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vanquish
11-29-2006, 08:25 PM
Well, the question is already in the topic: which is better (in terms of quality vs. render time) to achieve soft shadows in mentalRay: Light Radius or Area Lights? What are the advantages and disadvantages of both of them?

Thanks in advance

Lamster
11-30-2006, 07:53 AM
I'd say go area lights. I've only tried to use light radius once, when I was just beginning to learn how to use mental ray. The calculation was pretty damn slow for what was supposed to be a hack for soft shadows. Not much less than actually raytracing an accurate soft shadow. So I'd say, go area lights. Especially with maya 8, you can actually get a very decent result with low samples provided your render resolution isn't too high.

Terence

floze
11-30-2006, 04:29 PM
Well, the question is already in the topic: which is better (in terms of quality vs. render time) to achieve soft shadows in mentalRay: Light Radius or Area Lights? What are the advantages and disadvantages of both of them?

Thanks in advance
It depends on how much you care about the shape of your highlights. With area lights your specular highlights will show up like a reflection of your area type (rectangle, disc, cylinder, etc.), creating a more realistic representation of what's actually happening - fancy a window-like reflection on a curved surface for example. This wont be the case with light radius, instead only the shadow would frizz up according to how much you boost the radius; the highlight would remain a point-like spot.

To cut it short, I usually prefer area lights. Except maybe for certain sunshine/directional light setups, where it's easier and more reasonable to use some little light radius to blur the shadow only.

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11-30-2006, 04:29 PM
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