Interior lighting of large structures- Tutorial

Raylectron (https://Raylectron.com) is a 3D rendering engine for Trimble Sketchup (https://sketchup.com)
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GateGirl86
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Interior lighting of large structures- Tutorial

Post by GateGirl86 »

One of the issues that faces a lot of 3D modelers is the lighting of large structures and for that lighting to be seen from the outside, say through windows, in a realistic manner.

Now like many of us who at times goes overboard with detail, often when creating one of my models, ( which yes I know it is sad, as they are 99% of the time some type of space ship), I will do the lighting just as it would have been on the real thing. Ceiling lights, wall fixtures etc, etc. Now the problem arises when we want to show off our model from the outside effectively and we use those same fixtures to hold our Raylectron emitters. Even is done correctly, because the light is generally flat, the emitted light is constrained by walls and other obstructions, which includes your window frames.

My all too simple fix for this was to create globes and some times very small ones. The reason for this is because a globe, just as in a light bulb, transmits light rays in every direction at once, so there are no limitations to where and what surfaces are lit. This is great if you wanted to build a warehouse for example, then do a night scene viewed from the outside.

So here are my steps to get a great result.

1/ create a globe on a base. Mine is just 250mm in diameter. But you will be amazed at how much it can light up with a few of them placed strategically within your model.
Light-1.jpg
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2/ Make sure both inner and outer surfaces of the globe are set to the default, then group it.

Light-2.jpg
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Light-3.jpg
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3/ fill it with colour (white preferably at this point) and call it an emitter. If you have several different light sources on a model, always place the word emitter first. EG: 'emitter_front'
Light-4.jpg
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Re: Interior lighting of large structures- Tutorial

Post by Support »

Great tutorial, thank you.
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Re: Interior lighting of large structures- Tutorial

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Then group your entire model as one group.
Light-5.jpg
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Open Raylectron and test it. Most often you'll need to 'reverse faces' of the globe.
snow_globe.png
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Now we see how it all works. For this I created a very simple warehouse with a few windows. This structure is 200x200m and 60m high. Quite large for a tiny 250m globe.
Light-6.jpg
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This shows the placement of the globes.
Light-7.jpg
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And the finished result.
Light-8.jpg
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Re: Interior lighting of large structures- Tutorial

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Support wrote: Tue Mar 14, 2023 12:54 pm Great tutorial, thank you.
You're welcome. Oh and this is as viewed from space :mrgreen:
Janet Fraiser-lights.png
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Re: Interior lighting of large structures- Tutorial

Post by Support »

oh wow, very, very nice this one, I love how you have all the little lights glowing all over, just as you described in your tutorial. and the God's ray, the angle of the ship, yes, a picture from space indeed :salute
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Re: Interior lighting of large structures- Tutorial

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Re: Interior lighting of large structures- Tutorial

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Thank you Michael. Would you believe I began building the Fraiser back in 017! :mrgreen:

^^^^^^^ :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Interior lighting of large structures- Tutorial

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GateGirl86 wrote: Tue Mar 14, 2023 1:34 pm Would you believe I began building the Fraiser back in 017! :mrgreen:
oh I believe it, with work in the AF and all the details you put into it, no surprise here, but again, that's like 6 years ago, I would have lost my patience long ago!
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Re: Interior lighting of large structures- Tutorial

Post by Okwa »

Now I finally understand how you managed to get such a good light setting for the light from inside all this time. I also work with hemispheres, but mine have a much larger diameter, usually fill the whole ceiling, but are very flat. That's too much of a good thing.

Thanks for this tutorial!
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Re: Interior lighting of large structures- Tutorial

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Support wrote: Tue Mar 14, 2023 1:41 pm

oh I believe it, with work in the AF and all the details you put into it, no surprise here, but again, that's like 6 years ago, I would have lost my patience long ago!
I'm thankful for the genes, patience is from Dad, not Mum in this case :lol:
Okwa wrote: Tue Mar 14, 2023 2:33 pm Now I finally understand how you managed to get such a good light setting for the light from inside all this time. I also work with hemispheres, but mine have a much larger diameter, usually fill the whole ceiling, but are very flat. That's too much of a good thing.

Thanks for this tutorial!
It was one of those very simple things that had been bugging me for ages Okwa, you saw my Atlantis failure with the lighting, now I can go back and do it right!

You're welcome. :salute
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Re: Interior lighting of large structures- Tutorial

Post by Okwa »

That works pretty well. But the result also depends on the design. I tried this method on the two ships I posted yesterday, the freighter and the destroyer. The command deck of the destroyer is a nice straight deck. The method works fantastically there. The freighter's command deck is a bit twisty, which is related to the general design of the bow. Here it depends on where exactly I position the lamp. Depending on the position, the result varies from good to not at all.

I'm already looking forward to the new version of Atlantis. :D
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Re: Interior lighting of large structures- Tutorial

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Okwa wrote: Wed Mar 15, 2023 3:05 am That works pretty well. But the result also depends on the design. I tried this method on the two ships I posted yesterday, the freighter and the destroyer. The command deck of the destroyer is a nice straight deck. The method works fantastically there. The freighter's command deck is a bit twisty, which is related to the general design of the bow. Here it depends on where exactly I position the lamp. Depending on the position, the result varies from good to not at all.

I'm already looking forward to the new version of Atlantis. :D

I haven't tried it as yet with more complex interiors, although that being said, my tendency now is to create interior designs separate from the actual model, because in reality you can't show both at the same time and all one sees from the exterior of a ship are the windows. :D

I'm looking at a longer term project with that. I might however just do the tower as a test.
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Re: Interior lighting of large structures- Tutorial

Post by Okwa »

With an interior it works quite well. My destroyer has a fully furnished command deck and you could see the furniture nicely. :D
The freighter command deck, on the other hand, is completely empty. But due to the awkward method I used to create the bow of this freighter (it's actually the cockpit of a small shuttle that I enlarged to freighter size), the bow is misshapen. I had to accept some edges, which I hid inside. And these make it difficult to position the lamps.

I took the liberty of posting a picture in the Stargate section of the forum. Wanted to try your interior lighting tutorial. And also the settings for water. I have published the result here in the forum for the time being, the navy will not be an issue at DA for a few weeks. :D
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Re: Interior lighting of large structures- Tutorial

Post by GateGirl86 »

It can work well almost anywhere Okwa. If say the bow of your ship is of an abnormal shape, or you have a lot of junctures or cavities; create small rooms in the vicinity of your windows, boxes essentially and all will be well.

I saw! :mrgreen: :salute <3
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Re: Interior lighting of large structures- Tutorial

Post by Okwa »

GateGirl86 wrote: Thu Mar 16, 2023 1:14 pm It can work well almost anywhere Okwa. If say the bow of your ship is of an abnormal shape, or you have a lot of junctures or cavities; create small rooms in the vicinity of your windows, boxes essentially and all will be well.

I saw! :mrgreen: :salute <3
Not a bad tip. :)
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Re: Interior lighting of large structures- Tutorial

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Okwa wrote: Sat Mar 18, 2023 3:44 am

Not a bad tip. :)
Whatever works I always say :salute :geek:
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