Join Paul F. Aubin for an in-depth discussion in this video Choosing a lighting scheme, part of Revit: Rendering.
- This movie we'll consider the lighting portion of the rendering dialog. Now I'm not gonna reiterate all of the discussion that we had on lighting in the lighting chapter but I'm gonna only talk about lighting as it pertains specifically to the settings and choices you can make here in the render dialog. So, if we look over here under lighting, the first thing that you have available to you is the lighting scheme. Now if I open that up there's actually six choices there. Three of them exterior and three of them interior. And each of those is either the sun only, artificial only or combination of the two. So it seems pretty logical and they've kind of covered all the basics there.
Most of the exterior renderings that you're likely to do that are occurring in the day time you're probably just gonna choose exterior and sun only. So, that's gonna give you the sun and as long as you've configured the location of the sun and the North direction and everything properly, it's going to generate an acceptable rendering for you. Now, in all the test renderings that we looked at in a previous movie, I was a little unsatisfied with the quality of the light. It felt a little bit flat and lifeless and I think it had a lot to do with the fact that the sun setting which is the next option down was set to a preset of early morning.
Now, right over here there's a small browse dialog and if we click that this is the sun settings dialog that we've seen previously. And there are a variety of presets over here as we've already talked about, and this front early morning preset is set to 7 am. So, that might be a little bit too early. The sun is still a little too low in the sky and filtering through some of the trees and maybe not quite actually giving us the effect that we want. So, let me cancel that here and show you a trick that we can actually do. Without having to spend a lot of time doing test renders, I could just simply turn on the shadows here in the perspective view.
Now here's what the shadows look like at 7 am. But if I now go back to the presets here and I choose front late morning, that just increases the time to about 10 am, right? And if I click apply here, you're gonna see that the shadows move slightly. It throws this side of the tower a little bit more into shadow but we're still directly lighting this side of the tower a little bit more intensely. So, we're also lighting up all of these columns here and most of the portico is in shadow. You know, with the 7 am I was trying to get some sunlight into the portico area but I think this might be a little bit nicer, and I also really like the way this tree shadow is kind of falling here on the foreground so I think that will add some interest to the foreground.
So let's go ahead and stick with that one, that late morning setting. Now, if we went ahead and generated this rendering, it's just gonna use the sun. On occasion, you might have some artificial lights in your file that you also want to use in the rendering. Now I think that would make the most sense in early morning hours or in late evening hours when the sun isn't quite as intense and you could actually make out that there's some artificial light in the scene. In this case at 10 am, if I choose sun in artificial light, the chances that any of the artificial lights that they have in the scene are really gonna contribute anything to the scene is probably pretty remote.
But let's go ahead and walk through it anyway and do a quick test render just to see what it does. Now that lights up this artificial light's button. Now we saw this in the lighting groups movie but let's click it again and remind us that all of our lights have been grouped into these logical groupings. Now, when we talked about light groups we said that each light that you add to the scene can actually add time to the rendering. So, sometimes that can be a dramatic amount of time if you're using quite a few of these artificial lights. So, we certainly don't want to waste time rendering lights that won't make any impact on the scene, whatsoever.
It's probably okay to turn off most of these, most of the offices. Most of the interior lights I would say and really there's only a couple lights that are on the exterior, and they are down here toward the bottom. So here's some on the exterior walkway. You could kind of see those highlighted there when I select the group, these pendant lights along the walkway. And not the lobby but then down here, these are actually hidden in the view but there's some spotlights over here that would light up the tower at night. And so those are in the ungrouped category right now but they're there as well.
So why don't we turn on those and see what happens and then instead of waiting for an entire rendering, I'll just turn on the region option and let's just do a small region over here. And I'll change this to a medium quality. Now, it's still fairly sizable here because we still got the resolution at 250dpi, so why don't I drop that down to maybe 150 and that will reduce the number of pixels and then let's go ahead and click render here and see what we got.
Notice in the render progress dialog that it actually has a button here that we could uncheck to keep that dialog open when the rendering is complete. So I'm gonna uncheck that because I want to point out that we're currently rendering 14 artificial lights. Now there are no daylight portals. What a daylight portal is, is a door or a window on an interior rendering that's letting in daylight. So, we don't have that in exterior rendering but we do have 14 artificial lights. So you can certainly see here from the rendering that was generated that the artificial lights are really having no impact on the rendering at all.
Okay, so even if we zoom in a little bit here and take a look. There's really very little. You're not even seeing any light coming up on the underside over there. Now, just to prove to you that those lights are actually casting some light, what I'm gonna do is change this to exterior artificial only. Now, in real life we can't turn off the sun but in Revit we can. So, let's do that and let's click render again and see what the result is this time. One of the other reasons I like to uncheck this closed dialog when it's complete is because you get to see the render time.
So that one took about 41 seconds to generate. Now I'm gonna go ahead and close it and as you can see we've kind of got this eerie dark effect here that looks like it's some sort of creepy night time rendering. And honestly, even a night time rendering would probably be brighter than this because there's all sorts of light pollution in most cities. But this is a really dark rendering so you could see that those lights are just being completely overpowered by the sun. So, that's why I say that in most cases, you probably won't use the sun and artificial because your artificial lights will just get lost in the glare of the sun, and it will just take longer to generate the rendering.
So I think in most exterior renderings, using sun only is gonna be the way to go. Now, if you want to keep this rendering for later, you can actually click the save into project button here or you can export it. I will talk about that more in coming movies but when I do save to project what I like to do is actually say some comment over here about what settings I had. So this was medium. 150dpi artificial only. And that way next time I'll know what the settings were if I want to try and replicate it.
So, that gives you a little bit of idea of how the lighting schemes will interact with the various lights that you have in your model or the sun settings that you've previously configured so that you can have some control over how the lighting occurs when you generate your renderings.
- Creating 3D views and 3D cutaway views
- Adding details to the model
- Creating and editing materials
- Working with the sun system
- Working with lighting groups
- Configuring render settings
- Preparing a cloud render
- Creating a walkthrough
- Rendering a plan