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Twilight is a very popular and inexpensive third-party renderer for SketchUp. This course shows how to create highly realistic 3D architectural drawings (including interior/exterior elements) with the lights, materials, camera, and render options in Twilight. Author Brian Bradley explains the importance of reflectance in materials, and shows how to manage and save rendering presets, how to correct for perspective, tone, and exposure in the camera, and how to create a variety of material types. The final chapter covers rendering your complete arch-viz scene for a couple types of output, including animation and composites.
In this video we are going to take a quick look at a potentially very useful compositing preset. To examine it, we need to come into our Twilight Render dialog of course, and I will just close up my Easy and Express options and just open up the Tech and Specialized groups. Of course, in here we have quite a number of presets available, most of them only giving us functionality that can be found in other Twilight render presets. Remember, the Tech section is really designed for Kerkythea use. There is, however, one option in here that does give us something different, something that we can't find in other Twilight presets.
This is the Diffuse Texture Pass. This preset will give us a render containing only diffuse, or color, texture information. Before we take a render, we do need to once again perform a little bit of scene setup. So let's come to our Layers dialog, let's switch over our default layer, and hide our Portals, Patio Glass, and Skylight Glass layers once again. Now if we open up the Render dialog, we can take a render to show you how our Diffuse Texture Pass ought to look. To see our image in its entirety, we just need to right-click and use the Fit Image to Screen option.
Although what we get here is still not a proper representation of our Diffuse Texture Pass. We do need to come across to our Camera tab and reset our Exposure controls. And even now, we still don't have a correct representation of our Diffuse Texture Pass. This is a little glich you can sometimes run into when using Twilight's Tone Mapping Filter controls. Rather than interpreting the colors correctly, we now have this gray cast to our render that clearly is not correct. There is, however, a very quick fix for this: if we just come into our Render tab and just select one of the other Render presets and if we just quickly take a render with this, once we switch back to our Diffuse Texture Pass we should get a correct representation.
Of course I haven't chosen the Light Pass preset by chance. If we have no other light sources in the scene, rendering with the Light Pass really gives us a render of our sky, as this is interpreted as the light-casting element that can be found in the environment. A way to keep in mind what we get from this render as we switch back now to our Diffuse Texture Pass and take a render, what we now get is a correct representation of our Diffuse Texture Pass. Now interestingly, the Diffuse Texture Pass could be used as a kind of non-photo- realistic render pass in its on right.
Now of course we don't get anything from our sky in the Diffuse Texture Pass, but as we've just demonstrated, in our Light Pass we only get our sky rendered providing there are no other light sources in the scene. This means we can use an alpha mask to simply composite these two renders together, and as we say, we would have a very pseudo NPR render for ourselves. This so isn't what we are going to use our Diffuse Texture Pass for. As you can see in the render, no lighting, no reflections, no refractions are taken into account with this particular rendering preset.
As we say, all we get are diffuse colors. This means it can be very useful for use as a compositing preset, because we can now set colors in our scene. We can assign solid colors to our geometry and not have them change, not have them be affected by our scene lighting. To demonstrate how useful this can be, we first of all need to set up three SketchUp materials for ourselves. So let's go and click on our Paint Bucket tool. Let's to come to our In Model materials, and again I am just going to start with a base of our default gray material.
With this selected, I am going to click on the Create Material button, and we're is going to name our new material very descriptively red, and we are of course going to set it to be a completely pure red color. We can click OK and create a new material of that. This time we will call it Green, and we will set it to be pure green color. And then finally we can create a Blue material, and of course give it a pure blue color. Now what we need to do is apply our compositing colors to particular elements in our scene.
So for instance, we can take our red color and assign it to the beam work. We can take our Green color and assign it to the skylights surrounds, and we can take our Blue color and just assign this to our roof section. To make things nice and easy for ourselves once we initiate a render, I am just going to first of all close my Materials dialog, hit Spacebar to just return to my normal Select tool, and then I am just going to select our ceiling, hold down Ctrl key, and select our beams and then still holding the Ctrl key, I am going to add our skylights surrounds.
Now when we come to the Twilight Render dialog, make certain the Diffuse Texture Pass is chosen and hit Render, we can once again say that yes, we only want to render the selected geometry. By doing this, we will ensure that everything else in the scene is assigned a pure black value, thereby meaning that it can be completely ignored once we are compositing with this particular image. And very quickly, you can see that we have our pure color mask render completed. The fact that we have no scene lighting affecting these colors means that they remain pure, and of course we haven't had to play around and turn off all of our scene lighting just to get this mask rendered.
We have done this very quickly without really too much force at all. Finally, we do need to go and save our render, so in this instance we will call this RGBMask. And once again we can just save this as a PNG file. So there we have one very quick method of using Twilight's Diffuse Texture Pass. Of course this is not a preset that we are most likely going to want to use on a daily basis, but if we are working in a compositing pipeline--again, either for ourselves or with a team of dedicated compositing artists--then this can prove to be a very handy little trick to have available.
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