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Struggling to create bright spotlights for reflections, rather than illumination.

Posted: Wed May 01, 2019 10:31 am
by SqueakyHamburger
Hi Guys,

I'm struggling with setting up a scene (I'm a real Maxwell and rendering amateur) and wondered if you guys could help me.
I looking to create a set-up like in the metal reflection of this image:
Image

I'm not really sure where to start, but then I try create something for the spotlights I'm blowing the scene out with bright light rather than creating something that looks bright white within the light area itself and but doesn't add a lot of light to the scene. That may not make sense, but hopefully the picture will help.

Could somebody please give me some tips to achieve this type of set up? I'm attempting this using the Rhino plugin and Maxwell 3.

Many thanks,
Gareth

Re: Struggling to create bright spotlights for reflections, rather than illumination.

Posted: Wed May 01, 2019 3:23 pm
by choo-chee
amateur users' typical mistake is not setting real life iso, shutter speed and f-stop according to the scene. the sample you gave looks like an HDR studio map. what is your scene? house/car/etc. ?

Re: Struggling to create bright spotlights for reflections, rather than illumination.

Posted: Wed May 01, 2019 3:57 pm
by SqueakyHamburger
Thanks for the reply. As I have photography knowledge I actually always try to set the camera up to reflect how it might be set up in real life (I can't bring myself to use an unreal setting for these things!), so for my test I'm going with ISO 100, 1/500 shutter and f5.6.
I'm a jewellery designer and I'm attempting to light a ring in my set-up, so highly reflective surfaces with diamonds and gemstones.
I'm not a studio photographer though so my knowledge of things like lighting efficacy and how they falloff for illumination but are reflected back is lacking, which I think is where I'm struggling to understand how to create a lighting set-up in Maxwell.

Re: Struggling to create bright spotlights for reflections, rather than illumination.

Posted: Thu May 02, 2019 6:41 am
by Nasok
Hey, It looks like you've got to tweak the surface properties itself. Specifically roughness and Nd / K parameters (don't forget the fresnel).
As you generally right, in highly reflective surfaces (like mirror or pure chrome) your lights will be reflected without (or with very minimal) light absorbance - so read - as is.
For this to work I would start checking first the surface properties:

If you're using metal - start with Wizard and choose metal preset there , something like Chrome. Then, set up an environment (in your case it's HDR image) - once that's done, your default camera settings will not work quite well since they are set for a Physical sky by default. So you would need to adjust your camera setting to match the "indoor" light situation.
for instance for the indoor, if you wanna use 100 ISO, then you gotta reduce the shutter speed to pretty low values (again if you want your f.stop to be 5.6) like around 1/30 or so. And don't forget about EV, for indoor 10 is a good number :)
In Maya we have slightly different UI than in Maxwell Studio, but the logic is the same.
If you're not entirely sure about what camera settings will work for your light solution - then you could use some of the presets that come with it (like "Dark Interior", "Bright interior" and so on) and you can tweak the values from there. I believe your studio environment will be quite okay with "Bright interior" preset.
Cheers :)

Re: Struggling to create bright spotlights for reflections, rather than illumination.

Posted: Thu May 02, 2019 10:08 am
by CDRDA
You will also want to look at your tone mapping settings. Reducing the "Burn" value to 0.5, or lower will reduce the hotspots, at the expense of some contrast.

In addition to this, you can adjust the intensity of the reflections in the environment tab by choosing the same HDRi instead of background. I assume Rhino has this capability, it is there in SketchUP.

Re: Struggling to create bright spotlights for reflections, rather than illumination.

Posted: Thu May 02, 2019 11:18 pm
by LadleSky10
Hey,

You might also wish to take a lot at the Maxwell Render online manual --if you haven't already. :D

E.g. re: "Realistic Camera Settings" where a few tips are offered for how to work with lighting jewelry in Maxwell.

Re: Struggling to create bright spotlights for reflections, rather than illumination.

Posted: Wed May 08, 2019 9:40 pm
by djiin
Hey Squeaky,

you should rather use light (direct and indirect) and reflection plans in your scene instead of a hdri 1st. Play with the scale of each plan, use plans for lightning and other for reflecting. Then you can tweak the multilight for the power of each light. IMHO that is the best way to proceed, if you want to add an hdri on this studio setting that is ok but you're gonna have a much better control of the light and reflections doing this way. Have fun;).

s.