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Create highly realistic 3D architectural drawings with V-Ray, a popular third-party renderer for SketchUp. This course shows how to take a single scene with interior/exterior elements and add lights, move cameras, and enhance objects with translucent and reflective surfaces. Author Brian Bradley explains concepts like irradiance mapping, perspective correction, and fixed rate sampling, while showing how to leverage each of the V-Ray tools and its material and lighting types to achieve specific effects.
Having looked at using both the Omni and Rectangle Lights in V-Ray SketchUp, it's time now to continue our exploration of our artificial light types and have a look at the V-Ray Spotlight. Of course, the first thing we need to do is add our light object into the scene, so again, let's come to the Window menu, open up our Layers dialog, and this time we want to come to the Light_Spot layer, put a check in that to bring our Spotlight into the scene, and then of course we can dismiss our Layers dialog. The spotlight is a slightly newer light type, added I think in V-Ray SketchUp version 1.48.
It is, again, an extremely powerful and versatile lighting tool that can be configured to work for us in a number of ways. As I have just added this new light object into the scene, of course I do want to come and take a test render, just to see what kind of emission pattern we get from this light type. What we get of course is a very unique look from our Spotlight. We have the expected circle, or spot of light, as it is shining down onto the floor. We have also interestingly been able to capture the cone of light emission.
You can see the shape of that in our render. We can also see, because our spotlight is a very focused light type, that we're getting a much smaller amount of light balance in the scene. You can see we have lots of dark areas in our test render. Well, let's again have a look at our control parameters for the Spotlight object, so let's just move our Frame Buffer to one side. Let's select our light object and again open up the Light Editor for ourselves. We do of course want to keep focused on our test render, so let's just move the control parameters for this light object off to the side, and then we can just make a comparison of what we see in the scene with our actual controls.
Many of which will by now be very familiar tools. You can see that our intensity controls are as per our previous light types, as are the sampling controls available tools. We do also see that our shadow settings are identical to those found on our Omni Light, including the return of our Shadow Radius setting. This means we can set soft edge shadows inside the Spotlight effect, if that is what we want. Of course, we do get a number of controls that are new tools, for instance, these Barn Door controls.
These are really designed to help us mimic a real-world spotlight that oftentimes will have four flaps attached to it. These allow the user to focus or defocus light in a scene as is needed. Another familiar control is found at the top of our Options section. Once again, we have control over the Decay, or falloff, of light from our spotlight. By default, the realistic Inverse Square value is set, but as with our Omni light, we do have all the options available should we need them. We do have a new Falloff value in this Penumbra Falloff control.
This is designed to work in conjunction with our penumbra angle to give us a nice soft edge to our Spotlight effect. In fact, if we just enter a value in here of, say, .25, we'll be able to take a look at how that effect is working. So let's just click OK and again take another render. What we get now is instead of that harsh termination to the edge of our illumination, we get this nice soft gradation, controlled of course by those two penumbra angle settings.
We can even see this Falloff captured in our cone shape, so a very nice change to the Spotlight effect. If we just go back into our Light Editor, there's one more control that we just want to make mention of. We've already seen the Affect Diffuse and Affect Specular settings on all the light types, but here we have a new one: Area Specular. This allows us to make a change to really how the specular reflections from our spotlight behave. By default, with this setting disabled, we will get specular reflections that are identical to our Omni Light, that is, they are specular reflections emanating from a single point in space.
But if we need a more accurate realistic representation of the specular reflections from our spotlight, we can put a check in this box and that is exactly what we will get. As we see then, the spotlight affords lots of control over how it will interact with our environment. It is maybe a tool that we will use in more specialized situations, but definitely a welcome addition to our lighting arsenal. We do of course have one more artificial light type that we want to make an examination of, so in our next video we're going to take a look at the V-Ray IES Light.
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