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Does the Compositing Tag not work on lights?

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Xavier Bonet
Does the Compositing Tag not work on lights?
on Apr 17, 2018 at 10:17:55 pm

In my scene I have 2 vehicle objects that have headlights in them. One of the objects "drives in" from the side of the stage and the other drops down from the sky through dynamics. Now, the lights are part of the parent null that makes up each object, because the lights are coming from "inside" the object. Because I have severa camera movements, I have Compositing Tags on the objects, and I've set everything so that they're "hidden" from the camera, reflections, etc., until they come into the scene. These tags affect everything inside the objects, but not the lights. So I've given the lights there own tags... and nothing happens.

I'm rather new to C4D, so I'm assuming through this that Compositing Tags don't work on lights. But is there no way of "hiding" lights while not in use? Because wit my current settings I can see spots hanging about in midair and can't seem to do anything about it! Plus, the lights continue affecting the rest of the objects in my scene... in fact, they affect even more in some cases, because they're far away (which I don't really understand why).

I could put their intensity down to 0 but this seems rather like a workaround... can't lights be hidden? If that's the case: why?

Thanks for your input!


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Steve Bentley
Re: Does the Compositing Tag not work on lights?
on Apr 17, 2018 at 10:56:32 pm

So a couple of things you can do - there's the enable x beside the lights objects. You can turn those off manually or tie them to a node in expresso so all of the ones you want to go off do so at once. You can also make them part of a group or a selection and toggle them that way.
Lights can be assigned to specific objects (or to not shine on specific objects). In the last tab of the light attributes is the assign tab and in there you can put as many things as you like and choose include or exclude - this way they can be inside the vehicle but shine only on objects outside the vehicle - no tags needed and they can be on for the main render if you like.



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Xavier Bonet
Re: Does the Compositing Tag not work on lights?
on Apr 21, 2018 at 7:30:19 pm

Hey, Steve! Thanks a lot for your response! In fact, thanks a lot for **all** your responses: I've asked several C4D questions in the last couple of weeks and you've responded to all of them, so really thanks a lot! For someone like me who's just starting out in C4D, this is invaluable!

All the info you give me is very useful. I didn't realise you could tie the enable Xs through Expresso. That's a really good piece of info. I did know you could include/exclude objects but to be honest I hadn't though of excluding the car from its own headlights... that could've resulted in some problems later on, so I'll get in the practice of doing this each time I model cars.

In the end, to solve this I decided to "work around it" by using the intensities. I tied them together in Expresso, still, to make things easier to animate. That way the lights don't appear onto things all of a sudden, but rather dim in. I still wanted some light to fall on the scene's objects, but not so much that you can clearly see a spot coming from out of nowhere. I can't understand, however, why a spotlight coming out of the side of the scene, still casts so much light on objects... more light, in fact, than when it's near. It's as if it takes into account the distance of the light to intensify it, instead of it being the other way around. Perhaps I'm doing something wrong, though... But it's the second time I see something similar. I was working on a train that had to reach the station from off the viewport and the light seemed really intense on things when it was far away.

Anyway, I still need to learn more about lights, clearly! So thanks for the great info!


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Steve Bentley
Re: Does the Compositing Tag not work on lights?
on Apr 22, 2018 at 4:43:42 pm

If you want to upload the project I can take a look. The lights should not get brighter farther away (however if you don't have inverse square chosen in fall off they will be the same brightness far away which might make them seem brighter because the world doesn't work that way).

Also don't be afraid to double up lights. You duplicate lights and leave them in the same spot but assign them to other objects or make them dimmer or turn off shadows so that you can tweak the effect you want to get. Its a great way to soften shadows when the blocking object just has too much of the dark side in it. Simply turn off the shadow for the lights twin and that light will pass right through the shadow blocker object. Then just adjust each of those light's intensities so they add up to what you want.



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