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How to fix blown out lights in 3D fly-by scene?

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Skylar Weeks
How to fix blown out lights in 3D fly-by scene?
on Aug 17, 2012 at 7:55:00 pm

I have set up a basic 3D scene in AE that has "composition" notebooks with various school subjects falling onto an invisible plane. The camera is positioned directly above the scene and the notebooks fly-by the camera and land on the plane below. I have one spotlight positioned above the scene.

Here is the problem: No matter what I try the spotlight is super bright when the notebooks fall just below the camera and as they fall to their final resting place the light and shadows look like I want them to. How do i avoid the problem where I have had to place my spotlight at -3400 on the Z-axis to ge it far enough away to light the whole scene, yet not overexpose the notebooks as they fall so that for a moment it looks like an all white book that then falls into a more normal looking lighting situation?

What am I missing here? I've attached a screen shot to show you what is happening.



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Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Re: How to fix blown out lights in 3D fly-by scene?
on Aug 17, 2012 at 8:12:36 pm

One workaround would be to duplicate each layer (for the notebooks)and have the layer on the top with "accept lights" turned off- this way it's not going to have the whites blown out by the light. Animate transparency from 100 to 0 as the notebook passes the critical point to leave the final look untouched.

Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Senior VFX Artist


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Skylar Weeks
Re: How to fix blown out lights in 3D fly-by scene?
on Aug 17, 2012 at 8:50:03 pm

I'll give that a try. Has anyone else found a way to deal with this problem?


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chris brett
Re: How to fix blown out lights in 3D fly-by scene?
on Aug 17, 2012 at 10:03:09 pm

Hi there -- I struggle with lights sometimes myself but I would try setting up separate lights for the ground plane maybe along the lines as below...



1 ) an 'ambient light' to give overall level ( if required ) after local lights are set up -- adjust the intensity ( or opacity ) to get the level right ( you may only need a tiddly bit extra )

2 ) use a number of 'spot lights' lower down to get what you want shadow-wise etc on the books

3 ) set up light ( s ? ) coming in from the side to catch falling books as required ...



This may not work of course but I think that it what I would try....



------------------ chris brett // uk


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chris brett
Re: How to fix blown out lights in 3D fly-by scene?
on Aug 17, 2012 at 10:08:03 pm

Teds idea sounds excellent to me as you can adjust transparency to allow as little or as much light as you want -


- sounds a lot easier to set up as well............


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