Join Aaron F. Ross for an in-depth discussion in this video Adjusting sunlight, part of Learning VUE.
- In this chapter we will look at atmospheres and along the way we'll also learn how to optimize performance in these preview windows and decipher how the toolbars work, such as the Object toolbar here. In Vue, atmosphere refers to anything that's up in the sky. That includes weather, such as clouds and rain, it includes special effects such as stars and rainbows, it also includes the overall atmosphere model, that is, how are atmospheres calculated.
Is it a simulation or is it simply a gradient ramp that you specify user-defined colors? The most basic property of an atmosphere is the sun. And we'll start off by adjusting the position of the sun in the sky. To do that we can go into the atmosphere editor in Atmosphere, Atmosphere Editor in the menus. And in this window, as you can see, there are a bunch of tabs for the different aspects of the atmosphere.
Let's go to the Sun tab. It's possible to determine the position of the sun based upon real world parameters such as the location, the time of year, and time of day. You can also cause the sun to appear in a certain position in the sky by specifying these custom attributes here. Azimuth is the position of the sun radially, that is rotating around the elevation axis, and Pitch is the height of the sun in the sky.
I'm going to leave the camera where it is right now and move the sun so that it's exactly centered on the camera. Set the Azimuth value to zero, click on that, type in zero and press Enter. And we can see the sun appears just barely in these two preview windows here. And to lower the sun in the sky I'll set the Pitch to a lower value, such as six degrees and press Enter. And now I've got the sun centered on the camera view.
Okay, so we've got that done, let's click OK. And I want to just illustrate to you that the sun is constrained to the camera. That is, if we move the camera, the sun will always move with it. If we rotate the camera then the sun will appear fixed in the sky. If I select the camera here and then move it with the Move tool, you can see that the sun icon stays attached to the camera there.
But if I rotate the camera, then the sun will appear fixed in the sky. I can do that by going to the camera control window and click on the rotate camera button here and that's the Pan button, click and drag on that and you can see in the main camera view the camera is looking around and the sun is staying fixed in the sky. Now we can also change the sun color. Right now we're using a default photometric spectral model for the sun and sky color and that's determined by physical properties.
So this is a "realistic look" to the sun and sky. But we can cheat that if we need to. Down here in the World Browser I can click on the sunlight to select it and up in the Object Properties panel, choose the Aspect tab if it's not already open, and you can see that there's a color swatch here. And we can cheat the color of the sun using that color swatch. If you click that swatch something strange will happen.
You will see just for a moment, you will see a little bit of a color panel appear, and then that will go away and you will see this color selection window which gives you the ability to set a palate or save these little color swatches. Alright, let's do that again, I'm going to click X to close that out and show you that if you click and hold on that color swatch then you've got a color picker and you can drag your mouse around and choose, for example, a noxious green, and release the mouse.
Okay, so now I've got a super bright green for the sun and that's mixing with the physically determined colors that are sort of happening behind the scenes. And you can see that the main camera has updated to show green cast to the entire scene. Notice that the main camera view is not updating in this case. We can force that update in various ways, but I'm actually just going to reset that color back to white. Go ahead and click on this and hold it, and just drag my mouse up to the very upper corner here making sure that the luminants value is at 255 and then release the mouse.
Okay, so we're back where we started here now with the color of white and we just lowered the sun in the sky.
Author Aaron F. Ross covers sculpting and procedurally generating terrain, adding realistic lighting and atmospherics, and creating thousands or even millions of natural objects such as trees, rocks, and plants in an instant with EcoSystems. With VUE's powerful tools and Aaron's instruction, you'll have everything you need to start building landscapes, oceans, atmospheres, ecosystems, and other realistic digital worlds.
- Installing VUE
- Navigating the interface
- Manipulating objects
- Adjusting sunlight and clouds
- Sculpting terrains
- Generating procedural terrains
- Editing materials
- Adding water, rocks, and plants
- Rendering your VUE environments