Author Topic: Need Lighting advice  (Read 5082 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline prodzign

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 16
Need Lighting advice
« on: September 17, 2014, 11:18:03 am »
OK, so... I didn't get any responses on the "old school sound level meter" lighting issue, so I kept moving along.
Now, I just am not completely thrilled with my overall lighting environment. I have a LOT of LED's happening, so I am fighting between a darkened environment, so the LEDS show nicely, or brightening it up, and losing some of the LEDS.
I am NOT completely done with this project, as I continue to tweak it.

As you might be able to tell, the main channel 1 level LED is different than the others. This is because I duplicated it three times. Once using a refractive glass. Once using an emissive , and once using an area light diffuse because I did not think the emissive was giving off enough of a glow.
So the question is.... should I go back and change all the LEDS to the three duplications? or get rid of the area light diffuse on channel one?

Also, I used an overhead 2K panel for the environment lighting and added an area light diffuse on the backside/top to enhance the inputs a bit. IF I adjust it, it washes out in areas where I don't want it.

Any thoughts on lighting this project? I could end up tweaking this for weeks.

Offline Speedster

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2619
Re: Need Lighting advice
« Reply #1 on: September 17, 2014, 03:52:43 pm »
Actually, my only concern is the "flatness" of the knobs, slider and the XLR's.  Being plastic, they would have some sheen to them.  Overall I think your lighting looks very good.  I have several racks of gear and a large Mackie so I know what a mixer should look like, and this is quite pleasing.  I would not worry much about the LED's or the overall lighting, and focus more on the material textures, especially the knobs, to get that "pop" you're looking for.  The dials are spot on!

Another trick that would help is to VERY slightly move the entire model up just a tad to separate it from the ground plane- there's usually four small rubber feet that would elevate the mixer just a bit.  And, just for grins, use reflections.  And another great trick would be to enable (add in) a ground plane, and make it a frosted black glass (or another material) that will really kick it!

Bill G
« Last Edit: September 17, 2014, 03:57:03 pm by Speedster »

Offline prodzign

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 16
Re: Need Lighting advice
« Reply #2 on: September 17, 2014, 04:18:09 pm »
Hi Bill,
Yes.... the flatness of the knobs (of which I spent weeks researching the best possible knobs design for this mixer... but that is another story) does bother me as well.
Some background on this mixer concept: I am an Industrial Designer, and also a musician. I have several USB Mixers, but there are bits and pieces where I think the companies got it wrong. I surveyed many of my musician friends as to what they would like to have incorporated into a portable USB mixer.... and this concept is the result.

He's the thing... I am designing these knobs to be rubber coated, as I simply prefer a softer more grip like texture to my knobs. But I am still not certain that it is coming through. I adjusted the reflectivity, but when I do that, it simply doesn't look right.
If I adjust my viewing angle, certain parts will wash out. This is where I am struggling, is finding the perfect balance of lighting, and having it being consistent when rotating the viewing angle.

The ground plane, there are rubber feet on this, and it actually is off the ground plane. Reflections are also turned on. At this angle, I simply am not getting any reflections.
If I use a lighter background, it's just.... off. Hard to explain without showing it, but I end up losing a lot of detail.

I really do appreciate the input, and I am trying to maximize Keyshot.
While this program is absolutely light years beyond anything else I have ever used, and it is incredibly easy to get some fantastic results very quickly, I seem to be struggling with perfect lighting.
Or.... I could be too picky! :)

Dan

Offline Speedster

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2619
Re: Need Lighting advice
« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2014, 05:51:50 pm »
Quote
I am designing these knobs to be rubber coated, as I simply prefer a softer more grip like texture to my knobs.

I so agree!  Maybe just "grey" them a tiny bit?  And try "soft" plastic, or even the rubber, but just a tiny bit of warm grey.

Try this for a ground plane- you'll have to make your own.  A thin part, that is, with two surfaces.  UV map the underside one color (any color) and the top another.  Import.  Then apply "chrome" to the underside, and a "frosted glass" to the top.  Play with the chrome color and glass texture- Crazy things will happen!

I have a neat ADAT (!) recording studio, with UA pre's, so I know what your goal is, and I fully support it!  It's my "get-away" from designing, and a lot safer than a Harley!

Bill G

Offline prodzign

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 16
Re: Need Lighting advice
« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2014, 05:44:38 am »
Just wanted to say thank you for the tip about the ground plane.
I've been playing around with it, and it's really opened things up!
It is adding the extra "pop" that I was looking for!
Now, I just need to stop playing around with the endless possibilities, and find something I can live with!

Dan

Offline Speedster

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2619
Re: Need Lighting advice
« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2014, 03:59:11 pm »
Quote
Now, I just need to stop playing around with the endless possibilities, and find something I can live with!
Trust me, you never will!  But your boss or client will give you some clues!
Bill G

Offline prodzign

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 16
Re: Need Lighting advice
« Reply #6 on: October 02, 2014, 05:59:49 am »
Bill,
when I did a Facebook survey of my musicians friends of what they would like to see in a portable USB mixer, it surprised me just how many of them missed the old school sound level meters, and wanted to see them incorporated somehow. They truly are not required, as I have the main level lights for each channel on the main knobs..... but it's something they all wanted to see.
I just found it interesting that no matter how high tech recording can get, some things are simply too aesthetic to let go of.

Project turned out great, and I appreciate your input! Adding a ground plane worked wonders for the overall lighting, without having to actually adjust it.

Dan

Offline Esben Oxholm

  • KeyShot Beta
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1667
  • esbenoxholm.dk/keyshot-video-course
    • Freelance CG Artist
Re: Need Lighting advice
« Reply #7 on: October 02, 2014, 10:37:50 am »

Project turned out great, and I appreciate your input! Adding a ground plane worked wonders for the overall lighting, without having to actually adjust it.

Hi Dan.
Do you mind share your final result?
It would be nice to see the improvements.

Offline Speedster

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2619
Re: Need Lighting advice
« Reply #8 on: October 02, 2014, 11:39:35 am »
I agree- let's see the final result!  I'm sure it's stunning.

Quote
some things are simply too aesthetic to let go of.
Actually, I think this is true of all design.  Some things are simply "traditional", and folks expect to see them.  That's one reason I'm ADAT based- after spending all day on the computer, it's just neat to play with music the old-fashioned, hand-on, way.  Knobs, dials, plugs and patch bays.   Well, not really patch bays- they suck!

When I first fired up my Universal Audio preamps, nothing happened- I thought they were broken or something.  I forgot- they have tubes, and had to warm up first!

Bill G

Offline prodzign

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 16
Re: Need Lighting advice
« Reply #9 on: October 03, 2014, 10:45:21 am »
Stunning? No.... Bill, I've seen your images.... breathtaking. So now I feel like a schmuck, cause I may have overstated this a bit.
Still, I am extremely happy with what simply adding a new ground plane did to the overall image.

That being said, I am working on new renderings as we speak, because I had a bit of a hiccup  (as stated in another thread on decals), and ended up having to redo some decals. Problem taken care of, but re-rendering now.
There still are some things I need to go back and eventually tweak (material wise still not thoroughly pleased with some things) but overall, for a side project... I'm pleased.
Unfortunately , duty calls, and I have had to luckily move onto a paying ID gig. This being a freelance ID guy really sucks. Money is money, even if it is pretty simple local inventor stuff. Underemployment is just part of the deal.

Again, my heartfelt thanks go out to all who help with my learning curve on Keyshot. This program is extraordinary. I was previously just using Showcase, and Keyshot blows it out of the water. Not even close.
Sadly, I have found that most people, even hardcore product development firms, do not show photo realistic renderings. Which, absolutely stymies me, because Keyshot makes it so simple. Even a bad rendering is great!

I feel bad for going on like this, but I truly have fallen in love with this program, and just want to get better, and figure out every little thing I can about it. The forum is an excellent tool for learning. I've joined in on the webinars, and read the forums for any possible piece of advice I can get.
And yet.... somehow.... adding ground planes eluded me ::) Proof that even an old dog like me, who normally just studies the details of products and how they can be made better... can learn new tricks.

I still love this gig! Even if I'm broke!
 Am hoping to have new renderings before I have to leave for the weekend (I have an 8Core... but this is still taking time), if not, I'll let it run and post on Monday.
I'm from KC, and as you may have heard... it's been a stunning sports week here. I got free Royals playoff tix for Sunday.... so, yeah.... Im busy this weekend!


Offline prodzign

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 16
Re: Need Lighting advice
« Reply #10 on: October 07, 2014, 08:12:49 am »
Added a semi-polished aluminum ground plane with slight roughness.
Rear view.
The band around the mixer is a replaceable silicon scuff band, that also hides the housing connections.
I am NOT a fan of exposed screws, and try to avoid them at all times.

iso front view coming.

Dan

Offline prodzign

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 16
Re: Need Lighting advice
« Reply #11 on: October 10, 2014, 08:39:09 am »
Iso Front