AREA LIGHTS – OVERVIEW

 

Area Lights is a tool for creating and managing area lights for Arnold, Redshift, and Renderman.

All the major settings are easily exposed for compact use. And new features have been added.

The tool manages lights native to you renderer.

 

THE PROBLEM

 

The area light settings in the Attribute Editor is cluttered with settings. Each renderer uses varying terminology for the same functionality.

Default lights settings often aren’t ideal, it’s also difficult to switch to different lights in your scenes.

 
 

THE SOLUTION

 

The Area Lights tool simplifies and adds the light controls into a simple UI.

We’ve also added many workflow improvements such as,

– Place light by clicking on a mesh
– Easy light switching
– Easy access to Maya’s Light Editor
– Drop a light from the current camera
– Normalize without changing exposure/intensity
– Switching exposure/intensity without affecting light brightness
– Easy color temperature controls

 
 

COMPACT SETTINGS

 

Light Name Textbox
Rename the current area light.

Add Suffix Checkbox
Automatically add a suffix to the light name Eg. area_ARN
Arnold: _ARN
Redshift: _RS
Renderman: _PXR

Exposure Textbox and Buttons
Set the light’s Exposure (brightness) value.
Exposure can be used instead of Intensity without requiring large numbers.
Exposure is usually used when Normalize is on.
Intensity should be set to 1.0 when using Exposure.

Exposure Buttons tip: shift faster, ctrl slower, alt reset

Shape Combo Dropdown and Buttons
Set the light’s shape type.
Arnold does not support sphere lights.
Renderman does not support cylinder lights.

Color Picker Button
Sets the color of the current area light.

Hue Saturation Triangle Buttons
Decrease or increase the Hue or Saturation of the lights current color.
Tip: shift faster,ctrl slower, alt reset)

Create Button
Creates a new light with the current settings.

Light is placed at world center.

Drop Light Icon Button
Creates a new light with the current settings.

The light is placed at the current camera’s position.

Place Reflection Light Icon Button
Place Reflection by braverabbit.com (Ingo Clemens).
With a light selected, click-drag on a surface to place the light’s highlight.
Hold Ctrl or Shift, click-drag to vary the distance of the light from the surface.
Place Reflection Open Source Repository

Renderer Button Dropdown
Change your renderer with the set renderer icon menu (bottom right). Available renderers are Arnold, Redshift or Renderman

 
 

ADVANCED SETTINGS

 

Intensity Textbox And Buttons
Set the light’s Intensity (brightness) value.
Should be set to 1 if using Exposure.

Intensity Buttons tip: shift faster, ctrl slower, alt reset

Normalize Checkbox And Buttons
Set the Normalize value of the current area light.

On: The Intensity/Exposure is spread across the full light’s area

Off: Each square cm of the light is set to the Intensity/Exposure

Tip: Intensity/Exposure will automatically adjust, right-click to ignore auto-adjust.

Visibility Checkbox And Buttons
The light’s primary visibility as viewed through the camera while rendering.
In older versions of Arnold, this isn’t supported.

Temperature Textbox And Buttons
The color in Temperature (degrees kelvin).

Warm or Cool the color temperature in degrees kelvin.

While on the Color (Hue/Sat) attribute is ignored.

Scale Textbox And Buttons
The physical scale size of the area light/s.

Buttons Tip: shift faster, ctrl slower, alt reset

Create From Combo Dropdown
Create the new area light at the position:

World Center: Creates at world center
Selected: Creates by matching the pos/orient of a selected obj

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