Better lighting controls?

laserpilot's picture

I have not downloaded kineme 3d yet, but i was wondering if people had any tips for making the lighting controls in QC a bit more powerful.

I guess this really boils down to more of a specific question...I have a plane of several shapes all rotating the same way through an iterator patch..its like an 8x8 grid of shapes. I would like to sort of fly spotlights over all of the shapes, but the attentuation controls for the lights seem very limited..turning down attentuation seems to mostly make it dimmer when really I want the beam to be narrower..or maybe there is a way i could make it brighter after turning down attenuation? I'll try and throw up an example of what I'm trying to do in a few days unless someone has some good ideas. Thanks!

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franz's picture
Re: Better lighting controls?

I believe lights in QC (when using Lighting patch) are OMNI lights, thus emitting in every direction. You're looking for a SPOTLIGHT.

some explanations here: http://jerome.jouvie.free.fr/OpenGl/Tutorials/Tutorial13.php

laserpilot's picture
Re: Better lighting controls?

that makes sense...so it looks like to achieve anything like this I'll have to get my hands dirty with some glsl?

cybero's picture
Re: Better lighting controls?

Absolutely right :-).

It's pretty clean work BTW, especially if you give the keyboard a regular wipe down.

You might well find this link useful to you :- GLSL Lighting.

I know I did.

Cheers, toneburst :-)

gtoledo3's picture
Re: Better lighting controls?

That's a phong lighting/shading model, which is just a typical lighting... I think it's the same that QC uses normally more or less. I don't think that GLSL is going to help get the kind of lighting effect that is being talked about, as implemented in QC.

There's not really provision for spotlights in QC. The best there is , is a CI spotlight patch that can sort of be used as a mask on a texture, and with clever setup, it can look like there's a spotlight. You can also make a little sprite/fake "drop shadow" with a gaussian circular type image, and the same drop shadow can also be a little "light halo" or spotlight if you get the coloring right.

cybero's picture
Re: Better lighting controls?

Wow, I guess that's that then, I was thinking that a GLSL solution might exist, but I guess what this means is that we just get the omni positional lights and cannot even create a working GLSL routine to run spotlights of any description .

Ah well, back to the drawing board.

gtoledo3's picture
Re: Better lighting controls?

This is a quick demo of the Spotlight filter ...errr, not Spotlight the search ;-) ...function.

This can also be used on an actual texture for an object, so keep that in mind (along with a blend mode, most likely). In that scenario it becomes harder to track to mouse coordinates like in this demo qtz (obviously), but it can be made to track to an object with varying levels of difficulty depending on the complexity of a scene.

One thing to note is how the actual lighting environment x/y/z point position and the spotlight filter can play together for a nice effect, and actually "blow out" the apparent specular highlight to make it really intense, or turn it to almost nothing.

PreviewAttachmentSize
Spotlight.qtz9.56 KB

cybero's picture
Re: Better lighting controls?

Cheers for that, I'm still slightly underwhelmed that we can't create a spotlight with GLSL though, but ho hum, that's the way QC gets lights done.

So be it.

Funnily enough, although I wasn't looking to use the Spotlight , I was thinking about also exploiting the Lighting patches attenuation settings in my putative solution.

I've now got two separate spotlights on two different scenes running concurrently with this solution and can see this is going to prove to be useful.

laserpilot's picture
Re: Better lighting controls?

I've actually found your old glsl models very useful for this project..and for anyone who has missed them:

http://machinesdontcare.wordpress.com/2008/06/25/glsl-lightingsurface-sh...

Just found them the other day but they're a lot better than the stock lights

Now just to explain to my employer that doing 3d things live is nothing at all like the rendering/cinema4d setup theyre used to...there just isn't the most powerful toolset for it yet..although if anyone has suggestions for things other than vdmx/quartz for live 3d manipulation let me know, haha...i know it's always possible in some simple sense but if you want to make a whole complicated world it can take weeks in something slow like qc

gtoledo3's picture
Re: Better lighting controls?

Huh?

How can doing something in realtime ever be compared to something that is done in offline render?

There is nothing slow about prototyping in QC, save for if you don't know how to use it and are learning on the job, and that's unfortunate if someone is paying for your learning curve. Sorry if that sounds harsh, it's just my perspective. Prototyping things in QC is ridiculously speedy.

Those GLSL models are tonebursts (not cybero's)... and also don't provide the spotlight effect that you were originally asking about. Better is a tenuous statement as well, since they have fixed light counts, and most are untexturable as is (to my memory).

Sorry for the terseness, it's just weird to read about someone who is still learning about QC to be making any kind of definitive statements about what is and isn't possible in a given time period, or to call QC slow as opposed to just saying you don't know how to use it effectively.

(as I exit the thread....)

laserpilot's picture
Re: Better lighting controls?

Oh web forums...where would we be without huge misunderstandings

  1. The lighting controls from toneburst just seemed to give me a few more options, although the spotlight filter is a good thing to have as well..I consider myself more video minded so I'm still new to a lot of 3d terminology

  2. I got confused by the "Cheers toneburst" at the end of Cybero's post...too used to people signing their emails that way, but I suppose it should've been "Cheers, toneburst" but I am well aware they are from him

  3. I think part of my comment came from frustration about this job and the employer's inexperience with live performance requirements, but I should do a better job of expressing what is possible to them too. I'm also sort of contracting my timeline of expectations because of this job, but I think if I relax and say it's ok to spend a week or two on a single composition then the whole thing becomes easier to swallow. QC is super fast for throwing together ideas and has amazing good depth for tweaking at the same time, but I won't deny that parts of it drive me completely nuts sometimes.

  4. I love it being said that I'm still learning QC when I've been using it since 2006 and have over 200 comps in my QC folder...it just shows the depth of things that you can do with it but still never touch in certain areas..but to be fair I've only worked in these graphical programming environments and have trouble wiring my brain for certain logic paths

gtoledo3's picture
Re: Better lighting controls?

Gotcha. Peace man. I have a knee jerk reaction to a concept that pops up again and again... that QC is somehow something you can learn at the drop of a hat, or on the job. No one in their right mind would attempt that with other programming languages. It also diminishes the perception of the abilities of people that actually spent the time to understand how to use it fully (which are few... most people have some niche thing that they have done that doesn't extend far beyond that realm).

Sorry, your statements/questions/time frames, made it sound like your learning QC still. You may have been using it since 2006... I've been dancing salsa since the 90's but I still suck. (er, I hope that doesn't come off harsh in print... I say this in the best of humor, and wish you much luck).