass to look real when rendered

Post by Nick1 »

Thank you sir. That was really helpful. I had a hunch that the weird thing could be a non reversed face but When I moved the face up 20 feet and rendered the whole thing again couldn't see anything and when I was viewing the glass from the back side, the whole thing seemed clear. Now I understand that even though it looked clear from the back but still the face was not reversed and it was reflecting the back solid wall.
the tut on the light fixture were great. I saved the video on my desktop and I can refer to it as many times as I want. Perfect. I'll try to reverse the back face of the glass in my model and modify the lights also and post another test render soon.
Thank you so much Michael,

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Re: Grass to look real when rendered

Post by Nick1 »

I think I am getting this. This is a 3hours+ image. I had to leave the office so I let it cook. Next one would have a moonlight somewhere. Please advise for any mistakes here.
Thanks Michael,
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Re: Grass to look real when rendered

Post by Support »

Very nice Nick! No mistake! The only observation I have is there are no shadows. Which settings did you use? Raytrace and ambient? But hen again there are so many light!

I like what you did with the lights!

Did you set the Bump Level to 2 or something for the outside wall brick texture? it looks nice.
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Re: Grass to look real when rendered

Post by Nick1 »

Thanks Michael. The setting I used for the previous posted rendered image was Path tracing with Artificial light and checked the Sky. Turn Sun intensity to o.2. Used Direct Illumination with no shadows. br=-3. and I let it render for 3 hours+. You mentioned that there is no specific settings so I just picked the Path Tracing. Please let me know if I did it with the wrong setting and I'll correct the process.

In this attached image, I placed some furniture inside the building, created a moon(moonlight, of course with no success). The post lamp is made out of 3 groups. The main body itself which I set as a metal material,the Bulb inside with it's own material, and then the sort of Globe(the glass enclosure for the Bulb). I thought if I assign the same material as my windows to the Globe(the glass enclosure) they should render well and I would see a clear glass globe. Well the first time it didn't happen and only the Main Body and the Bulb showed in the rendering. Next I increased the Globe opacity to 10% and this is how it turned out. You can see the globe, however what I really wanted was 100% clear glass globe with the Bulb shining inside. So how can that be done in this software? The settings I used were basically the same except that I enabled Shadows. The moon doesn't look good. I remember I saw some setting for Fog but couldn't find it. Can one actually create a moonlight within this software without using other softwares? So my questions for you again:
1-Can a Globe enclosure be created with 100% transparency like glass and when rendered look like real glass with the Bulb shining inside? It should be similar to creating a wine glass and wine glass is even smaller that this Globe enclosure. Maybe it is because it is a night view?
2-Moon and the moonlight effect?
Thanks Michael,
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Re: Grass to look real when rendered

Post by Support »

Very nice Nick! Looks much better with furniture inside! As for the glass around the light, well, it won't do you any good because the whole environment is nothing but black and empty. In real life, you have street lights, buildings with windows, cars, moon, clouds etc. All that contribute to how good a glass or shinny material will look. You just can't see black reflection!

it takes more time to render when you enclose a light bulb in a glass enclosure. What I would do is simply remove the light bulb and make the glass enclosure an emitter, not a glass.

So for moon lights, sunsets etc. download the highest resolution HDR map from...
http://www.openfootage.net/?tag=hdri

and load the one you want in Raylectron. If you're going that way, let me know, I'll make a video on how this works.
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Re: Grass to look real when rendered

Post by Nick1 »

Thanks Michael, I'll try it out with daylight to see if the glass enclosure actually shows or not. Regarding moonlight effect and the HDRs. Can we use HDR in Raylectron? I know that I always see the "Environment Map" in the dialog box but I thought it cannot be used yet. So now you made an offer I cannot refuse. I would really appreciate a video tut as you mentioned.
Thank you sir,

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