Author Topic: Setting up lights in general  (Read 230 times)

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Offline hook

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Setting up lights in general
« on: June 07, 2019, 01:52:36 am »
Hello there!

I'm fairly new to KS and don't really have experience in this field at all, so at the moment I'm just working myself into it on trial and error.
I'm definitely making progress but one thing that's really bugging me is setting up the lights.
Since I'm only doing this semi-professional and only intend to do a few renders every now and then in the future I'm only using the HD license at the moment which has no HDRI editor.
So when I'm lighting my scene I start with the environment preset that fits the most and work myself up from there but I often have a really hard time actually making the lights visible on the geometry. I often see myself dragging the light source across the map randomly finding a spot which looks good. And still then, when I'm working on more complex geometry when I light up a surface, some others close to it, which have the same angle to the light source strangely stay dark. So I often end up with a piece which is either partly too dark or too bright.

I know a lot of this simply comes down to practice but is the HDRI editor really making this so much easier or am I artificially making it hard for myself by missing out some basic rules?

I'm thankful for every answer, cheers.

Online camomiles

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Re: Setting up lights in general
« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2019, 02:13:56 am »
The HDRi editor is IMO mandatory to have control over the lighting. Otherwise you can work with the physical light sources, they definitely do the job to.

If you like to know more about light, flags, black cards, angle of reflection etc ... this book will help you to get a better understanding of the basic rules - Light Science & Magic

Offline hook

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Re: Setting up lights in general
« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2019, 02:23:51 am »
The HDRi editor is IMO mandatory to have control over the lighting.

That really wasn't the answer I was hoping to read  ;D But thank you for your reply.
What do you mean by physical lights? Right now I insert a basic geometry and attach a light materal to it (mostly area lights, since they work the best for me). Is there another approach to it?

Online camomiles

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Re: Setting up lights in general
« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2019, 02:55:39 am »
That really wasn't the answer I was hoping to read  ;D But thank you for your reply.
What do you mean by physical lights? Right now I insert a basic geometry and attach a light materal to it (mostly area lights, since they work the best for me). Is there another approach to it?
This is the way to do it. So, you're on the right track! You can definitely create great results this way - it is how studio photographers work. The next step is to understand the light, shadow and reflections. Check the book, it will open your eyes.  ;) 

Online camomiles

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Re: Setting up lights in general
« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2019, 03:01:38 am »
HDRi editor is easy to work with, because you can use the mouse to set highlights on the surface. That makes it easier to work for beginners. In the matter of shadows control the HDRi is not the best tool. If you like to work on a higher level you'll end up using multiple tools like HDRi, physical lights and cards/flags.   

Offline hook

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Re: Setting up lights in general
« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2019, 03:45:01 am »
Thanks a lot for the input.

The next step is to understand the light, shadow and reflections. Check the book, it will open your eyes.  ;)

Yeah, that's what's causing the most trouble right now. It's not really intuitive for me to place the lights properly, I'm often like 'why is THIS the right spot for my light?'

I guess I have to keep grinding, or poke the issue often enough for my boss to upgrade the license  ;D

Offline hook

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Re: Setting up lights in general
« Reply #6 on: June 07, 2019, 04:49:15 am »
One more thing. I'm rendering everything in .TIF format with the alpha channel enabled, because I don't want a visible background.
The problem however is that sometimes the render finishes and there are still one or two squares unrendered. If I'm lucky it's in the background, so it's invisible anyway. But mostly it's at the edges of the model, making the render worthless for presentation. It's really annoying when this happens in the final render, which usually takes 30-60 minutes, depending on the scene.
Is there a way to prevent this from happening?

Online camomiles

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Re: Setting up lights in general
« Reply #7 on: June 07, 2019, 04:54:46 am »
It's a bug that is really hard to catch for the devs. But you can do a region render for this area and combine the images back in post. Maximum Samples and Maximum Time render options will avoid it completely.

Offline hook

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Re: Setting up lights in general
« Reply #8 on: June 07, 2019, 04:57:36 am »
Unfortunately region render is disabled under the HD license as well.
But good to know the tip with maximum samples/time.

Offline andy.engelkemier

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Re: Setting up lights in general
« Reply #9 on: June 07, 2019, 01:21:18 pm »
Render to Png instead. You'll save yourself a Ton of hard drive space.
Or if you're using render passes (does the cheaper version have those?) like clown passes, then render to PSD and check the box that says to add them To the PSD. You'll get just one file per render then. Resave the file though, because they are Completely uncompressed.

png is a great format in terms of quality and size. Unless you're rendering at 16/32 bit, then there won't be a difference in quality. And if you aren't editing them, you should stick to 8 bit.