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Wishes forum

the Light Tool

Rob
Graphisoft
Graphisoft
The light tool.

I am trying to keep this topic alive because I think is very important.
The light tool needs to get a major overhaul, firstly because it sits on the toolbox palette and takes the precious space as a basic tool, secondly it hasn’t got improved since its introduction in AC. I am pretty sure that anybody who is using this tool can describe it with a good portion of cursing. It is so limited (especially after implementing Lightworks engine) that has become almost useless. What we need is (correct or make any additions to this):

1. implementing the light engine based on LUX, Lumen/Watt, Type of bulb (incandescent, fluorescent, high pressure sodium etc.). It is much easier to define a rendering scene by real lights like 100W incandescent or 30W halogen rather then having it based on stop/start distances and intensity from 0 to 100 (of what???)

2. expanding definition of light to linear (for example), not just having a basic point in the space with the light cone attached to it and limited to 160 deg (god knows where that came from) or a point of light that doesn’t cast any shadows doesn’t have fallout control and is in fact absolutely dysfunctional for any serious use.

3. explanation and overhaul of mysterious settings for distance/angle fallout as the outcome is an absolute lottery at the moment

4. at least option for importing some external files for the standard light definition (I can’t think of any right now)-that’s optional though but it would be nice to have it

5. simply make them more real with settings/definitions as we can get it out of catalogues and spec. documents. It should be a real tool representing real lights in the virtual model of building, not just some faked addition for first time buyers like yes, we’ve got it there (but it’s actually useless* --small print)

6. implementing ALL Lightworks features as additional parameters. We’ve got a fantastic rendering engine with ridiculous light settings. Yet another failure of GS to implement any feature THOROUGHLY throughout AC. Fixing that by adding some dodgy library parts (meaning the window/sun/sky objects) designed in the last minute before releasing the final version is more then obscure attitude.

As I know there was some rumour about Archilumos some time ago with expanded definition of light library parts. I haven’t personally seen those, may be they are somewhere there floating around (any info would be appreciated).
::rk
5 REPLIES 5

Rakela Raul
Participant
firstly because it sits on the toolbox palette and takes the precious space as a basic tool
u can always remove from the menu what u dont use
MACBKPro /32GiG / 240SSD
AC V6 to V18 - RVT V11 to V16

Anonymous
Not applicable
The Light Tool is so clumzy that I never really learned how to use it.
compared to 3ds max lights it is ages behind in development. The simple task of just pointing it to the right direction requires so much time that it is easier to export the whole scene to some other rendering application.

TomWaltz
Newcomer
I have to say that the rendering guys in our office are using Lightworks and Archicad lights with spectacular results. I have not seen any major limitations to the Light Tool at all.
Tom Waltz

Karl Ottenstein
Moderator
Hi Rob,

I hear what you're saying, and admit that when I first began with AC, I had a similar reaction - I wanted it all - but also, I did not understand what was truly involved in illuminating an architectural scene then either.

There is a need for applications that replicate actual light sources by manufacturer product / lumens / etc. (and they exist). But, I feel that is a specialty market and not necessarily appropriate for ArchiCAD.

As Dwight has pointed out in these forums, and also (as I recall) in his first book, Illustration in ArchiCAD ... the human eye does not see nor do we remember a scene based on the actual illumination. If we take a photo with an exposure setting appropriate for either the brighter areas or the darker areas - the resulting image is not what our eyes see or remember. Rather, we remember images more like those created by Ansel Adams and subsequent nature photographers who combined multiple exposures in a liquid or digital darkroom. Our eyes adjust to the multiplicity of light conditions and combine all of that in our brain - indoors or out, regardless of actual lumens.

A computer rendering program that exactly mimics real lighting can only produce the equivalent of a photo at a fixed exposure - if the effects of actual light simulation is the goal. It will indeed be real. But, IMHO, it is not what any of us will want to look at or present to a client.

Instead, as Dwight says, 'think like a photographer' - both in terms of exposure, and in terms of adding 'unnatural' light to a scene. He notes that the lush interiors that we see in magazines such as Architectural Digest are not taken with natural lighting - but with a variety of professional fill lighting to make the rooms glow and look gorgeous. The same shot taken with a fixed exposure in natural light would never look like the human eye/brain remembers the scene. Or, the way the marketing department would like the scene portrayed.

All of that said, I personally prefer to set up lighting in an external program such as Artlantis R because of real-time feedback in the preview window. But, Dwight's new bookexplains in great detail how to get lighting to work well with LightWorks in ArchiCAD.

If I knew GS had the budget of Autodesk, I'd join your wish more enthusiastically - because it would be nice to have it all. But, I feel there are more urgent things for GS to address first.

Best regards,
Karl
One of the forum moderators   •   AC 26 USA and earlier   •   MacOS 11.6.8, iMac Pro

Rob
Graphisoft
Graphisoft
u can always remove from the menu what u dont use
that's not the point is it?
compared to 3ds max lights it is ages behind in development.
if I wanted to talk about 3d max I would join 3dmax forum...
I have not seen any major limitations to the Light Tool at all.
Honestly mate, have you ever seriously worked with it?

Karl, I understand that the final light settings for rendering are not as real life ones and they need some tweaking around but more realistic light settings would give us at least a benchmark for quick previews.
But, Dwight's new book explains in great detail how to get lighting to work well with LightWorks in ArchiCAD.
Why do I need some extra book to find out how to cheat a basic AC tool? (I am not saying that Dwights book is not good and I will get it for sure) but in principal we should get a tool that is based on knowledge of an architect/interior designer NOT a programmer or a viz maniac.
If I knew GS had the budget of Autodesk, I'd join your wish more enthusiastically - because it would be nice to have it all. But, I feel there are more urgent things for GS to address first.
I understand prioritizing of wishes but addressing this issue is nothing new especially when the lightworks engine is here and running since last year and Archilumos has partly addressed those issues already (I saw some screenshots with enhanced settings of light lib parts). I just don't understand all that fuss around...
::rk

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