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Working with the Lighting Render Element

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Sam PipesWorking with the Lighting Render Element
by on Feb 25, 2010 at 9:44:25 pm

I rendered out a Lighting render element, and now I need to apply it to a flat color to give the impression of shading. Unfortunately, it's coming out really washed out and way too bright. I have access to After Effects. Does anyone have tips on getting this kind of thing to work?

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Tiago RibeiroRe: Working with the Lighting Render Element
by on Feb 26, 2010 at 3:11:58 am

When you render the image is everything ok? is it just the Lighting element that is turning out too bright?
Are you using exposure control? Exposure control will also affects the elements, although you would first see that in the full render.
Are you sure you are using Lighting element? If you are using Illuminance HDR or Luminance HDR elements, the result will be completely differente from Lighting. Illuminance will also give you ambient occlusion, but the result is in HDR format. That means that by default, it will be extremely bright.
If you use Illuminance element, you can scroll down on the dialog, and you will find a Scale Factor. Try some quick renders with some different values until you get what you want. I generally try 0.1, then 0.01, then 0.001.. just gave it a try, and a simple sphere with a simple light always gave me a completely white circle, until i set the scale factor to 0.001. With this value it turnes out ok.

So, in a kind of a to-do list:

- Double check your element. Is it really Lighting, or an HDR element? If it's HDR element, adjust scale factor, or just switch to Lighting, if it's enough for your needs.

- If it's none of these cases, try disabling or adjusting exposure control, and do some tests to see if it makes a difference. Of course, it will only matter if you see that the Lighting element responds differently than the others to the new exposure control settings.

- Also, check out your light. Are they mr lights, photometric, simple lights? From my experience, photometric lights are more likely to give some problems, if you're not completely sure what you're doing. The problems range from sub-lighting to over-lighting, and especially very different results between the lighting in your viewport, and the lighting in your render. Try switching off some lights, or temporarily replacing them with simple lights, of course, maintaining the same kind of lighting intensity, and do some more tests.

I think that after all this (and some hours lost maybe =) you should be able to diagnose and fix your problem.

Good luck

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Sam PipesRe: Working with the Lighting Render Element
by on Feb 26, 2010 at 6:36:39 pm

Thanks for the help! I figured out the problem. An object wasn't set to cast shadows and it was letting in too much light/ Thanks for all the advice, though! I'm still new to composoting and it's good to have a starting point.

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